AOPA Announces 2015 Giving Back Recipients


The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation continues to act on its commitment to support the good work being done through general aviation (GA) by awarding grant funding to programs that plan to use general aviation to help critically ill children obtain medical services, prevent youth gang involvement, and allow low-income students to attend a week-long aviation and space camp.

Build a Plane, Hope Flight Foundation, and Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth will each receive a $10,000 Giving Back grant, the AOPA Foundation announced Sept. 17.

“We’re extremely pleased to be able to support programs that will change the lives of young people,” said Stephanie Kenyon, vice president of the AOPA Foundation. “The Giving Back grants are made possible by the generous donations of pilots and aviation enthusiasts who want to support the many ways general aviation helps others.”

Build a Plane will use AOPA Foundation grant funds for a gang intervention program in Riverside, California. Over a 12-month period, participants will rebuild and refurbish an Aeronca Champ. When the airplane is complete, project participants will be given flight training in the Champ, which qualifies as a Light Sport Aircraft.

Hope Flight Foundation will use the AOPA Foundation grant funds to provide life-saving flights for seriously ill children for whom costly ambulance rides and commercial transportation are not an option. The grant funds will cover the cost of upcoming flights in California, Nevada, and Oregon. And Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth will use AOPA Foundation grant funds to allow more than 30 low-income students from New York middle schools to attend a week-long aviation and space camp at the New York City Center for Space Science Education. During the camp, students will explore the principles of flight, train in flight simulators, build and fly model airplanes, and take part in simulated space missions.

As the charitable arm of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the AOPA Foundation provides support to improve aviation safety through the Air Safety Institute, preserve community airports, and encourage learning to fly for career and personal benefit–all in the interest of ensuring a strong future for general aviation in America.

Each year the Giving Back Program awards grants of up to $10,000 to nonprofit groups that perform charitable work through GA. The Foundation also awards flight training scholarships to individuals who want to learn to fly or pursue aviation careers. Earlier this year, the AOPA Foundation awarded flight training scholarship funds to Able Flight and the Flying-Hogs Aero Club.