Air show for everyone in Tucumcari

By Chris Schmaedeke: QCSun managing editor

The 17th Annual Tucumcari Rotary Club Air Show is flying above as many of you read this column.

What I realized this past week is this event is much more than just a show up in the skies.

This event is for the community. A close-knit community. This event is not about money or sales or anything like that. This event is about giving back to the town. This event is about being unselfish.

After talking to Rotary Club President Larry Moore and Rotary Club member Bob McClelland Jr., I saw this event is not about one single person or the Rotary Club or any kind of cash in anyone’s pocket. This is about the town of Tucumcari and putting money back into it.

“The town completely shuts down and it means so much to everybody,” Moore said.

And when Moore says everybody, he means everybody. The Rotary Club receives no profit from the air show. All the money is used somehow to give back. McClelland informed me that money goes back into the schools for their needs and Moore said some of the money goes into funding scholarships for students. The air show also gives the schools a great chance to hold fundraisers. Any leftover money goes into creating an even bigger and better air show for next year.

“The kids are the future of the town,” McClelland said.

All of this shocked me. I couldn’t even imagine any event like this having no profit at all. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. That’s an amazing thing you rarely see in this day and age.

Not everything is about the power of the all mighty dollar and the air show organizers are proving that right now.

But not just the fact that the Rotary Club gives all this money back shows how unselfish they are. The way they present and represent Tucumcari shows the same thing.

Being from Denver I have seen the way big events can go. The people are paraded around the city like rock stars and then they are just put in some hotel until the city needs them again. But not Tucumcari. They don’t use these pilots to promote our town. The pilots are treated with respect, hospitality and sincerity. Something that I am sure the pilots enjoy and relish.

An event that has a huge chance to promote oneself is not about one but is about all.

I join in with my new hometown of Tucumcari in applauding for the air show and its organizers. But not just for the thrills and excitement in the skies but for the outreach and service it does for our town and community.

Chris Schmaedeke is

managing editor of the Quay County Sun. Contact him at 461-1952 or by email: chris_schmaedeke@