In what has been a challenging year for all fundraisers, AOPA Foundation supporters rose to the occasion and put their resources behind the important initiatives of the You Can Fly program.
Donations from nearly 4,400 individual supporters not only amounted to more than $2.7 million, but also secured a matching grant of $2.5 million from the Ray Foundation, generating a total of $5.2 million for You Can Fly.
The You Can Fly program is funded by generous donations to the AOPA Foundation and is directly growing aviation through its four initiatives: High School, Flight Training, Flying Clubs, and Rusty Pilots.
The tremendous generosity of all donors this year has helped AOPA and You Can Fly progress toward our long-term goals of reaching 10,000 high school students a year with the High School Aviation STEM Curriculum, reducing the student pilot dropout rate and reaching 10,000 flight training students through the AOPA Flight Training Advantage app, growing the number of pilots in the AOPA Flying Club Network to more than 10,000, and getting 15,000 lapsed pilots back in the air.
“The Directors of Ray Foundation send a hearty Thank You! to AOPA members who contributed matching funds for the 2020 You Can Fly challenge grant,” said Chuck Ahearn, director and president of the Ray Foundation. “As You Can Fly enters its fifth year of operation, we remain very impressed with the program’s performance, momentum and broadening support. The future looks very bright and together we can ensure You Can Fly continues to climb on course.”
For the second year in a row, donor Stephen Elop provided the donation that took the challenge “over the top.”
“I am honored to lend my support to the You Can Fly Challenge,” said Elop. “Even during these challenging times, the AOPA Foundation has steered true to the mission of making flying more accessible and affordable, while helping people develop life skills through aviation.”
“Stephen is such a generous and important member of the AOPA Foundation family,” added Rudinger. “He sets a great example for all pilots.”
With the second half of the year in full swing, those involved in and passionate about GA are encouraged to keep the AOPA Foundation and You Can Fly in their end-of-year giving strategies.
“Ensuring the health and future of general aviation is a year-round endeavor,” explained Rudinger. “We have professionals at the AOPA Foundation who are ready and capable to help anyone looking to include the interests of general aviation in their end-of-year financial and estate strategies.”