Service to aviation was among the earliest of the National Exchange Club’s Programs of Service. In 1929, Exchange originated sponsorship of the National Women’s Air Derby, the first transcontinental air race ever held for women. Fifteen of the world’s most noted women fliers, including Amelia Earhart, participated. (The races continued in later years and became known as the Powder Puff Derby.)
- Orville Wright was a member of Exchange as was World War II hero James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle.
- Amelia Earhart was an honorary member and addressed the 12th National Convention of Exchange in 1927.
Continuing its tradition of aviation involvement, Exchange cosponsored the 23rd annual Air Race Classic in 1999. The event commemorated the 70th anniversary of the 1929 Women’s Air Derby.
The Exchange Club of Dayton, located in the “birthplace of aviation” has returned to its aviation roots and will honor Dean Alexander, Superintendent of the National Park Service, on Thursday, October 29, for his efforts to preserve Dayton’s aviation heritage. The National Park Service operates the Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop, the Wright Memorial and the Huffman Prarie Flying Field.