Real Men Real Heroes of Wichita held their annual Fundraiser and Recognition event on July 11 at the Marriott Hotel.

The event’s keynote speaker and PRIDE Award recipient was astronaut Dr. Guion Bluford, Jr. who was the first African-American astronaut in space. He has flown 688 hours in space on four Space Shuttle missions.

Also honored was Rip Gooch, a former politician, businessman, community leader, author and aviation enthusiast. Gooch is a member of the Black Pilots of America and the Black Army Aviators.

Gooch was honored to meet Dr. Bluford, Jr. since he and his family traveled to Cape Canaveral in Florida to witness Bluford’s first launch.

Brian Black received a special recognition award for his commitment to the youth.

Black who serves as the Senior Leader of Global Executive Development & Diversity for Spirit AeroSystems is a champion for the community.

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