Centennial Airport Celebrates It’s 40th Birthday
Over 450 people were in attendance to honor Centennial Airport’s 40th Anniversary Celebration. The event held in Parker on May 28th, 2008, was hosted by Centennial Airport, The South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, at The Wildlife Experience. Distinguished guests included former and current airport commissioners, local and state government officials, founding airport supporters, aviation businesses, local aviation personalities, and aviation enthusiast.
Keynote speaker Barrington Irving, the youngest person ever and the first black round-the-world solo pilot gave a remarkable and fascinating account of his record setting experience.
The awards ceremony recognized individuals of Centennial’s earliest and well known founding business, as well extraordinary individuals who have continually supported the airport’s growth and economic future. Special awards went to Dr. Gwen Mayo from Mayo Aviation, Travis Vallin, with the Colorado Department of Transportation, and Bill Payne, of Payne and Associates for their numerous contributions in and outside of aviation. Aviation student, Skyler Shaw was also in attendance and recognized for receiving the Centennial Airport Scholarship to Metropolitan State College of Denver.
The Captain Elrey Jeppesen Award was presented by Jim Jeppesen, son of the late great aviation pioneer Elrey Jeppesen, to Larry Ulrich, founder and president of the Denver jetCenter, for his record of unique and meritorious work in and outside aviation.
Limited edition commemorative 40th Anniversary lithographs and posters were specially produced by renowned aviation artist Joe Jones, depicting the iconic Centennial Airport Air Traffic Control Tower and aviation, past and present.
Silent auctions were held for the commemorative and signed limited edition lithographs and taxi-way desk light centerpieces, imbedded with special 40th Anniversary Centennial Airport challenge coins. Over $57,000 was raised in support of the Centennial Airport Foundation which promotes aviation education.
A slide show played in the background during the luncheon which profiled Centennial Airport from its humble beginnings as an idea to support George Wallace’s struggling Denver Technological Center (DTC), to its essential key role as an economic supporter in the surrounding communities and its rise to 3rd busiest general aviation airport in the country.
The event was a tremendous success which celebrated the many amazing stories, businesses, events, and people who have uniquely shaped Centennial to become the exceptional airport it is today.
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