Jamie Kyle Ottaway

Jamie Kyle OttawayJamie Kyle Ottaway – a wonderful son, caring brother and the very best of friends

Born in Salisbury District Hospital in England, at 9.03am, on the 12th of March 1991 and spent most of his life in the village of Ludgershall, in Wiltshire.

From a very young age, Jamie had an enquiring mind, always keen to learn and understand, looking into things and often dismantling toys to see how they worked… (not often putting them back together). His favourite toys being Kinex and Lego, where he would ignore the instructions and build something completely different, including a Greek temple from a race car and an AT-AT from an aeroplane.

From the age of 11 Jamie chose to attend the Duke of York’s Military Academy in Dover, where as well as his academic studies he became a saxophone player in the school’s marching band, attending many international sporting events as part of pre game and half time entertainment. He also became the Regimental Sergeant Major in the cadets, which was the highest rank achievable by students.

When Jamie left school, he gained a place on the QinetiQ apprenticeship scheme as an Aeronautical Engineer. A four year work placement which had him working on many military aircraft including Typhoon class fighters, Tornadoes and his personal favourite, the Apache Helicopter. In March 2012 Jamie won the Joe Morrall Award for a paper on The British Experimental Rotor Program and was nominated by QinetiQ for the National competition held in London. In October that year, he put forward his paper in a presentation to the Royal Aeronautical Society and came first in the under 25 category, winning the prestigious, NE Rowe Medal.

In his personal life Jamie was a keen motorcyclist and joined the Royal British Legion Riders, becoming their youngest ever member. They are a charity group that raise funds for military charities through various ride outs, events and often provide escorts for repatriations. He had raised money for the Army Benevolent Fund and when they heard of his passing, they formed a “Donate in Memory” campaign, where a small plaque is placed on-line and people can donate in that person’s memory. (See www.soldierscharity.org/donate/donate-in-memory) Jamie was the first person on there and is the only person with a full bio… he is still an inspiration to others.

Everyone that knows him will miss Jamie, something attested to by the attendance at his funeral, when over 200 people came to pay homage to their “Grand Overlord, Jotters”. Not everyone could fit in, so many stood in the rain, outside.

We try to celebrate his life, more than mourn his passing and this spaceflight is exactly that, a celebration. Although we are sad that he has gone, we are happier that he was ever here at all….

Jamie Kyle Ottaway was a participant on Celestis’ sixth Earth Rise Service memorial spaceflight, The Conestoga Flight.

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Tom (Maddog) Baggette

Tom (Maddog) BaguetteThomas Laffin Baggette, Jr., 75, of Muscle Shoals Alabama, loving husband, father, grandfather, aerospace engineer, and sports enthusiast, passed away September 27, 2011 after a brave struggle with several serious illnesses, never losing his keen intellect or sense of humor, at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital, Florence, Alabama.

Mr. Baggette was born on December 21, 1935 in Greenville, Mississippi, the son of the late Thomas L. Sr. and Jesse Mae Carroll Baggette. During his early years in Leland, Mississippi he was a star athlete and scholar. He played quarterback and was an all conference basketball player. At his high school graduation he was presented the inaugural Bobby Henry Award as the outstanding Washington County graduate. Following graduation in 1953 he entered Auburn University and was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. While in college he married his high school sweetheart Barbara Mason. In 1957 he graduated from Auburn with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

Mr. Baggette took a job after college with Northrop Corp., at Cape Canaveral, Florida working on the first U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile. During his long career as an aeronautical engineer he worked on numerous space and aircraft programs in Florida, California, Utah, and Mississippi. These programs included: Snark, Atlas, Agena, Ranger, Mariner, Gemini, Saturn, Apollo, B-1 Bomber, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines.

Tom (Maddog) BaguetteMr. Baggette was honored with a NASA Silver Snoopy Award. The Silver Snoopy is an award created by NASA Astronauts and personally presented by them. The Silver Snoopy is awarded to employees who represent the core principles for outstanding flight safety and mission success. He ended his long test conductor career with Rockwell International Corp. on the space shuttle main engine testing at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi. During an interview at Stennis he is quoted on his work on the Apollo 11command module.

