Two years ago, we started an initiative to put the Challenge on the weather deck of the USS Midway. In furtherance of that objective, Chuck DeGrandpre and Bill Alexander made two trips to San Diego and conducted several meetings with the Burn Foundation as well as the organization that manages the Midway. Things were on track and we had indicated that San Diego would be our destination. The terms of the contract had been negotiated and was awaiting ratification.
Then, the engineering department asked if we could punt this to next year. Keep in mind that we had started with an objective of 2011 and now were being asked to move the event to 2013. We felt that we had exhausted all remedies in attempting to bring some structure to what would have been a very complicated maneuver. So, in deference to our West Coast teams, we also felt strongly that we needed to be in California as originally planned. So several months ago, we started our search for an alternative venue.
Our short list of venues numbered in single digits. Each of these locations were presented with the specifications necessary to run a quality event. Hundreds of hours have been spent, not just by us, but Walt White, Cliff Walker and Bob Pfohl. At first, the US Navy looked to be the solution and we were well on our way to securing a venue when a conflict with the change of command ceremony knocked that one out and set us back another several weeks.
We apologize for this frustrating and unfortunate set of circumstances. Nearly every hour of Rob Alesbury's time has been on the phone, trying to move this project along. As of this writing, we believe that we are close to making an announcement of a San Diego venue. The instant that we can confirm the location, we will announce it here on the Hot News. Meanwhile, special thanks to Bob Pfohl, Cliff Walker and Walt White for their tireless volunteer efforts. Without guys like them, we couldn’t do this.