Tuskegee Airmen chapter to host awards dinner

Highlights include dancing to the 13-piece Funk Junkies and a screening of 'Black Angels Over Tuskegee'


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  • Photo: Friends of Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site




  • The Funk Junkies (funk-junkies.com)



ABOUT THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators — both pilots and ground support personnel — in the United States Armed Forces. They flew and fought during World War II, when black Americans in many U. S. states were still subject to Jim Crow laws and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the Federal Government. They trained at Tuskegee Army Airfield, Tuskegee, Alabama. The New Windsor, N.Y.-based Maj. Gen. Irene Trowell-Harris Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman preserves their legacy and offers both a youth mentorship program and pilot training for young aviators (tai-ny.org).


— A dinner-dance this Saturday will honor the Tuskegee Airmen will also presenting scholarships and community awards to young people and their mentors.

More than 300 politicians, military personnel, local celebrities, students and families are expected to attend the 20th annual Tuition Assistance Awards Dinner Dance, sponsored by the Maj. Gen. Irene Trowell-Harris Chapter of the national Tuskegee Airmen, from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Anthony's Pier 9 in New Windsor.

To mark this 20-year milestone, performances will include live dance music by the Funk Junkies, a 13-piece band guaranteed to get you off your feet, and a special 15-minute presentation of “Black Angels Over Tuskegee,” an award-winning off-Broadway play that ran for seven years and is now touring the country.

In all, 13 scholarships of $1,000 to $2,000 each will be presented to graduating seniors from across the Hudson Valley. More than $200,000 in scholarships have been awarded by the local chapter over the past two decades.

Other awards will honor community mentors Chris, Gavin, and Jamie Farella, co-owners of Brothers Barbecue in New Windsor, and Kevin White, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh.

Proceeds from the event will support continued scholarships, as well as the chapter’s youth mentorship program and its Lee A. Archer Jr. Red Tail Youth Flying Program for aspiring teen pilots at Stewart Airport.

The chapter’s Hudson Valley Tuskegee Airmen Endowment fund is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, which ensures that scholarships awarded by this chapter will continue forever.

An open-bar cocktail hour with a silent auction and raffle leads off the festivities, followed by awards and presentations. Tickets are $150 per person and may be purchased online at tai-ny.com.

For more information, call 845-838-7848.





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