“When Armstrong and Aldrin landed it was quite a thrill. I could not talk myself into the fact I had had something to do with it. Then, years later, I walked into the National Air & Space Museum and there it sat, the Apollo 11 command module. I had crawled all over inside that thing in Florida and here it is in a museum. During the work it was not a special feeling. You treated them all the same. You knew that people were going to ride in it. You had to do your best job. I thoroughly enjoyed that job. That was fun.”

An avid golfer, he had a total of five hole in ones. He enjoyed playing with a regular group of friends for many years at Windance Country Club, near his Long Beach, Mississippi home from 1977 until his illness.

Mr. Baggette is survived by his wife Barbara Ann Mason Baggette; one daughter Mary Weller of Panorama Village, Texas; two sons, Clint (wife Joanne) of Loveland, Ohio and Steve (wife Shonda) of Muscle Shoals, Alabama; two grandsons, Kyle Weller (wife Erin) of Houston, Texas and Connor Baggette of Muscle Shoals, Alabama; and one brother, Col. Jack Baggette, USMC, Ret’d. (wife Sandra), Port Royal, South Carolnia; and sister-in-law Gwen Mason (Statesboro, Georgia).


One precious to our hearts has gone;
The voice we loved is stilled.
The place made vacant in our home;
Can never more be filled.
Our Father in his wisdom called;
The one his love had given;
And so on earth the body lies;
His soul is safe in Heaven.
Some day, some time, my eyes shall see;
The face I loved so well.
Some day, some time, his hand I’ll clasp;
And never say farewell.
The pearly gates were opened;
A gentle voice said “Come,”
And with farewells spoken
He gently entered home.
His weary hours and days of pain;
His troubled nights are past;
And in our aching hearts we know;
He has found sweet rest at last.
To have, to hold and then to part;
Is the greatest sorrow of our heart.
Keep him Jesus, in Thy keeping;
‘Til I reach that shining shore;
Then, O Master, Let me have him;
And love him as I did before.

Tom (Maddog) Baggette was a participant on Celestis’ sixth Earth Rise Service memorial spaceflight, The Conestoga Flight.

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The Bell X-1 and Celestis

A Bell X-1 drops from a B-29 in the 1940s.
Bell X-1 released from a B-29 before ignition. Image Credit: U.S. Air Force

On October 14, 1947 Capt. Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier when he flew his Bell X-1 — released from a B-29 plane over Muroc Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), California — to  an  airspeed of Mach 1.06. 50 years later, the principal designer of the preliminary concept for the Bell X-1 — aerospace engineer Benson Hamlin — also made aerospace history as one of the people on the first private memorial spaceflight, the Celestis Founders Flight.

Celestis Founders Flight launch
Launch of the first Celestis memorial spaceflight, The Founders Flight, April 21, 1997

Like the Bell X-1 that was carried to an altitude of 43,000 feet by a mothership and then released on it historic flight, on April 21, 1997 an Orbital Sciences Corporation Stargazer aircraft took off from the Canary Islands, Spain, carrying a Pegasus launch vehicle with the Celestis Founders Flight payload of human ashes. After carrying the Pegasus XL booster to an altitude of approximately 38,000 feet, the Stargazer released the winged rocket for a five-second free fall before the main engine ignited, powering the three-stage solid fuel vehicle into low Earth orbit. The Founders Flight — carrying Benson Hamlin, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 22 others — orbited Earth until it re-entered the atmosphere on May 20, 2002.

Benson Hamlin
Benson Hamlin

An aviation pioneer whose aircraft design career spanned the era from biplanes to rockets, Benson Hamlin’s fascination with flight began when he was a young boy in Lakeville, Connecticut. He learned to fly an airplane, but his greater interest was how and why they flew.

Mr. Hamlin’s goal as a young man was to become an aeronautical engineer. He attained that goal by earning full scholarships to The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, New York. He graduated from RPI in the school’s first class of aeronautical engineers — a class of thirteen — in 1937.

