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December 14, 2017
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Astronaut honored at Cradle of Aviation gala

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Photo gallery

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Fellow Apollonauts Alan Bean and Fred Haise share a laugh during the evening’s festivities.
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Apollo Astronaut Alan Bean beams with pride and appreciation after speaking to the audience.
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Heads up! A student from Vaughn College demonstrates the art of drone flying in the main hall during dinner.
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Honoree Daniel Kearns holds up a special gift from Andrew Parton of the Cradle of Aviation Museum.
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Astronaut Fred Haise of Apollo 13 stands with Honoree Arthur Molins of Lufthansa.
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Honoree Arthur Molins gets a jersey from his favorite baseball team from Andy Parton of the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Arthur Molins, of Lufthansa, was honored at the 15th Annual Cradle of Aviation Museum Air Space Gala along with Astronaut Alan Bean of the Apollo 12 mission and Daniel Kearns of BH Aircraft Company for their contribution to the aerospace industry. Fellow astronaut Fred Haise was on hand to present the award to his fellownaut, Mr. Bean.

The event was sold out with family, friends and business associates who were treated to a cocktail hour among the pieces of aviation history including a space capsule at the museum. A silent auction with dozens of excellent prizes attracted many attendees who were there to show support for the Cradle and its educational service to the community.

Molins was awarded the Donald E. Axinn Community Service award for his years of service to a number of worthy causes. The Spirit of Discovery Award was presented to Alan Bean who was the fourth person to walk on the moon. Bean was so moved from his moon walk that he has turned artist and most of his work is based on this experience. His multimedia artwork includes bits of moon dust, and pieces of material worn during the mission.

Daniel Kearns was awarded the Leroy R. Grumman Award based on the company’s long history I with a specialty in aircraft engines for over 85 years.

During the presentation of awards Apollonaut Bean recounted how he was amazed at the talent of men that could actually send a man to the moon and back. “I had such faith in Nasa. I was standing on the moon and looking at the earth, hoping that they (NASA) knew how to get us back”, he quipped. Bean also spoke about meeting Elvis Presley. Bean was very impressed and said he never knew a man with more charisma, despite the fact that when he performed he constantly had to readjust his hair. What a head of hair”, Bean said.

All men received specially designed trophies but Arthur Molins received a special baseball shirt with his name on it as did Kearns.

Andrew Parton, Executive Director, thanked everyone for attending and told the group of plans of the “Launchpad” that is an exciting initiative to introduce new type of children’s programs that would be more technologically appealing. And it is the start of the “Countdown to Apollo at 50” which is a multiyear program shining the light on how the Apollo program positively impacted Long Island and the nation.

As is on cue, a student from Vaughn College flew a drone around the room taking photos which was an unexpected and exciting part of the program.

All the men who were honored expressed sincere appreciation for the awards they received and thanked all who have been influential in their professional lives.

Updated 6:22 pm, December 14, 2017
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