Aero Club of Buffalo awards 2 scholarships

William Gregory

Retired astronaut Bill Gregory, along with The Aero Club of Buffalo President Mark Ables and Vice President Ron Franco of Lockport, presented two scholarship awards via Zoom on May 16.

Dyress Batten is the recipient of the $1,500 Thomas P. Kopera Educational Scholarship. Batten, of Fredonia, is a freshman at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The Kopera scholarship is awarded to a Western New York resident who shows exemplary scholastic aptitude and may pursue an education or career in the aviation industry. Thomas P. Kopera was an ACOB board member and long-time educator at Burgard Vocational, which had the last active aviation program in the City of Buffalo school system.

Edwin “Cade” Chesler, a senior at Canandaigua Academy, is the recipient of the $1,500 Fran Bainbridge Flight Award. Chesler is currently pursuing his private pilot’s license. The Bainbridge award is given to a Western New York resident who has a student pilot certificate and has had a solo flight; the money is used to further flight training. Fran Bainbridge, a private pilot and long-time executive secretary of the Aero Club of Buffalo, was considered by many to be the “heart and soul” of the club.

For more information on the scholarships offered by the Aero Club of Buffalo, contact Pamela Crassidis at

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