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Sponsors to Help Cut Costs of Point Mugu Air Show

August 03, 1989|WILLIAM OVEREND | Times Staff Writer

For the first time in the 28-year history of the Point Mugu Air Show, the Navy is trying to recruit corporate sponsors to subsidize some of the major performances at the annual event.

The purpose is to help raise funds to support recreational facilities and activities at the Pacific Missile Test Center, Navy officials said.

The new commercial approach, they said, is the result of congressional cutbacks in Pentagon spending that will force all Navy recreational functions to be self-supporting by October, 1991.

The show draws more than 150,000 people annually and is the largest single attraction in Ventura County.

Navy officials said they hope to raise about $50,000, which would be used to help defray future operating costs of such facilities as the Officers' Club, Chiefs' Club and the Enlisted Club, as well as the annual upkeep of a gymnasium and a nine-hole golf course. Christina Gamble, a spokeswoman for the effort, said the Navy has sent direct-mail solicitations to about 1,000 companies in the Ventura County area but has failed to secure any firm commitments.

Contribution Limits

Many firms set their limits on charitable contributions long before the Navy launched its drive, she said. Some have said they will not be able to sponsor events this year but plan to do so in 1990, she added.

The acts available for corporate sponsorship this year and the amounts required for sponsorship, Gamble said, are Wayne's Planes ($5,500), Osterud Aviation Shows ($5,500), Team America Productions ($9,500), Shock Wave ($5,500) and the Rich Benbrook Gliders ($2,500).

The Navy is looking for a company to sponsor the Admiral's Club VIP tent for $5,500 and other firms to sponsor eight planes competing in the International Formula One Racers air race at $2,500 per plane.

This year's air show will be Oct. 28-29 at the Pacific Missile Test Center and will feature the Air Force's Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Team for the first time instead of the Navy's Blue Angels.

Base spokesman Gene Okamoto said the switch was prompted by local interest in having the Thunderbirds perform at Point Mugu. He said the Thunderbirds will perform as part of a trade that involved an earlier performance by the Blue Angels at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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