Mr. Hamlin’s forty year career began at Chance-Vought Aircraft Corporation in Connecticut. Throughout his career, his desire to acquire greater knowledge, experience, and expertise in his field led him to airplane companies such as Bell Aircraft in Buffalo, New York where he did his design work for the Bell X-1, which is now on display in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.

Bell X-1 in National Air & Space Museum
The Bell X-1 on display in the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Mr. Hamlin’s historic achievement was recognized in 1993 when he was awarded the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ prestigious Aircraft Design Award. While at Bell he also designed extremely sophisticated microwave missile-guided systems before the days of solid-state electronics.

During Mr. Hamlin’s aeronautical quest, he worked for companies such as as Vega Aircraft in California; General Electric in Cincinnati; Bell Helicopter in Arlington, Texas; and Boeing in Seattle. While at Boeing he served as assistant program manager of the Dynasoar Program. At Boeing-Cape Canaveral, he worked on the Apollo Program.

Mr. Hamlin was inducted into the Niagara Frontier Aviation Hall of Fame in Amherst, New York in 1987. He wrote a classic textbook, Flight Testing Conventional and Jet Propelled Aircraft, and was cited by other authors in many publications.

In life, Benson Hamlin ranked as a pioneer in aeronautics and astronautics. His was a never-ending journey for experience and knowledge. His participation in the Founders Flight was a fitting tribute to this leader of humanity’s journey to the stars.

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Celebrating Star Trek’s 50th anniversary

Celestis joins Star Trek fans in celebrating the 50th anniversary of this famous science fiction series, which was the brainchild of Celestis participant Gene Roddenberry. On September 8, 1966 the Starship Enterprise began its five decade mission through television and cinema, inspiring people the world over — including many of the people who have flown on Celetsis memorial spaceflights.

Starship Enterprise
The Starship Enterprise studio model used in filming the original 1960s Star Trek television series. Image Credit: National Air and Space Museum
Majel and Gene Roddenberry
Majel and Gene Roddenberry

Celestis was proud to fly Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry on our very first memorial spaceflight, the Founders Flight, an Earth Orbit service mission. On April 21, 1997 Roddenberry joined 1960s icon Timothy Leary and 22 others on a history-making flight into Earth orbit — the very first private memorial spaceflight. The ashes of the 24 people on board the Founders Flight would orbit earth every 90 minutes until their Celestis spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere, blazing like a shooting star in final tribute, on May 20, 2002 northeast of Australia.  Both Gene and Majel Roddenberry will fly on Celestis’ first Voyager Service memorial spaceflight into deep space.

James Doohan
James Doohan Image Credit: Pinterest.com

Star Trek‘s “Mr. Scott” — actor James Doohan — has flown on three Celestis missions. His wife, Wende Doohan, wrote about his participation on Celestis memorial spaceflights:

Jimmy absolutely adored playing the role of Scotty on Star Trek. He promoted space exploration and travel where ever he went. He would have given almost anything to be able to actually go into space. When asked if he would ever ride the Space Shuttle, with a twinkle in his eye he replied, “In a heartbeat!” He finally gets his wish, through the efforts of Space Services, Inc. [the parent company of Celestis].

George Takei, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols
James Doohan received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 31, 2004. He is pictured here with George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and Grace Lee Whitney (back), after the ceremony.

In his tribute to James Doohan published on the Celestis website, Star Trek actor George Takei (“Mr. Sulu”) wrote of Doohan’s Celestis memorial spaceflights:

Jimmy Doohan was a hearty, down-to-earth guy. Now, he will be more than that. He has asked that his remains be shot out to space.

That is so you, Jimmy.

When all of us who loved you look up at the vastness of the twinkling night sky, we’ll know that you are truly there among the stars, beaming down at us from the heavens with that wonderful, sparkling smile of yours.

The Star Trek Starship Enterprise
The Star Trek Enterprise model being filmed by visual effects artist Linwood Dunn in 1966 at Film Effects of Hollywood. Image Credit: National Air and Space Museum
Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart Image Credit: Pinterest.com

Music.com reported on January 20, 2005 that, “Star Trek star Patrick Stewart is planning a funeral fitting his sci-fi past – he wants to be launched into space.  The 64-year-old actor has already decided how he wants to depart the earth, and he plans to use his links with the the show to make sure his send off is a spectacular one…’I think it’s just the drama of being able to leave the Earth like that.”

