For the third year, the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation has presented $50,000 in grants to five aviation charities as chosen through online voting by the aviation community.
The 2012 Pilot’s Choice Award recipients are:
- The Civil Air Patrol — This additional funding will be used to enhance and build the Civil Air Patrol’s kindergarten through 6th grade Aerospace Connections in Education program. The ACE program is intended to instill an interest in and awareness of science, technology, engineering and math as they pertain specifically toward aviation careers. Along with academics, ACE promotes character education and physical fitness for living a healthy and drug-free lifestyle.
- JAARS — Since 1961, this organization has been providing quality support services and resources to speed the task of bible translation, along with access to health care and education, working around the world with 29 aircraft. JAARS plans to apply these additional funds to a start a new program in East Africa. The organization will place a Cessna 206 in Tanzania and eventually replace it to continue providing services with a Cessna Caravan.
- Mission Aviation Fellowship — This organization maintains a fleet of nearly 60 airplanes to meet people’s physical and spiritual need in 14 countries. Mission Aviation Fellowship will use these funds to reach people in remote areas that have little or no access to clean water, heath care or education opportunities. MAF will continue their efforts to overcome barriers and transform lives through aviation and technology.
- The Ninety-Nines, Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund — This scholarship fund was established in 1941 to provide education advancement in aviation for future women pilot members of The Ninety-Nines. The grant will help organization volunteers make more scholarships available and increase The Ninety-Nines’ ability to reach the pilot community.
- Recreational Aviation Foundation — This organization was built with the notion that pilots should help save backcountry airstrips around the United States. The Recreational Aviation Foundation will use these additional funds to pursue its mission to keep the legacy of recreational aviation strong by preserving, maintaining and creating public use recreational and backcountry airstrips nationwide.
“It’s exciting to be a part of an aviation community that is so engaged in this process of supporting great organizations through this voting process,” says Allan Schrader, President of the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation. “Each year, we have witnessed a growing wave of support for deserving aviation charities as evidenced by the record numbers of votes for the Pilot and Customer Choice Awards and activities in the social media world. I’m really overwhelmed by the connections we can create around these core aviation issues of growth, advocacy, and compassion.”
While the 2012 Pilot’s Choice season has concluded, Lightspeed customers still have the opportunity to vote for their favorite charity when they register online any Lightspeed products purchased this past year. 20 finalists will each receive cash distributions of no less than $1,000 and the top 5 organizations, as voted by customers, will each receive checks for $5,000. The voting window will be open until the end of March 2013. The Customer Choice awards will be presented at SUN ’n FUN in Lakeland, Florida, April 9–14, 2013.
Nominations and grant applications for the 2013 Pilot’s Choice Awards are available at LightspeedAviationFoundation.org. Aviation non-profits committed to growing the pilot community, building awareness, and using their gifts for compassion and service to others are eligible to apply.