The Kalamazoo Air Zoo has come up with an interesting way of raising funds to complete some aircraft restoration projects. It's a competition, determined by donation dollars. to determine a winner, although, as cliche as it sounds, ultimately they're all winners.

For going on eight years now, the Air Zoo has been home to a dedicated crew and set of projects restoring some vintage aircraft. The restoration program has been hard hit by the pandemic, but restoration work continues to advance,, due to the passion of 75 volunteers, will to share their expertise in aircraft restoration to do help the Air Zoo’s continue to bring historic aircraft back to life.

At the top of the 2021 priority list is the restoration of a Douglas SBD-2P Dauntless (Bu. No. 2173) and a F-117 Nighthawk Shaba (tail number 817).

While the volunteers and workers have dealt with safety changes due to the pandemic, there have been other less obvious changes, as with less volunteers available, so restoration timelines have been lengthened, and less funding has meant shortages of some needed repair related materials and tools.

To offset a lack of funds, the two restoration group have a friendly competition going where they are encouraging donations for their specific project. To complete the Douglas SBD and the Nighthawk in 2021, each group needs about $50,000 each for items such as finishing tools, parts fabrication, and priming and painting.

All contributions are tax-deductible, which makes it a little easier to contribute. You can make that contribution here. When you go to this donation page, you can see the progress the two groups are making towards their goals.

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