Star Trek fans flying on Celestis Memorial Spaceflights

While Star Trek stars fly with Celestis among the stars above, so too do ordinary people for whom Star Trek was an important part of life. For example, Eugene Hottinger — a painter from St. Paul, Minnesota — was an avid Star Trek fan. His wife writes in his Celestis biography, “When he learned that some of Gene Roddenberry’s ashes were sent into orbit, he arranged to ‘make it so’ for himself. For the rest of my life, when I look to the heavens, I will be reminded that part of him inhabits ‘Space, The Final Frontier.’” Mr. Hottinger will fly on Celestis’ next Earth Orbit mission, the Heritage Flight.

Read through the biographies of Celestis flight participants and you’ll soon find that many were Star Trek/sci-fans, including Heritage Flight participants:

Whether you make arrangements for yourself or for a deceased loved one, Celestis invites you to consider our unique memorial spaceflight services and, “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Contact us today — our hailing frequencies are always open!

Charles A. Carr

Charles A. Carr
Charles Carr, 1956-1999, “Ad Astra, Charlie”

In the relatively modern fields of space education and space entertainment, few people have contributed more to bringing the vastness of space home to the public than Charles A. Carr.

Charlie was born on January 3, 1956, in Effingham, Illinois. His family moved to Los Angeles, California, when he was a child, and he continued to live and work on the West Coast.

Charlie was always a supporter of the world’s space programs beginning with the Apollo 11 moon landing he watched as a child. In college he majored in astronomy at the University of Southern California. There he helped to develop the space education program at the California Museum of Science & Industry (CMSI) at Exposition Park.

At CMSI Charlie developed the traveling Flying Museum that was housed in a DC-3 aircraft. He also oversaw the design and construction of the new CMSI IMAX theater that opened in 1984, and presided over numerous statewide science fairs.

Always the educator and space activist, Charlie was involved with many grassroots organizations that supported making space travel accessible to everyone. Some of these groups included The World Space Foundation, The Orange County Space Society, the Aerospace Legacy Foundation, and The Space Tourism Society.

Since the mid-1980s, Charlie was deeply involved in the conceptual design of space-related projects, including programs that blended the concept of space education, entertainment, and space tourism. His “edutainment” projects toured the country and were features at popular locations such as Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags Theme Parks, and the Queen Mary. Several of these projects included a full-scale space shuttle model, the first ever in a touring exhibit.

Charlie’s daughter Christa, named for the teacher lost on the space shuttle Challenger, was often his companion on stargazing and meteor shower adventures. She adored her father for his ready smile and hugs, his instant spinning of a fanciful bedtime story, and his sense of wonder and adventure.

When Christa packed some of his ashes for transport aboard the Celestis mission, she said she hoped that some of the ashes were from her daddy’s heart because his heart loved space so much. Now she will gaze at the skies after dark, as they used to do together. Perhaps she’ll see a shooting star that could be her daddy soaring free through the night, lighting up the sky the way he illuminated her life, and so many others.

Charlie departed this life too soon and too young on August 20, 1999. He was a gifted, highly intelligent, articulate man who was a loving son, husband, and father. He was often called “a gentle giant” by his many friends and associates. As we draw closer to the day when space travel is available to everyone, we will surely be riding on the shoulders of that gentle giant.

Ad Astra, Charlie. You are loved and you are missed. Someday we hope to catch up with you in space.

Charles A. Carr was a participant on Celestis’ third Earth Orbit Service memorial spaceflight, The Millennial Flight.

Eugene M. Shoemaker

Eugene M. Shoemaker
Eugene M. Shoemaker
April 28, 1928 – July 18, 1997

Celestis provided its first Luna Service mission by helping friends of noted planetary geologist Dr. Eugene M. Shoemaker include a symbolic portion of Dr. Shoemaker’s remains on the NASA Lunar Prospector mission launched January 6, 1998.

