Golf Open raises $90,000 for aviation charities

Thanks to the generosity of 165 golfers, their organizations and the many sponsors who donated auction items, the 26th Annual Greater Washington Aviation Open (GWAO) Tournament raised $90,000, which was donated to two charities — Corporate Angel Network (CAN) and Veterans Airlift Command (VAC).

CAN arranges free air travel using the empty seats on corporate jet aircraft to transport cancer patients to and from life saving treatment centers. VAC arranges free air travel for post-9/11 wounded veterans as well as their families.

Walt Fricke of VAC and Dick Koenig of CAN accept the $45,000 donations made to each of their charities from the GWAO board.

Walt Fricke of VAC and Dick Koenig of CAN accept the $45,000 donations made to each of their charities from the GWAO board.

Held at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va., on May 12th, the event attracted golfers from the Washington, D.C., area aviation community. U.S. Representative and Honorary Chairperson Sam Graves opened the day with a few remarks.

The major sponsors of this year’s GWAO included Boeing, FlightSafety International, Exelis, GAMA, Honeywell, Signature Flight Support, Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, Garmin, NBAA, ALPHA, Gulfstream, A4A, Rockwell Collins,, American Airlines, Delta, Jetblue, Etihad Airways, Swiss, United, Lufthansa, Hawaiian, Sheraton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Marriott, Universal Orlando Resorts, Lansdowne Resort, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, Paradies Shops, AAAE, and the Orlando Convention Center.

The GWAO charity golf event was started in 1989 with the mission of bringing area aviation industry leaders and friends together for a day of golf and donating the proceeds of the event to a worthy cause. To date, the event has raised a total of $1.8 million in its 26-year history.

Dick Koenig, Executive Director of CAN, commented, “On behalf of VAC and CAN, I want to thank the GWAO Board, along with a cadre of hard working volunteers and all of the very generous sponsors who have made this event such an outstanding success.”

Both charities continue to search for empty seats on aircraft to help bring cancer patients and wounded warriors closer to treatment centers. Log onto and for more information.

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