Lighter-Than-Air Society to host banquet, silent-auction fundraiser

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AKRON — The 59th annual Lighter-Than-Air-Society banquet and fundraising silent auction will take place Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. at the Martin Center, 105 Fir Hill on The University of Akron campus.

The guest speaker will be Canton resident Jim Maloney, a Goodyear blimp pilot who retired as chief of Akron airship operations. Also, a special award will be presented to Tom Riley, who flew Goodyear blimps throughout the world before his retirement and later served as a Society trustee.

Riley will be officially recognized by the nonprofit LTAS organization with the presentation of the P. Rendall Brown Lifetime Achievement Award during the banquet.

The silent auction is to raise funds for the international Society, based in Akron, the home of LTA history and educational documents.

Auction items

Among the items for auction are a guided tour of the newest Smithsonian museum, near Dulles airport where LTA craft are exhibited, by senior curator Tom Crouch, along with an autographed copy of his recent book on LTA history; a Goodyear blimp ride for two; a golf package at Firestone Country Club; tickets to the Akron Symphony; passes to the 75th All-American Soap Box Derby, an all-inclusive golf package; six books by local authors from Gray & Co. Publishers in Cleveland, and many more.

Most unique is the opportunity to acquire two girders from the USS AKRON and MACON era of the 1930s as separate auction items. The duraluminum sections, 47-inches and 52.5-inches in length, were from zeppelins that flew the skies, accompanied by a document of authenticity.

A list of auction items can be viewed at the LTAS website at www.BlimpInfo.com.

Reservations are requested and can be made on the LTAS website using PayPal for payment. The price is $40 per person and dinner choices are beef or chicken. There will be a cash bar, and parking is free.

To pay by check, print the confirmation email from the website and mail it with a check payable to LTAS to: Lighter Than Air Society, c/o Sandy Bee Lynn, 240 Northwood Drive, Doylestown, OH 44230-1050.

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