Aviation event attracts lots of airplanes, people

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Normally, hot dogs and airplanes have nothing in common. But last weekend, it made perfect sense.
A group of West Rowan High School cheerleaders gathered Saturday at the Miller Air Park fly-in to sell hot dogs to raise money for cheerleading uniforms, warm-up suits and shoes.
Krista Miller, whose daughter, Ali, 15, is a junior varsity cheerleader, said their uniforms were outdated. Krista’s father-in-law is Howard Miller, one of the founders and owners of the air park, and it was his idea to have the cheerleaders at the air park.
Krista explained the fundraiser was a good way to keep the squad interested in school activities.
“I feel that with the youth of today, they need something positive in their lives. We need to keep them excited about school,” Krista said.
The Millers have owned the private airport for more than 60 years. The annual fly-in attracted about 25 to 30 airplanes, a few, World War II-era planes.
The turnout was so successful, the cheerleaders sold more than 400 hot dogs and had to buy more, Krista said.
Many of the items were donated, Krista said.
She said they’d cleared the fundraiser with the school in July.
“We had kind of been working on it on and off. Things really came together last week,” Krista said.
Krista said the event was also about getting the cheerleading squad to bond.
“Also, showing the girls there are things you can do. If you want to fly an airplane, you can do it,” she said.
There were many people who attended the fly-in and went in the air.
The people were amazed at the sights, Krista said.
One boy who attended the fly-in immediately took an interest in flying.
He told his father he wanted to use the money he’d been saving for a car toward flying lessons, she said.
The air park was developed by Howard Miller and his twin brother, Harold, in the late 1940s. Then, it was called Miller Brothers Airport.
Howard, 82, is a retired airline pilot. Harold died several years ago.
The first fly-in was in 1996, and the family has hosted one ever since. Howard said they usually have one every two years.
Several of the Millers are involved in the airline industry, including Krista and her husband, Perry. Both Krista and Perry’s siblings and other relatives also work in the aviation field.
When asked if he would host the fly-in next year, Howard said, “Definitely. I would do it again. We’ll probably have it next September,” he said.