Board approves ‘Aiming for the Stars’ funding

March 25, 2014 • Local News

Funding for the first “Aiming for the Stars,” planned for Oct. 17 in Roswell, was given an initial approval by the city’s Occupancy Tax Board Tuesday.

The board will recommend to the city’s finance committee that the event should be allocated $2,465 in lodger’s tax funds.

Former Mayor Bill Brainard initiated the idea to hold the two-day event to honor the legacy of rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard and his years of research in Roswell.

“All of these guys are space science intellectuals and well noted in their fields as authors and scientists,” Brainard said.

Other activities will include a portable planetarium, telescopes, a bicycle gyroscope, NASA exhibits, a 1/15th scale model of the space shuttle and a full-size shuttle astronaut spacesuit available for photo ops.

The [auth] family-friendly event will be free for the public. Organizers have planned a $25,000 marketing budget that Brainard has single-handedly fundraised.

Brainard addressed the city’s Occupancy Tax Board for a small portion of funding, which was approved in lodger’s tax funds. The approval will be sent to the city’s finance committee today. If approved by the committee, the City Council is expected to consider it at its next meeting in April.

Harrison Schmitt, an astronaut on the Apollo 17 mission, and one of the last two men to step foot on the moon, will make an appearance, Brainard said.

Representatives from the Harry F. Guggenheim Foundation, the National Air and Space Museum and Charles A. Lindbergh Museum will accept awards for their museums during the weekend.

Other activities will include a lunch for local and state representatives with keynote speaker Dr. Lowell Catlett, futurist and dean of the School of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.

The lunch will honor Gen. Josiah S. Bunting, president of the Guggenheim Foundation and past superintendent of Virginia Military Institute and author; and Dr. Michael Neufeld, curator of the Goddard Collection at the National Air and Space Museum and an authority on Wernher von Braun.

On Oct. 17, speakers will address Goddard and his legacy.

A “Space Trail Expo” Oct. 18 will feature New Mexico’s space-related assets, including museums, science centers, observatories and industry.

“It’s a real opportunity for Roswell to show its history and the people involved,” Brainard said. “I think we’re going to get a healthy reception from people around the state and out of state.”

Organizers may consider holding another event again in the future, depending on the success of this year’s turnout, Brainard said.

More information about Aiming for the Stars can be found at

In other action Tuesday, the board approved $1,000 in lodger’s tax funds for the Bottomless Triathlon. The triathlon expects 120 participants this year.

Another $2,117 in lodger’s tax funds was approved for the 32nd annual Roswell Fine Arts League Juried Art Show. The show will be held for 13 days and will move into a new location.

The 13th annual Dragonfly Festival, to be held Sept. 6-7, was given the nod for $1,000 in funds.

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