The spacecraft impacted the lunar surface inside a permanently shadowed crater near the south lunar pole, creating a permanent monument to Dr. Shoemaker. Impact occurred at 4:52 a.m. CDT (9:52 a.m. GMT), July 31, 1999.

Dr. Eugene M. Shoemaker, a pioneer in the exploration of the Solar System, had longed to go to the Moon as an Apollo astronaut and study its geology firsthand. A medical condition diagnosed in the early 1960s prevented him from doing so. Dr. Shoemaker went on to help select and train Apollo astronauts in lunar geology and impact cratering. His achievements in these areas earned him the United States’ highest scientific honor, the National Medal of Science in 1992. He became world-renowned when he, his wife Carolyn, and astronomer David Levy discovered Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which impacted the planet Jupiter in July 1994.

Lunar Prospector
Lunar Prospector Image Credit: NASA

Lunar Prospector was one of the most productive, least expensive space missions. Part of NASA’s Discovery Program, Lunar Prospector served as a follow-on to the successful Clementine mission of 1994. In 1994, the Clementine spacecraft orbiting the Moon made observations that indicated the presence of water ice on the lunar surface. On March 5, 1998, it was announced that Lunar Prospector had also found evidence suggesting the presence of water ice at both lunar poles.

The presence of water ice on the Moon would facilitate future attempts at lunar colonization. How fitting that Dr. Eugene Shoemaker participated in one last experiment — an experiment that could benefit our future in space.

Listen to an interview with Carolyn Shoemaker about how fitting her husband’s lunar burial was.

The next Celestis Luna Service mission is projected to launch next year.


Gerard K. O’Neill

Gerard K. O'Neill
Gerard K. O’Neill, 1927-1992, “Your wish is fulfilled”

History often accords to a selected individual the role of catalyst, the spark who creates a social, political, or economic paradigm shift. Surely Gerry O’Neill was such an individual.

Dr. O’Neill was an accomplished experimental physicist, successful entrepreneur, pilot, inventor, astronaut candidate, devoted family member, and gifted professor who constantly challenged and inspired his students.

Indeed, it was a class exercise — first year physics at Princeton University — which started Dr. O’Neill on a path that would ultimately lead him to establish the modern conceptual, theoretical, and technical foundation for the large-scale human colonization of space.

During the course of this work he wrote several books, including the award-winning The High Frontier; served as an adviser to NASA and the Congress and as a member of the President’s National Commission on Space; and founded the Space Studies Institute (Princeton) to support the scientific research required to carry out his vision.

Today, Gerry O’Neill’s legacy continues through his Space Studies Institute and through the lives of people around the world who were touched by his message — and who consequently are devoting their lives to the extension of humanity into space.

“…I think there is reason to hope that the opening of a new, high frontier will challenge the best that is in us, that the new lands waiting to be built in space will give us new freedom to search for better governments, social systems, and ways of life, and that our children may thereby find a world richer in opportunity by our efforts during the decades ahead.”

–G.K. O’Neill, The High Frontier, 1976

“(Gerry’s) brilliance, his reason, his drive, and his creativity each garnered his well-deserved renown. But I respected him most, and will remember him best, for his commitment to fairness and equity.”

–Richard J. Pinto , May 1992

“Gerry O’Neill was a man of great vision, courage, and intelligence – a type too often in short supply in this world. His dramatic and inspiring descriptions of future space colonies challenged us to confront the gap (often maddeningly wide) between technical capacity and political will. Through his research, business pursuits and educational programs, he did much to sustain our vision of a bold, space-faring future.”

–Kathryn D. Sullivan, May 1992

Gerard K. O’Neill flew on the first Celestis Memorial Spaceflight, The Founders Flight.

Klaus Karl Rheinhold Ernst Sachse

Klaus Karl Rheinhold Ernst Sachse
Klaus Karl Rheinhold Ernst Sachse, 1929-1991, “To dwell among the stars!”

Klaus Karl Rheinhold Ernst Sachse’s passing went by with little notice by this world, save for a handful of family members and a small contingent from the tennis/curling club to which he belonged. Klaus Karl Rheinhold Ernst Sachse was not renowned for anything in particular, nor accomplished in some noteworthy endeavor. However, he did make a difference in the lives of his three children and three grandchildren; and as such, left a priceless legacy.

