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Sun, Mar 21, 2010

Florida Author Of Amelia Earhart Biography Will Moderate Luncheon Honoring WASPs

Fantasy Of Flight Welcomes Author Susan Butler For Living History Symposium Luncheon March 26 To Benefit Girls Inc.

Since the release of the film "Amelia Earhart" last year, millions have seen the aviation legend brought to life by actor Hilary Swank. Now, fans of the world's most famous female pilot will not only have an opportunity to meet Susan Butler, the author of the biography "East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart" which was adapted for the movie, but will also be able to meet the fearless female pilots who carried on Amelia Earhart's dreams of flight. Fantasy of Flight has just announced that Butler will serve as a special guest moderator for its March 26 luncheon honoring the WASP-Women Airforce Service Pilots, the first female pilots ever to pilot U.S. military aircraft during World War II.

"The Library of Congress theme for Women's History Month is to 'write women back into history' so I can't think of a better way to celebrate the great women of aviation than with this luncheon and symposium," said Kim Long, General Manager, Fantasy of Flight. "From Amelia Earhart who laid the groundwork for women in flight, to her close friend, WASP founder Jackie Cochran, to the four WASP who have so graciously agreed to share their personal stories with us, to Susan Butler who had the foresight to tell Earhart's story like it had never been told before, and for all of the young women of Girls Inc. who will be emboldened and lifted up by the proceeds from this luncheon, we at Fantasy of Flight are proud to share this important era in American history with the public."

Butler was inspired by the life of Amelia Earhart through the passions of her own mother and grandmother, who fell in love with flying long before most people would set foot in an airplane. Her mother, one of the few women pilots of her time, was a member of the Ninety Nines, the women's flying organization which Amelia Earhart helped start. The Washington Post called her Earhart biography, "The single best book that we now have on Earhart's life." Butler now lives in Lake Wales, Florida.

The luncheon is just one part of the activities planned during Fantasy of Flight's Living History Symposium honoring the WASP. From March 25-27, in honor of Women's History Month, four of the original WASP: Bernice "Bee" Falk Haydu, Riviera Beach, FL, Florence Rubin Mascott, Palm Beach, FL, Barry Vincent Smith, Avon Park, FL, and Helen Wyatt Snapp, Pembroke Pines, FL, will take part in the second of Fantasy of Flight's three-part Living History Symposium Series.  Called "A Passionate Pursuit," the weekend forum will celebrate all of the fearless female pilots who left their homes and jobs at the height of World War II to serve their country as the first American women to fly for the U.S. military.

The third in the Living History Symposium Series, "Victory in the Sky" will take place Saturday, April 17 featuring American Fighter Aces in honor of National Military Month. This elite group of combat pilots shot down five or more hostile aircraft in air-to-air combat in World War I and II, as well as Korea and Vietnam.

During each symposium, Fantasy of Flight will feature "Open Cockpit Days" during which guests are invited to get up close and personal with some of America's most rare vintage aircraft and climb aboard for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

The reservations-only luncheon will be held Friday, March 26, from 1200-1330 at the Orlampa Conference Center at Fantasy of Flight.  Tickets are $65 plus tax per person and include admission to the afternoon symposium and attraction after the luncheon. Proceeds from the luncheon will go to Girls Inc., a national nonprofit youth organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, and provides vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, under-served areas.



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