William S. Knight Foundation Makes $370,000 Challenge Grant

The Kelch Aviation Museum is proud to announce a major gift from the William S. Knight Foundation, a challenge grant of $370,000 toward the construction of a new museum facility. The main hangar at the new museum will be named, “The Bill & Sue Knight Memorial Vintage Aviation and Automotive Building.”

The new museum will feature 16 restored vintage aircraft from the “Golden Age of Aviation” (1920-1940) and a large rentable banquet space, in addition to an aviation art gallery and technical library. The facility will be open to the public year round, and will be a community resource for Brodhead and the surrounding area. A capital campaign launched in 2016 has raised nearly $600,000 to date.

“With this challenge grant, we need to raise a matching $370,000, then we’ll meet our final goal of $1.3 Million and be able to start building” said Patrick Weeden, Executive Director of the museum. “We hope to start construction in 2019.”

Bill Knight was a venerable presence at Brodhead Airport, and restored many different vintage aircraft over four decades. He was a founding member of EAA Chapter 431 and the Midwest Antique Airplane Club. He passed away in March, 2016. His wife Sue passed away in 2009.

The Alfred & Lois Kelch Aviation Museum, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit educational corporation with a mission, “To establish and operate a museum that celebrates the golden age of aviation and cultivates an appreciation of its powerful impact on science, engineering and design, and humanity’s understanding of its own limitless potential.” The museum plans regular educational programming for area youth and adults alike.

For more information, call museum Executive Director, Patrick Weeden at 608-897-1175 or e-mail at pweeden@kelchmuseum.org