For the work that it did to combine a regional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Fair with its annual open house to create a powerhouse public affairs event, MacDill Air Force Base and its Tampa Bay AirFest and STEAM Fair were named as the 2018 recipient of the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award.
MacDill displayed 50 different STEAM exhibits for 1,300 students from 29 different schools on the Friday before their weekend show. And less than half the overall air show is now funded using government appropriated funds, due to a unique and successful partnership with local businesses.
Schram, a former Blue Angel, was an engaged member of the air show community before passing away unexpectedly in 1987. The award named in his honor has now been presented to 30 different military facilities to recognize and showcase the work that they have done in using their air shows and open houses to strengthen relationships in the communities where the bases are located.