A fabulous decade will return in full swing Saturday at “A Breakaway Gala — A Roaring ‘20s Soiree,” which promises a night of food, music, and entertainment.
The event, a fundraiser for the restoration of a World War II B-17 aircraft, will be held in the Century of Flight Hangar at the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base from 8 p.m-midnight, according to Jenny Maas, director of operations for the Museum of Aviation Foundation.
“It is a 1920s soiree and includes a DJ, dancing, a wine pull, live entertainment and more,” Maas said.
Airman Xavier Brown will be the DJ for the evening, playing a mix of 1920s music as well as current hits, and Roxy’s Vixens will be performing music from the era in 1920s style clothing, Maas said. Hors d’oeuvres and minidesserts will be served and a cash bar will be available. A wine pull raffle will also be held and door prizes and best-dressed awards will be given away during the evening.
Maas said the B-17 aircraft was acquired by the museum in August 2015 and is expected to cost about $400,000 to restore.
“We still are probably looking at another $300,000 we need to raise,” she said. “We do need to continue to have fundraisers for the aircraft. If the turnout is good, we plan to do this again next year … maybe change the theme.”
Christin McFarland, fundraising coordinator for the Museum of Aviation Foundation, said there are only 45 complete B-17 aircraft left worldwide, and the B-17 at RAFB will be the 46th once it is completely restored.
“Right now, we are still trying to get the parts. ... we have a lot of work to do,” she said, adding that the restoration work is primarily done by volunteers.
At present, a major purchase needed for the aircraft is the nose glass, which costs about $30,000, and two turrets, the nose and top turrets, which cost $20,000 each, according to McFarland. Completion of the project depends on manpower, and at this time, she said there are about 15 to 20 volunteers working on the aircraft. Overall, the project is expected to take another three to five years to complete, depending on funding.
“There are going to be some hang-ups along the way when trying to locate actual parts, verify them, see where they came from … make sure it is historically accurate,” McFarland said. “The more funding we get … when we see a part, we can verify it and purchase it. It makes it go faster.”
A lot of “little things” add up quickly, according to McFarland, because the plane is so old, and they are searching for verified parts for that plane.
“It is a lot of money; every little piece adds up,” she said. “Being historically accurate is what we are stressing.”
Pre-purchased tickets are $35 per person and $40 at the door, if tickets are still available. Tickets for tables of eight can be purchased for $280. Pre-purchased tickets can be acquired online at www.museumofaviation.org. Attendees must be age 21 or older to attend.