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Nathan Baum donated a substantial sum in his will to the Colorado Civil Air Patrol Foundation designated as the Baum Cadet Leadership Grant to support cadet leadership and flight training and/or equipment for CAP cadet improvement.


Lt Colonel Nathan Lee Baum, CAP, received his Fifty-Year plaque for outstanding service to the Civil Air Patrol at the Colorado Wing’s 60th Anniversary Gala on December 1, 2001. He began his contributions to the Colorado Wing of Civil Air Patrol after he returned from his World War II service as an Army psychologist. Lt Col Baum earned his law degree and began a long and illustrious career as a Denver lawyer whose practice emphasized estate planning, business counseling, and real estate transactions.

His early CAP service included search and rescue missions and contributing general organizational expertise.  He became a recognized leader who took great pride in his outstanding service as the Group One Commander in the Denver metropolitan area. During that time, he was instrumental in launching the CAP careers of numerous young cadets. Lt Col Baum served as Rocky Mountain Region Legal Officer until just before his death.  He was a valuable contributor and participant in National Legal Officer training in its first seminars and assisted in laying a solid foundation for more professional and consistent legal officer performance nationwide. Over the years, he kept CAP high on his priority list as he  served with distinction on several nonprofit boards including the Rose Hospital Foundation.

In 1996, Lt Col Baum was one of the moving forces, a founding board member, and first President of this Colorado Civil Air Patrol Foundation created for the sole purpose of providing financial support to the members of the Colorado Wing.  He used his expertise in the corporate and tax areas to originate this first-ever such foundation in the nation for the support of a CAP Wing. It is no exaggeration to say that Nathan Baum formed the foundation of this organization.

Katharine Blodgett Gebbie aviation grants are given in honor of one of the most outstanding U.S. scientists in highly technical observation and measurement.  She contributed her beloved Beech Bonanza to the Foundation for the general enhancement of the aviation experience in Civil Air Patrol.

Betty and Earl Berger gave decades of dedicated and extraordinary service to Civil Air Patrol. Their family, through Kevin and Cindy Berger, continued the support with a substantial donation in line with the wishes of Betty and Earl. Those who served with the Bergers relied on them as the cornerstone of Colorado Wing Emergency Services for hundreds of missions both day and night.

Kenneth C. Melcher, CMSgt, USAF (Ret) gave dedicated support to Civil Air Patrol and the Colorado Civil Air Patrol Foundation through his long-time service on the Foundation Board of Directors.  He inspired and mentored many, many young Civil Air Patrol cadets over the years with his leadership and willingness to share his passion for community service.  Through his various roles in military and veterans organizations across Colorado, including as President of the United Veterans Coalition of Colorado, Ken created numerous service opportunities for CAP cadets, such as color guard and volunteering for E-9er functions.

Ken Melcher enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and rose through the ranks to the highest enlisted rating prior to retirement.  He served all over the world, including during the Vietnam War, in avionics maintenance and training, serving three times at Lowry AFB, Colorado. The Foundation established the Memorial Fund in his honor for cadet leadership grants to be awarded to young future leaders who are inspired to serve CAP, our community, state, and nation like Ken. May Ken’s spirit continue to inspire those youth who benefit from grants in his name.

Fitzroy “Buck” Newsum, Tuskegee Airman and long-time Foundation Board Member.  From Costal Artillery, to the B-24, to ballistic missiles, and Lockheed, Col Newsum inspired both young and old to ever higher standards and achievement.

Bill Hines flight grants are given in honor of this much loved and respected former Wing Commander who brought a lifetime of professional piloting experience to the Colorado Wing. He started as a CAP cadet and was a senior airline captain just prior to providing years of outstanding service commanding the Wing.

Bill Payne leadership grants are to bring excellence to CAP service, as Lt Col Bill Payne did on active duty for the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and in key liaison and support activities for the lasting benefit of the cadet and adult members of CAP in Colorado and around the nation.


In Honor of Gary L. McPherson (1961 – 2000), Major, Civil Air Patrol, Representative, State of Colorado promoted Excellence in Flight and Emergency Services

Representative Gary McPherson died in a plane crash in 2000.  He was one of Civil Air Patrol’s most staunch supporters in the Colorado legislature and was active in the operational Civil Air Patrol.  He strongly believed in the service and continuing good works of citizen volunteers such as those in Civil Air Patrol.  Representative McPherson loved flying but knew it held special challenges, so he embraced the reality that some of his fellow flyers, especially in Colorado, needed to be trained and ready to search for lost aircraft at any time.

His family and friends have expressed their pride in the way Representative McPherson touched the lives of people both connected with the legislature and in outside activities. His model is uplifting to many Colorado citizens.  This memorial reminded the people of Colorado of a wonderful man whose life, though cut short, was so thoroughly well lived.  He certainly “slipped the surly bonds of earth.”

His family, including his widow, Shelley McPherson Schafer, established a memorial fund with the Foundation.  Two components of the fund supported scholarships for CAP members.  One fund supported flight excellence, and the second fund enhanced emergency services excellence.

Eddie Mehlin was a well-loved and revered aviator who was inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame in 1985.  He started flying before he was “legal” and, at age 18, was the Navy’s youngest instructor pilot in its V-5 flight program during World War II.  He was a revered pilot mentor who logged over 40,000 hours in 351 types of aircraft and, while at Clinton Aviation, sold the first Learjet.

The Mehlin fund paid out grants to assist Colorado Civil Air Patrol cadets in any flight-related training program.

Nancy Hollis was an over 50-year CAP member who mentored countless cadets and provided massive support for the troops and other persons in need.

Norman Rothe, long-time member of CAP, father and grandfather of CAP members who were and are strong supporters of the glider program.

Bruce Hulley, over 50-year member of CAP who served as flight instructor independently and in CAP, as well as educator in Aurora Public Schools and safety officer for several aviation organizations.

Dailey Bugg, leader and generous CAP member who was an instructor and check pilot in several wings, ending service in the Pikes Peak Senior Squadron in Colorado Springs.

Livingston, benefactor of Mesa Verde Cadet Squadron.

Dan Gloekner was a long-time member of CAP in finance and staff positions. Grants were made in his name to strengthen Wing finance and administration.

Ken Anderson was the namesake for Thompson Valley flight and leadership grants because of his humble, but outstanding service in flight instruction and in every emergency services qualification in CAP.  He brought competence and grace to the Thompson Valley and his friends all across the state.

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