Fundraising vital to success of show

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - 'Chuckie,' a World War II-era B-17 bomber, will be at the Madras Municipal Airport for the Airshow of the Cascades Aug. 23-24.The Airshow of the Cascades picked up a huge infusion last week.

A collection of four World War II-era planes have been committed to the show, courtesy of the Tillamook Air Museum.

A B-17 Flying Fortress, P-51 Mustang, SBD Dauntless and a P-39 Air Cobra — all classics of aviation history — are scheduled to be displayed at the Aug. 23-24 event. All but the Air Cobra — which is already in Madras, housed in the Erickson Aero Tanker hangar — will be flown from the museum to Madras.

“This is huge for our show,” said Mack Gardner, chairman of the Airshow of the Cascades. “It’s a big commitment from the museum. We’re very excited.”

Gardner added that the Air Cobra was one of the planes that was stationed at the Madras Air Base, which operated between 1942 and 1945.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Douglas SBD Dauntless is one of four World War II aircraft from the Tillamook Naval Air Museum that will be in Madras for the Airshow of the Cascades Aug. 23-24.While the other planes are currently displayed at the museum on the Coast, their venture to the Madras show represents a glimpse into the future. These and several other craft are part of a collection expected to be inMadras by 2014, to be housed in a yet-to-be-built hangar/museum on the Madras Municipal Airport grounds.

“This is a real showing of community spirit, the museum looking to help out our show and our town. We can’t be more thrilled,” said Rob Berg, airport manager.

The B-17 coming to the show is one of a few flyable B-17s in the country. The other three planes coming are also famous World War II aircraft.

“We expect these planes to substantially increase our attendance, bring in more people from out of the area,” said Gardner. “It’s a unique opportunity for aviation history buffs to see these famous planes upclose.”

The Airshow of the Cascades, established in 2000, is the second-largest air show in Oregon, and is known for the great access and up-close viewing awarded its patrons. It’s evolved into the showcase event for Madras and Central Oregon, though it’s anything but a smalltown affair. The event has a budget of about $80,000.

None of that $80,000, however, goes to salaries: it’s a 100 percent volunteer show, from the organization committee to the army of volunteers on the ground during the event. Also, many community groups provide vending services during the show, which allows those organizations to make a little money from the event.

Funds for the air show are raised through various sponsorships. Morgan Distributing, which pays for the entrance of all veterans, is a major sponsor. Along with veterans getting in free thanks to Morgan Distributing, kids 12 and under are free, largely thanks to a sponsorship from St. Charles Madras.

“Every time we push the envelope, bring in more aircraft, it costs us more. So, it’s vital for the success of the event that people contribute,” said Gardner.

Contributions can be mailed to: Airshow of the Cascades, 2028 N.W. Berg Dr., Madras, OR 97741, or via the show’s website at

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