Shell Aviation recently contributed $5,500 to the EAA’s Young Eagles program and $2,000 to Able Flight Inc.
Funds for the donations come from the proceeds of the “AeroShell Cow T-shirts” offered by AeroShell Lubricants, and from the auction of rides with the AeroShell Aerobatic team at this summer’s AirVenture.
“AeroShell strongly believes in the positive effect that the Young Eagles program has on our youth,” said Paul Royko, Shell’s U.S. technical account manager. “This program opens up the joy of flight to many youngsters who, otherwise, might never have the opportunity to experience it. We’re happy to do all we can to support this very important program.”
For many years, AeroShell has donated the proceeds from the sale of T-shirts at AirVenture to the Young Eagles program. According to Royko, shirt sales were greater than ever this year, so the determination was made to divide the profit between Young Eagles and the new Able Flight organization.
Able Flight offers people with disabilities a way to challenge themselves through flight training and, by doing so, gain greater self-confidence and self-reliance. Formed just over a year ago, Able Flight already has awarded six full flight school scholarships. Two of those scholarships have gone to wounded veterans.
“When I learned of the unique Able Flight program, I immediately knew this was an organization that was worthy of our support,” said Jerry Toenjes, AeroShell’s U.S. sales manager. “We all know the feeling of independence and freedom we have when we’re flying. To be able to help people with disabilities, especially our wounded American heroes, enjoy this same feeling of independence and self-reliance is definitely something that AeroShell wanted to be a part of. We hope that our contribution, and the contributions of others, can help Able Flight to grow and expand its outstanding program.”
The AeroShell Aerobatic team also realizes the importance of giving back to the flying community, Shell officials noted.
As has become its custom over the last several years, the team auctioned off a once-in-a-lifetime ride-along for four during AirVenture week. This year, the winning bid was $20,000. A second bidder agreed to match that amount, so an additional ride for four was provided. With this year’s auction, the team, which flies vintage World War II T-6 trainer planes, raised $40,000 for the Young Eagles program.