The whole point of the annual model jet rally at Hinds Community College’s John Bell Williams Airport near Raymond has never been to make money.
Members of the Mississippi Jets R/C Club really just wanted an event at an airport where they could fly their jet radio-controlled model airplanes and have a good time. The money they made off the parking and food sold by Hinds Aviation department students was incidental.
But Dennis Lott, one of the long-time organizers who is now a Hinds instructor, said they figured as long as they were making a little money each year, they might as well put it to good use. The Mississippi Jets R/C Club this year endowed the aviation scholarship with enough money to keep it going annually. The group has been sponsoring a scholarship since 2004 but the endowment of $22,000 guarantees it is given each year.
“This is a significant gift for the Hinds Community College Foundation,” said Betty Carraway, Special Projects/Donor Relations coordinator.
The jet rally is April 24-26 at the John Bell Williams Airport. Concessions will be available for purchase each day. The “Fly-in Special” for Thursday and Friday is smoked chicken, potato salad, slaw, beans, roll, banana pudding and drink for $10.
The event is sponsored by the Mississippi Jets Radio Control Club, John Bell Williams Airport and the Hinds Community College Aviation Department. All proceeds help support student scholarships and department projects.
For additional information about the rally, call Michelle Jackson at 601.857.3884 or go to www.mississippijets.com
The jet rally began in 1991 at an airport in Winona and moved to John Bell Williams in 2003. The entire Hinds Aviation Department has been supportive of the event since it’s been moved to Hinds, Lott said.
The event attracts 75 or so modelers from all over the United States, Europe and Canada who have about twice that many high-tech aircraft, Lott said.
“We have a lot of fun generating the money for the scholarship. Now it’ll be there long-term, regardless,” Lott said. “It’s such a good cause, and we enjoy the rally so much. We appreciate having the opportunity to fly at the airport. It’s a wonderful facility and all the personnel in the aviation department are so supportive and do a lot of the work to help us set up the event.”
Criteria for the scholarship include:
• Must be a student in the Hinds Community College Aviation Department and maintain full-time status;
• Must be in third semester of the curriculum;
• Must maintain a 3.0 or better cumulative Hinds Community College grade point average;
• Must be free of any disciplinary problems;
• Must be a resident of Mississippi;
• Must have completed at least nine hours of academic courses towards their Career Field Associates of Applied Science Degree, by August of the Fall Semester as the student enters the third semester of the career field program.