January 7, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation has opened nominations and applications for its 2014 Pilot's Choice Awards. The awards were created to recognize deserving aviation nonprofit organizations that are actively promoting growth in aviation or using aviation to aid in humanitarian causes.
The foundation strongly recommends that grant applicants have a designated development director, a website, a Facebook page, and be willing and have the capacity to regularly engage and actively reach out to new supporters. "Mounting a successful voting campaign for the Pilot's Choice Awards requires creativity, tenacity, and teamwork across the organization's member base," said Allan Schrader, Lightspeed Aviation Foundation founder and president. "Finalists are rewarded with re-energized boards, heightened member engagement, and an elevated awareness of their mission well beyond their own constituents."
Nominations must be submitted by Jan. 31 at midnight Pacific Standard Time, while applications will be accepted until Feb. 3 at midnight Pacific time. Anyone may nominate an organization, but those organizations that are nominated will need to submit an application. Finalists will be chosen to compete for one of the 10 Pilot's Choice Awards. Nomination and grant application forms are available here.
The 10 winners in 2013 were the Air Race Classic, JAARS, Missionary Flights International, Angel Flight West, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Recreational Aviation Foundation, The Ninety-Nines, Civil Air Patrol, New Tribes Mission, and Pilots N Paws.
Those who nominate a charity and "Like" the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation on its Facebook page will be entered to win a pair of Lightspeed Aviator sunglasses valued at $350. The winner of the sunglasses will be contacted via email and announced on the foundation's Facebook page in February.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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