Fundraiser slated to help Bird Aviation Museum

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

The Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center will be holding a special black tie fundraising event next month to celebrate the lives of Drs. Forrest and Pamela Bird and to keep the museum operating.

“With Forrest passing in August and Mom in October, with the estates, it’s a long process to get everything settled,” said Pam’s daughter and museum director Rachel Schwam. “We’re just working on getting some funding for right now.”

The Ponderay Rotary is co-sponsoring the event, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Bird Museum. Check-in will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a cocktail hour and mingling at 6 p.m. Plated dinner service catered by DISH at Dover Bay begins at 7 p.m. There will also be a shuttle provided by Whitetail Transportation.

Drs. Pam and Forrest Bird. Courtesy photo.

Drs. Pam and Forrest Bird. Courtesy photo.

“My heart just goes out for them [at the museum],” said Ponderay Rotary board member Kathy Gavan. “They’re just such hard workers.”

The Ponderay Rotary chooses to assist one organization a year. This year they chose the Bird Museum.

“We are so appreciative and grateful,” said Schwam. “We are normally the ones that are asked for help, but this time we need help.”

The fundraiser will host a series of fun activities for participants. A wine wall is a blind drawing where each buyer purchases a $20 ticket and can win a $20 bottle of wine, or perhaps a $150 bottle. An art auction features a limited number of artwork pieces by local artists such as Lucy West, Kathy Weisberg and child prodigy Akiana Kramarik. There will also be a dessert dash, which auctions off a gourmet dessert from local bakeries, Rotary members and museum staffers.

There will also be a video presentation celebrating the lives of Forrest and Pam.

“There will be some tearful moments, but it will be a joyous occasion,” said Schwam. “We are continuing on their legacy and mission—education, inspiration, passing onto community and stewardship.”

Tickets for the event are $125 per person, $250 per couple, or a sponsorship table of 8 will be $1,500. To purchase tickets or donate any items for the fundraiser, please call Kathy at 265-7967 or go to the Bird Museum webpage at and click the “donate” button.

The Bird Museum plans to stay open through September Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Anyone interested in hosting special functions should call the museum at the number listed above.

“We’ll close down during winter months, but we’ll reopen with bigger and better exhibits, including a few surprises,” said Schwam. “In the long term, we will stay open.”

Schwam also noted that anyone looking for fun volunteer opportunities to call the museum directly at 255-4321.

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