Hickory – The community is invited to attend the Sabre Society of North Carolina’s public fundraising launch for the new Hickory Aviation Museum on Wednesday, September 28, at 5:30 p.m. at the Drendel Auditorium on the SALT Block (243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory).

The Elevate-themed event will present information about a groundbreaking new facility at the Hickory Regional Airport and include remarks by former Mayor Jeff Cline, CommScope founder Frank Drendel, David R. Moore II of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Randall Burns of CVCC, and Hickory Aviation Museum Board Chairman John Cowan.

The special guest speaker of the event will be retired U.S. Navy Commander Frank Weisser, a two-time Blue Angels solo pilot and one of the fighter pilots featured in the recent blockbuster film Top Gun: Maverick.

The City of Hickory is partnering with the Sabre Society of North Carolina/Hickory Aviation Museum and Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) to construct a building to house the museum’s vintage military aircraft, preserve aviation history, and provide STEM education and workforce development opportunities to the Hickory region.

The expanded Hickory Aviation Museum will feature a hangar to preserve and display aircraft and will also serve as the site of CVCC’s Workforce Innovation Center, a regional educational campus with flexible use space providing high-tech equipment, classrooms, and virtual simulators for training.

The museum and educational center will be co-located in a new state-of-the-art building at Hickory Regional Airport, just off Runway 6/24 in Catawba and Burke counties. Construction design of the $22 million endeavor is currently underway with McMillan Pazdan Smith as the architect.

This innovative project will be funded by a $15 million allocation from the North Carolina State Legislature for CVCC’s Workforce Innovation Center and by public and private donations for Hickory Aviation Museum. To date, the Sabre Society of North Carolina has raised over $4.4 million of the $7 million goal for the project and continues to pursue additional funding.

Visit www.elevatehky.com after the launch event for more information about this project and how to support the Hickory Aviation Museum by making a tax-deductible contribution.