Sporty's Foundation Donated $200,000 Last Year

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The Sporty's Foundation last year donated $200,000 to programs that support youth in aviation, bringing its total investment in that cause to more than $500,000 over the past three years, according to the Foundation's annual report. The formally stated goal of the Foundation is "to fund initiatives that ensure a healthy future for the general aviation community by providing young people with information about the many careers that are available in aviation." Last year, the Foundation's largest grant went to EAA for the youth aviation initiative, dubbed "Next Step," that grants Young Eagles guidance and access to Sporty's Complete Flight Training Course, online (otherwise, a $200 product). Other grants went for flight training and maintenance training scholarships, the Boy Scouts, Build A Plane, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and others. Sporty's operates the Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization and welcomes contributions, which are tax-deductible.

Earlier this month, concrete results were shown by the pairing of the EAA/Sporty's Next Step program when 16-year-old Tyler Whitney became the first Young Eagle participant to pass his private pilot written after using Sporty's online training. Whitney had gained access to the program after taking his first flight through the Young Eagles program. Sporty's says it is making the training available "free to all Young Eagles, past, present, and future." To help support the future of the program, the Foundation has created with EAA a Youth Programs Manager position at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisc.