The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation has revealed the winners of its 2014 “Giving Back” grants that recognize good works done through general aviation by non-profit organizations.
The 10 recipients will each receive a $10,000 grant. The AOPA Foundation, which is the charitable arm of AOPA, is committed to supporting the freedom to fly and to building a legacy for the future of general aviation. This is the second year for the foundation’s Giving Back grant program.
“The Giving Back grants are the foundation’s way of recognizing the good that is done in the name of general aviation,” said AOPA Foundation President Jim Minow. “These individuals and organizations provide a variety of services and benefits to their communities, all through aviation. They exemplify the broader ‘Giving Back’ mission of AOPA.”
The 10 recipients pledged to put the money to work in ways that strengthen general aviation today and for the future. They were chosen from more than 60 applicants and cover a variety of aviation organizations that rely on general aviation services.
Grant recipients in 2014 include:
- Air Serv International: Provides “last mile” air transportation in support of humanitarian programs and disaster relief operations with a fleet of Cessna Caravans based at its flight operations and aircraft maintenance center at Entebbe International Airport, Uganda.
- Aviation Adventures: Provides a hands-on introductory aviation program for girls in underserved communities. Activities include instruction on basics of flight, communications, weather, geography, history, air racing and feature a career day.
- CAVU: Founded in 2004, CAVU helps people solve complex problems related to the management and conservation of their natural resources. Combining technology, flight and film, it educates and informs communities about the health of critical ecosystems.
- Civil Air Patrol New York City Group: In addition to operational costs, CAP-New York City will be using its Giving Back grant to assist its Cadet program, and to help New York City inner city youth understand and appreciate aviation.
- Great Eastern Balloon Association: Will use grant funds to offer hot air balloon pilots and crew the opportunity to attend the “Flying in Wires Environment and Obstruction” course in order to reduce accidents.
- Operation Migration: Will help to offset aircraft expenses incurred during its work to restore a migratory population of endangered whooping cranes in the eastern migratory flyway.
- PALS: Will continue to connect patients to pilots while raising awareness of services in the Northeastern U.S, and also increase arranged flights and pilot base.
- SCAPA Disaster Airlift Response Team: Enhance its DART operations and integrate aviation resources to provide rapid, efficient and safe disaster relief missions, and conduct periodic exercises to vet plans and procedures.
- TigerFlight Foundation: Using four components (grade-level standards-based airport field trips, second Saturday orientation flights, Pilot in Command motivational presentations and a character development challenge coin project), TigerFlight Foundation seeks to inspire students and adults to become Pilots in Command of their own lives.
- Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum: The museum’s new “Wingman Initiative” will confront alarming research for aviation’s future: Up to 80% of student pilots do not complete training and receive their private pilot license. From expanding facilities at Denver’s Centennial Airport, the Wingman Initiative will serve and support student pilots in Colorado with programs, resources, structure and camaraderie that restore value and enjoyment into the student pilot experience.
Through tax-deductible donations, the AOPA Foundation is able to fund efforts to ensure a bright future for general aviation, including improving aviation safety, expanding the pilot population and preserving community airports. AOPA membership dues alone cannot support these important initiatives, and so donations to the AOPA Foundation play an extremely critical role in helping take on GA’s most challenging issues.
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