Sun ‘n Fun, known for its annual fly-in at Florida’s Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL), announced on Tuesday that it has restructured its organization under the leadership of the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE). ACE, which was introduced by Sun ‘n Fun in 2014, is a nonprofit organization that provides aerospace-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities for young people. Its facilities include 14 buildings and a Boeing 727 classroom located at the Sun ‘n Fun expo campus.
“This restructuring of our organization places ACE in the right position as the leading entity,” said ACE CEO John “Lites” Leenhouts. “Sun ‘n Fun will always be Spring Break for Pilots, and everything people know and love about it will remain unchanged. With the unprecedented influence ACE is having on engaging, educating and accelerating the next generation of aerospace professionals, a reorganization was necessary. The Fly-In now is in the right position in our structure as the primary fundraiser for ACE, along with the myriad of other supporting activities held on the Sun ‘n Fun Expo Campus.”
According to Sun ‘n Fun, ACE offers aerospace-themed summer camps and student outreach programs to more than 40,000 students annually along with providing over $2 million in educational support including “pilot, maintainer and college scholarships.” The organization also offers educator assistance programs that supply teachers at all grade levels with STEM-based curricula and lesson plans. ACE says it expects to announce the 100th private pilot completion through its monthly pilot scholarship program this fall.