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Photo by Aaron Lurth
Young Eagles Chairman Harrison Ford talks about his experiences during the Gathering.

Photo by Chris Miller
Jeff Skiles offers the flight jacket and shoes he wore when he and Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger ditched the Flight 1549 Airbus in the Hudson River in January. The item brought in $38,000 to support EAA youth programs, and Airbus generously matched the donation.

Photo by Chris Miller
From left, Sean Tucker, Bob Hoover, and Harrison Ford hawk a ride with Tucker, lunch with Ford, and dinner at Hoover's house at the auction Thursday night benefiting Young Eagles.

July 31, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin  - Thanks to the generosity of more than 1,100 people, Thursday night's Gathering of Eagles gala event in the museum's Eagle Hangar raised $1. 8 million. The annual "gathering" of individuals and corporate leaders supports programs and experiences that inspire and motivate kids to pursue their aviation dreams.

Donations from live, silent, and President's Choice auctions will help build the Young Eagles First Flight and Next Step programs that engage kids in aviation-related activities.

The event's signature item - the AirVenture Xperimental 2010 Mustang (AV-X10) Dearborn Doll built exclusively for the event by Ford Motor Company - brought the night's highest single bid of $250,000.

The Windsock Challenge totaled $300,000, silent auction items raised $100,000, and the Sean Tucker Experience, which includes lunch with Bob Hoover and Harrison Ford, sold for $50,000.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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