Donations drive faces deadline to put on air show - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Donations drive faces deadline to put on air show

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VIENNA TWP., Ohio - The Air Force Thunderbirds are set to take the skies above the Youngstown Air Reserve Station this May, but enough private donations need to be raised in order for the show to officially take flight.

The Base Community Council is responsible for raising the required almost $300,000 to get the show in the air. So far, it has raised $83,000 via cash and in-kind donations. The council has until late April to raise the remaining $192,000 to bring the high sky performance to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

"We are a little concerned and we're all out there working," Holly Baker says, with the council. "It's all our responsibility to go out and try to increase the funds for this show and I really think we're going to make it."

The Thunder Over the Valley air show is scheduled May 17 and 18, and their presence could boast economic benefits.

With about two months to go, members of the Airbase Community Council are collecting cash and donations to bring Thunder Over the Valley back to the base.

While up to 70,000 people are expected to take in the show each day, the base by law can not charge admission.

The last time the Thunderbirds were here in 2009, Baker says the majority of the costs were covered by the federal government, but following the sequester and federal funding cuts, the resources to pay for such an event were wiped out.

Partnership packages with VIP access start at $100-dollars and go as high as $50-thousand ... Some even include flights aboard a B-17 or B-25 bomber. Top donors will have their own tents in addition to the special behind-scenes-passes. 
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