Tuskegee NEXT Cadets Deliver Critical PPE Supplies to Gary / Chicago International Airport
Youth Aviation Program Continues Historic Legacy of Service, Providing Life-Saving Equipment During Pandemic
Cadets from the Tuskegee NEXT youth aviation program delivered 2,500 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 100 bottles of hand sanitizer at a ceremony that took place at the Gary / Chicago International Airport (GCIA) on August 18. These critical supplies were provided to Methodist Hospital and the Gary Chapter of the NAACP to assist in efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The Chicago “DODO” Chapter of the historic Tuskegee Airmen and B2 Aviation coordinated the event, which included a “water cannon” salute along with local leaders accepting the PPE, which were donated by The Will Group.
“We wanted to properly thank the Tuskegee NEXT team for delivering this generous donation of PPE, knowing how essential these supplies are in assisting our brave, frontline healthcare professionals in containing the COVID-19 outbreak, ” said Duane Hayden, Executive Director of GGIA and a Colonel in the Illinois Air National Guard. “The legacy of Tuskegee airmen stepping up to serve lives on in today’s cadets who assisted in the delivery of these critical supplies.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, GCIA has filled a critical role as a coordination center to assist in the response efforts. In late spring, the airport transitioned its terminal into a temporary COVID-19 command logistics center, coordinating relief efforts among 16 area hospitals throughout five (5) Northwest Indiana counties, and the airport’s cargo operations shuttled daily supplies of PPE throughout the Chicago Metropolitan Area to assist in the response.
“The Tuskegee NEXT program provides young people the opportunity to become the next generation of aviators, and this opportunity brings with it a commitment to honoring tremendous history of public service first put forth by the original airmen,” said Dominique Scott, Executive Director of Tuskegee NEXT. “We are pleased to be able to play a role in ensuring the health and safety of others in our Northwest Indiana community by delivering these vital supplies.”
Tuskegee NEXT offers premier aviation youth outreach programs that enable at-risk youth to obtain pilot’s licenses and start an aviation career path, so they can transform their communities. Tuskegee NEXT seeks to provide role models and a clear path toward aviation careers through: Flight Training, Life Skills, and Educational Assistance.
The Chicago “DODO” Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, INC. (TAI) was established in 1976. TAI is a non-profit organization, with overs 50 chapters nationwide. Their mission is to preserve the legacy of African Americans who participated in World War II with the Army Air Corps, while focusing on introducing young people across the country to the world