Scholarships, Support Abound At AirVenture

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EAA Photo: Sara Benish, Kirby Chambliss

EAA Photo: Sara Benish, Kirby Chambliss

While all the attention at AirVenture tends to focus on the technology, every year the event brings together people who provide support for youth, for veterans, for the disabled and more, all united by their fascination with flight. On Friday, EAA and GoPro introduced a new flight-training scholarship and awarded it to Sara Benish, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "I've wanted to become a pilot since I first came to AirVenture at age two," said Benish. "I can't believe my dream is finally coming true." In addition to financial assistance for flight training, Benish will receive a one-year EAA membership and a GoPro camera. On Thursday night, EAA raised $2 million to support the Young Eagles program, attracting more than 1,000 supporters to the annual Gathering of Eagles gala.

The Wounded Warrior Project also gained support from aviators. Several pilots who flew in to Oshkosh used their flights as an opportunity to raise money and awareness for the Project. Alex Mumley-Dupuis, 21, flew in to the show from Fairbanks, Alaska, in a Citabria, raising $7,000 in pledges. And on Tuesday, four new Able Flight pilots received their wings in a ceremony on stage in Boeing Plaza. Curtis Stanley, Jason Gibson, Ellen Howards and Tim Klemm all learned to fly with Able Flight scholarships.