Chief Executive Officer
Michael T. Geddry Sr.
"Thunder Over The Valley"
Michael T. Geddry Sr
Assistant Event Director
Asst. Ramp Boss
Event Layout Organizer
Holiday Inn & Suites
Ways & Means
Warbird Aerobatics Liaison
Asst. Security Manager
To the residents of the City of Santa Maria, the Valley, and attendees of the air show:
Four months has passed since the President Obama's Administration, Congress and the Senate implemented sequestration cuts on our Nation's military services. Every military installation open house air shows have been cancelled along with each service's demo teams, static aircraft displays, and participation of them in civilian produced air shows. Over eighty civilian air shows, that had military demo teams or military aircraft static displays scheduled to participate, have been cancelled.
The Museum's Event Committee decided early on not to cancel this year's without a fight. Focusing only on the small shows that relied on military participation or warbirds to attract spectators the Committee and staff checked the attendance numbers of these shows. The attendance was either the same as always or increased. The attendance numbers reported were a positive indicator that our air show would also possibly have the same results with adequate funding. However, this was not a guaranteed sure thing to present to the current seated members of the Museum's Board of Directors for their approval to produce the air show.
The Museum's Event Committee and staff are anticipating sequestration to be in place at least four years. The local businesses and vendors would be affected if our show was cancelled.. To overcome the negative impact on them it would require putting together an event with at least three or more warbird acts at a cost of over forty-thousand dollars above the support provided by the Santa Maria Public Airport. Sponsor packets were sent out to each of the sponsors of the event. The Museum's Board of Directors set a deadline of June 30th to raise the funds for the air show.
The sponsors did their best to raise the funding for the air show. Unfortunately the fundraising failed to produce the monies needed for the event. We are very grateful of their efforts and support rendered to this year’s event. Without the funding in place the Museum's Board of Directors decided to cancel the air show this year. Their decision was derived from the previous air show lost profits.
The veterans and civilians on the Event Committee and staff are devastated by the cancellation of the show. Over the past nine years the show's primary mission was to honor those serving today and in the past in our military services. They voluntarily endured extreme hardships, made unselfish sacrifices, and many lost their lives to protect us from our domestic and foreign enemies. The cancellation of the show was like leaving a wounded brother or sister on the home front battlefield. It is because of this that the members of the Committee and staff are having extreme difficulty in accepting the Museum's Board of Directors decision.
Failing to raise the monies needed to produce the show is not the failure of the Committee, staff or sponsors. They gave their all not just in the past nine years but also throughout the twenty-six years that the Museum produced an air show. The Santa Maria Public Airport District Board of Directors and staff over the past twenty-six years have given their unyielding dedicated support to the air show. There are not too many airports that do this for an air show. When you add this to identical commitment and support from the sponsors, vendors at the event, and attendees you have a special group of people that are highly dedicate to the event honoring our troops, veterans, and their families. This is what it takes to win the war on the home front that is filled with an overwhelming number of our troops and veterans with the physical and psychological wounds from our Nation's wars as well as to the families that lost their love ones in these wars.
In closing I would like to express not as the CEO of the Museum but as the Event Director on behalf of the Committee and staff to the residents of the City of Santa Maria and the Santa Maria Valley as well as to the sponsors and attendees of this air show our sincere appreciation for your commitment and support to our troops, veterans, and their families. Without it we could never achieved the success of our air show over the past nine years that I have been the Event Director. Everyone has demonstrated a patriotic spirit that will burn bright as a beacon for others to follow.
Mike Geddry Sr.