Leaders of Tomorrow Gala

2018 Gala Logo

The Premiere Fundraising Event

West Michigan Aviation Academy (WMAA) is hosting its seventh annual Leaders of Tomorrow Gala at the Amway Hangar located at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

This year’s Gala theme of “Taking Flight: A Call to Greatness” will be shared with over 1,000 attendees ffrom industries of Aviation, Engineering and Robotics to WMAA students, staff, and supporters of the Academy. This year’s guest speaker is, Heather “Lucky” Penney. Heather Penney was one of two pilots ordered to take down United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She will share her story of courage as the events of that day unfolded. Heather was part of the first wave of women who went directly into fighters from pilot training. The first and only woman in the 121st Fighter Squadron, Heather deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom for initial combat operations as a night-time SCUD Hunter in the western deserts of Iraq, also supporting Special Operations Forces.

The event will showcase and share stories from WMAA community partners, students, parents, and faculty throughout the evening. The event will also provide an opportunity to experience the Amway hangar along with a variety of aircraft for guests to view. Additionally, WMAA students will be participating in several demonstrations and interactive stations for you to enjoy. This year’s event will also introduce opportunities for unique experience-based opportunities through a silent auction.

WMAA is a tuition-free public charter high school that was founded in 2010 by Dick DeVos. Located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, WMAA is currently educating over 600 students in grades 9-12. The goal of this one-of-a-kind academy is to provide a unique education that expands the horizons of our students. WMAA’s vision is to provide an innovative, professional and welcoming environment that inspires growth and ignites a passion for lifelong learning. Students may choose career goals ranging from flight, engineering/STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and aviation business to technical services. Current students come from over 40 different school districts throughout the West Michigan region, plus international, out-of-state, and home-school situations. WMAA encourages and embraces this diversity and accepts the challenge of providing a quality educational experience for all.

The Leaders of Tomorrow Gala is an important event for West Michigan Aviation Academy, as the proceeds will provide assistance for enhanced aviation and engineering-related educational activities, which go beyond the support provided by state funding. This assistance includes off- site aviation/engineering-related visits, flight experiences, engineering equipment, and new student orientation. Other supported programs include robotics teams, flight simulators, summer soaring experience, and WMAA’s two Cessna 172 aircraft.

For more information on the event visit us at www.westmichiganaviation.org or contact Meggan George for advance story leads, interviews, photo opportunities at mgeorge@westmichiganavaiation.org