In April, the newly formed Lightspeed Aviation Foundation revealed the 20 aviation-related charities that had been nominated to receive grants during 2010, with all funds coming from the Lightspeed Aviation Corp. Since then, more than 20,000 pilots have cast votes for their favorites. The first five winners are Angel Flight Southeast/Mercy Flight Southeast, JAARS, the Civil Air Patrol, Mission Aviation Fellowship, and The Ninety-Nines.
The five receiving the most votes were presented with their checks at the AOPA Aviation Summit earlier this month in Long Beach, Calif. Allan Schrader, founder and president of the Foundation, says that he is extremely gratified by the support that they have received during the first year. “All of those that were nominated are already doing ‘good’ for aviation. We want to come alongside to help build awareness and increase funding opportunities. And, we want to mobilize the pilot community to learn more about them and get involved.”
Angel Flight Southeast/Mercy Flight Southeast: These non- profit volunteer pilot organizations coordinate free air transportation for children and adults with medical or humanitarian needs in five southeastern states. Private aircraft is provided for patients to distant medical facilities when commercial service is not available, impractical or simply not affordable.
The Civil Air Patrol: Founded in 1941, the Civil Air Patrol operates as an all-volunteer civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force when performing service for the federal government. Today the non-profit corporation develops our nation’s youth through Cadet programs, provides aerospace education and responds to local, state and national emergencies.
JAARS: For more than 60 years, JAARS aviation has provided safe, dependable flight services to Bible translators and support personnel in locations that would otherwise remain inaccessible. The organization operates 27 aircraft in five countries and provides transportation and supplies to more than 200 translation programs.
Mission Aviation Fellowship: Using aviation and technology, Mission Aviation Fellowship meets the physical and spiritual needs of isolated people in 42 countries. It is an indispensable partner and servant to Christian organizations and other agencies in providing evangelism, medical assistance, disaster response and community development.
The Ninety-Nines: In 1929, 99 women pilots joined to provide mutual support and advancement of aviation. It has continued to expand, and today the international organization promotes world fellowship through flight, provides networking and scholarship opportunities for women and aviation education in our communities.
In addition to these awards, in January the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation will issue checks to all 20 nominees. These funds will come from gifts designated by new Lightspeed product purchasers at the time they register their product.
Schrader adds, “We want to encourage everyone to support the wonderful work being done by all of the aviation-related charities, by going to the website at LightspeedAviationFoundation.org and nominating their favorite to be one of our recipients in 2011.”