The Chanute Prize for Team Innovation was officially presented to the Chicago “DODO” Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, thumb Inc., cheapest for the group’s EAA Young Eagle flight program by representatives of the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana. The flight program offers youth the opportunity to take free rides in volunteer owned airplanes from the Gary airport and to learn about careers in aviation and the aerospace industry
“This award not only honors the Tuskegee Airmen’s program, it honors the Gary airport where they have flown from for the last 10 years,” said O’Merrial Butchee, director of the Gerald L. Lambkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center at Ivy Tech Community College Northwest in Gary.
Chapter president Ken Rapier accepted the presentation of the award that features a replica of the plane used by Octave Chanute in his flight from the Indiana Dunes in the late 19th century prior to the Wright brothers’ achievement. The Chanute award will be displayed in the lobby of the Gary airport administration center.
NIPSCO representative Diane Thalmann also presented a check for $500 to the chapter. Rapier said the money would help provide more scholarships for young people going to college.