NEW WINDSOR, NY – Every February during Black History Month, the Stewart Airport-based Maj. Gen. Irene Trowell-Harris Chapter of the national Tuskegee Airmen organization hosts a gala dinner-dance to award scholarships and pay tribute to our nation’s very first African American aviators and ground support personnel. This year, 12 high-achieving students from throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond will receive tuition assistance grants of $1,000 or $2,000 during the group’s 21st Annual Tuition Awards Dinner to be held on Saturday, February 2, at Anthony’s Pier 9, on Route 9W in New Windsor.
Local and state politicians will attend as well as representatives of the United States Military Academy at West Point, leadership and members of the Trowell-Harris Chapter, members of the chapter’s Lee A. Archer Jr. Red Tails Youth Flying Program, area aviation, and military-history enthusiasts, members of the public (all are welcome), and the 12 scholarship winners.
Over the past 20 years, the Trowell-Harris Chapter has awarded more than $210,000 in tuition assistance awards. This year’s winners include six students from Newburgh Free Academy: Melanie Angel, Kelly Bramble, Kerry O’Connell ($2,000 Richard King Scholarship), Nina Zylberberg, Michael Castro, and Conner Leggett; as well as Brandon Gibbs, from Arlington High School; Evan Hathaway, from Wallkill High School; Michael James, from Ellenville High School; Joshua Keller, from Cornwall High School ($2,000 Roscoe Brown Scholarship), and Marvin Mungo, from Middletown High School. Mark Carter, Jr., from Saddle River High School, will also receive a scholarship.
The evening will also honor the newly established Newburgh Armory Unity Center, Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey, and newspaper publisher Everette Smith. The Trowell-Harris Chapter is indebted to its dinner sponsors, including United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, MVP Health Care, and especially Platinum Sponsor Spencer’s Financial Services. Proceeds from the annual Tuition Awards Dinner will support future scholarships through the Hudson Valley Tuskegee Airmen Endowment Fund, a charitable component fund administered by the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan. For registration and further info, go to www.tai-ny.com or call (845) 838-7848.
About the Tuskegee Airmen: The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators — both pilots and ground support personnel — in the United States Armed Forces. They flew and fought during World War II when black Americans in many U. S. states were still subject to Jim Crow laws and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the Federal Government. They trained at Tuskegee Army Airfield, Tuskegee, Alabama. The New Windsor, NY-based Maj. Gen. Irene Trowell-Harris Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman preserves their legacy by awarding scholarships and offering both a youth mentorship program and pilot training for young aviators. www.tai-ny.org
About the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan: Based in Montgomery, NY, the Foundation “connects people who care with causes that matter.” Since 1999, the Foundation has helped philanthropic individuals, businesses and organizations establish charitable funds that award grants and scholarships, for good, forever. The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan currently administers more than 280 charitable funds with an excess of $29 million in assets to support animal welfare, arts and culture, community initiatives, education, the environment, health and human services, recreation, veterans, and youth. Charitable funds at the Foundation have awarded more than $11 million in grants and scholarships to date. Nearly $500,000 in scholarships were awarded this year, alone, through funds at the Foundation. To learn more visit www.cfosny.org.