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Dayton, Ohio (October 14, 2022) - The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) has awarded the CAF’s RISE ABOVE project the 20th Annual Combs Gates Award and the cash prize of $20,000.

CAF RISE ABOVE’s three-fold educational outreach program includes multiple resources for educators, parents, and students. Their educational trifecta includes an informative website with an online virtual museum which offers multiple easy to use resources, a fully restored WWII-era P-51C Mustang, and an iconic travelling exhibit that offers a fully functional mobile movie theater featuring two compelling original short films that tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen and the WASP.

CAF RISE ABOVE leader Doug Rozendal remarked that it was a great honor to receive this prestigious award that supports relevant aviation history research and preservation efforts.

The Combs Award, the original title, grew out of a donation to the NAHF by the late Harry Combs, a 1996 Enshrinee of the NAHF. As part of a $1.3 million gift to help fund the creation of a NAHF research center, Combs stipulated that the Combs Award be established to encourage and support relevant aviation history research and preservation efforts. A panel of expert judges reviews each submission based on criteria such as historical accuracy, creativity, potential for long-term impact, and value to the NAHF’s mission of honoring America’s outstanding air and space pioneers.

John Gates and his sister, Diane G. Wallach, are co-trustees of the Gates Frontiers Fund, a foundation created by their late parents, Charles C. and June S. Gates. Mr. Gates, who passed away in 2005 at age 84, was former Chairman and CEO of the Gates Corporation, an avid multi-engine and helicopter pilot, and partner with Combs in several aviation businesses, including the Combs Gates FBO chain and Gates Learjet.

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