He was a rather stoic and extremely private man – rarely given to outbursts of emotion. He was also a proud man who tried to live his dream until the dream was all that was left to him. He held inside of himself a spark and a vision that he passed on to his children. In the grand cosmic scheme of things he was an ordinary man who dreamed of a greater life. And that life was to be lived among the stars!

Klaus Karl Rheinhold Ernst Sachse was born in AngerMeunde, Germany and moved to Toronto, Canada in 1955. As a young man, he was always fascinated with space exploration. His dream then was to help build the engines that would send jets and rockets into space – so a part of him would be up there as well. This noble goal, however, was not to be, but he never lost sight of this dream. He followed the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects very closely and with each launch a part of him went along for the ride. One of his greatest sorrows was Canada’s loss of the Avro Arrow from which Canada would “never fully recover.”

Though unassuming, his early life was marked with hardship during the war and tragedy with the loss of his parents at age ten. He found work as a coal-miner and saved his money until he had earned enough to come to Canada. The prime of his life was spent “Doing the right thing” by his family, which kept him away from his home as well as his dream. He enjoyed the few times when he could take his kids for trips to various open fields in order to launch their rockets and experimental vehicles. He enjoyed “Star Trek” and found a kindred spirit in the lives of those explorers. He began consuming science fiction novels by the “Thewsands.”

His later years were spent building models, puttering around in his garden, exploring culinary adventures; and of course, enjoying the company of his small circle of friends and family.

Thanks to Celestis, we can now, a decade after his passing, honor his wish and fulfill his life-long dream by sending him to the stars that were always his real home.

His spark is alive in those who remember and still love him. We still miss you very much, Dad.

With all our love,

Frank, Ron, Monica, Jessica, Nate, Eric (and Tara)

Klaus Karl Rheinhold Ernst Sachse flew on two Celestis Memorial Spaceflights:

  • The Legacy Flight from Spaceport America, New Mexico
  • The New Frontier Flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida

Family Donates Spacecraft Model Collection to Celestis

The family of James J. Allaire, a participant on our New Frontier Flight that was successfully launched into Earth orbit on May 22, has donated Mr. Allaire’s impressive collection of spacecraft models to Celestis.

Allaire Spacecraft Model Collection
On display at our corporate offices are spacecraft models, mission patches, and other space-related items from the spacecraft model collection of James Allaire.

Mr. Allaire, who lived in Derby, Connecticut, was a dedicated spacecraft modeler.  Before the advent of the Internet, he conducted a great deal of research reading books about spacecraft.  The Internet enabled him to learn much more about rockets.  The online photos he found helped him craft next-to-exact replicas of spacecraft.  He really liked to craft a perfect replica of a rocket using various household items, such as foil packaging from candy wrappers to get the coloring on the heat shields just right.  He kept all this paraphernalia in his modeling room with all his models, which were in mounted in specially-built display cases.  This hobby was a stress reliever for him: He truly enjoyed the detail work of crafting a model, or scratch-building pieces of a model that he felt were more accurate for the particular rocket model he was building.

Mr. Allaire entered numerous space model competitions locally, regionally and nationally (including International Plastic Modelers Society competition) and won various awards.  The out of town competitions gave him the opportunity not only to see other modelers and check out their techniques, but also to explore the area where a contest was being held.  With his wry sense of humor, he enjoyed viewing some of the tongue-in-cheek dioramas that some modelers crafted.  He took his nephews, who also did modeling for a time, on these weekend trips to space model contests.  And it wasn’t just his nephews who modeled: his niece also built a model and competed.

A number of years ago, Mr. Allaire started a spacecraft modeling class at his local library to teach kids how to model.  Although he never held a title from the modeling clubs with which he was associated, he benefitted from his affiliation with the local modeling club, Connecticut Yankee Modelers.  The club held afternoon sessions at a local hobby show to show kids the art of modeling.  He also enjoyed meeting and discussing modeling with other people from the Southwestern Connecticut area.

Celestis appreciates this fine gift from the Allaire family!