VAN NUYS, California —Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Pegasus Elite Aviation, Van Nuys Airport Association and Operation Gratitude recently concluded a relief drive for victims of hurricane-affected areas in Florida.
The collection drive, which ran from Sept. 26 to Oct. 9, 2017, received items desperately needed by the communities in hard-hit areas. More than 8,000 items were collected for Foundation 37, a non-profit group out of Port Orange, Florida, which worked to identify the needs of the community.
Donations covered a wide variety of essential items, water, and more than 1,000 articles of clothing.
On Oct. 24, the donations were loaded onto an aircraft donated by Pegasus Elite Aviation and flown to Daytona Beach International Airport, where Foundation 37 coordinated transport to communities surrounding Port Orange and areas within the Florida Keys.
“Private aviation is the fastest way to deliver much needed supplies across country for impacted areas,” said Curt Castagna, president of the Van Nuys Airport Association. “The aircraft is traveling over 2,000 miles in less than four hours, so Foundation 37 will have these items in their hands by morning.”
“When tragedy strikes, we know that our airport community will step up and help out, and that is just what they did for this recent donation drive to help those impacted by the Florida hurricanes,” said Diana Sanchez, Van Nuys Airport Public & Community Relations Director. “Van Nuys Airport, Pegasus Elite Aviation, Van Nuys Airport Association, and Operation Gratitude have each given back in their own unique way, drawing from their resources and engaging their people to make this drive a success. We are so thankful to all who donated to help those in need.”
One of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, VNY had over 220,000 operations in 2016. More than 100 businesses are located on the 730-acre airport, including four FBOs and numerous aviation service companies.
Annually, the airport contributes approximately $2 billion to the Southern California economy and supports more than 10,000 jobs.