LONG BEACH - Bob Milne, world-renowned ragtime and boogie-woogie pianist, will give a benefit concert beginning at 6:30 p.m., on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Hilltop School auditorium.

The concert and dessert reception will benefit the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame, which is 77 percent of the way toward its goal of purchasing a two-story 10,400-square foot facility in Long Beach. The concert will be followed by a reception, with the musician at the prospective new facility at 383 Sid Snyder Dr., SW. Tickets are $35 per person.

Milne's talent, humor and highly-energetic playing style has captivated audiences around the world. He has been acclaimed by the media as the "finest ragtime/boogie-woogie pianist on this planet." His concerts showcase the heart and soul of American music as well as the history and talent of all musicians and composers who, like himself, learned by listening and doing. Milne has recorded 10 collections of solo rags, blues and boogies as well as folk/traditional tunes. He is author of "The Journeyman Piano Player," a collection of humorous anecdotes taken from his early years as a working musician.

For the reception, the museum will have on display a rare collection of World War II kites. These include target kites that were used to train gunners on ships; a barrage kite, measuring 13 feet wide by 10 feet tall, that was flown from the coast of England and ships to keep small aircraft from being able to approach their target closely (for fear of getting tangled in the wire kite strings); and the Gibson Girl box kite - a signal kite for life boats, which acted as an aerial in order to radio for help.

Tickets for the benefit reception can be purchased at all banks on the Peninsula and at the World Kite Museum in Long Beach. For more information, call the museum at 642-4020 or e-mail info@worldkitemuseum.com.

Contributions will assist the Kite Museum in reaching their goal of raising nearly $200,000, the remainder of funds needed to purchase the new facility by 2005. The expanded space will provide ample room to share more of the Museum's extensive collection of more than 1,500 kites from all parts of the globe including the largest collection of Japanese kites outside of Japan. The museum's traveling display - "How the Kite Made the Airplane" - are circulated nationwide. The museum hosts extensive kite-making workshops, school programs and displays in locations including Portland Center Stage, SeaTac International Airport in Seattle, Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver, Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon and the Chinese Classical Gardens in Portland.

The World Kite Museum is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. WKM was formed in 1988 and has a seven-member board represented by President Blaine Walker, Elizabeth Hadley, Sherry Hash, Ray Nelson, Jim Buesing, Dennis Long and Jim Sayce.

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