"100 Percent" Of Proceeds Will Support Red Tail Project
Limited edition, signed and numbered Sam Lyons prints of the Red
Tail Project's P-51C Mustang "Tuskegee Airmen," were autographed
November 17 by original Tuskegee Airman, Major Joe Gomer.
Celebrated aviation artist Sam Lyons and his wife Mindy
committed at Oshkosh 2007 to the Red Tail Project's educational
program, by offering to paint an original piece of art as a
The painting was unveiled one year later, on
the first day of AirVenture 2008.
"Sam's contribution will significantly help the Red Tail Project
complete the restoration of the Mustang," said Tim Barzen, the
Project's fundraising coordinator. "We will then use the plane as
an important tool to help tell the Tuskegee Airmen's incredible
story. It is a story of perseverance, overcoming obstacles and a
refusal to retreat in the face of adversity."
Aviation enthusiast Bendrix Bailey donated $25,000 for Lyons'
painting. In an additional gesture of support, Bailey wanted the
first of the 500 prints -- autographed by the distinguished
Tuskegee Airman, Col. Charles McGee -- to be presented to Cirrus
co-founder Dale Klapmeier, in recognition of his and Cirrus
Design's support of the Red Tail Project.
Because of their belief in the program, Klapmeier and the people
at Cirrus wanted the general public to have the opportunity to feel
a sense of ownership when the Red Tail's Mustang flies again. To
accomplish this, Cirrus is making a limited number of these prints
Signed by the artist and autographed by at least one original
Tuskegee Airman, these prints may be purchased in time for the
holidays for $225, plus shipping, on the Cirrus Connection website,
and at the Cirrus company store in Duluth.
"One hundred percent of the proceeds will support the project,"
Klapmeier said. "The story of these great American heroes must be
heard to inspire our youth and motivate them to excel."
"With the leadership from the Klapmeier brothers and Bendrix
Bailey, Cirrus employees and the Cirrus Owners and Pilot's
Association (COPA) have raised more than $200,000 of the $675,000
raised to date for the restoration of the Mustang," said Doug
Rozendaal, Red Tail Project leader. "We are confident that the
remaining $325,000 can be raised to enable our Mustang to fly