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AOPA members making a difference in tsunami reliefAOPA members making a difference in tsunami relief

AOPA members making a difference in tsunami relief
Donations rolling in, matched by AOPA

What you need to know
  • AOPA members can help tsunami victims and show their support for GA by making a donation to Air Serv.
  • Air Serv is a GA-based charity providing needed humanitarian aid.
  • AOPA matching funds of up to $25,000 make your donation go further.
  • To make a donation click on the AOPA link on Air Serv's Web site.
Click for larger image
Air Serv loads a Huey aboard an
AN-124 in Billings, Montana.
The helicopter is destined for
Southeast Asia, where it will
support tsunami relief efforts.
AOPA member donations are helping
to fund Air Serv's relief work.
Click for larger image
A city block in Indonesia,
flattened by the tsunami wave.
Click for larger image
Two Air Serv helicopters flying over Sumatra with humanitarian assessment teams enroute to outlying areas.

In just three short days, AOPA members already have donated some $27,000 to Air Serv, an international humanitarian organization that, using a fleet of general aviation aircraft, is providing critical logistical support to the Southeast Asian tsunami relief effort. With the AOPA match, that's more than $50,000. And what can Air Serv do with that money? Just $75, for example, buys enough fuel to fly 150 miles with a ton of supplies and materials to rebuild destroyed homes, schools, and medical clinics.

On Tuesday, AOPA suggested on its Web site ( see previous story) that pilots wishing to help tsunami victims could give to Air Serv. AOPA promised to match pilot donations up to $25,000.

"We are, with the support of AOPA, making a difference!" said Stuart Willcuts, CEO and president of Air Serv International. Just this morning, Air Serv loaded two "Huey" helicopters aboard a giant Antonov 124 cargo aircraft in Billings, Montana. The helicopters are destined for Sabang Island, just off the coast of Banda Aceh, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Air Serv will use the Hueys to help the humanitarian agency World Vision transport food and personnel.

Air Serv International is listed as an approved agency by the USA Freedom Corps, the organization identified in public service announcements featuring former Presidents Bush and Clinton.

Sporty's Pilot Shop founder and CEO Hal Shevers was among the first to give to the Air Serv relief effort, donating $1,000. AOPA President Phil Boyer matched Shevers' generous gift with a personal $1,000.

Members who wish to contribute to this aviation charity will probably find the Internet a most convenient method. The following link will get you directly to the page for donations on Air Serv's Web site: Click on the AOPA logo to begin. Be sure to enter your AOPA membership number in the indicated field. If you prefer to pay by check, make the check payable to "Air Serv International" and mail it to them at: 6583 Merchant Place, Suite 100, Warrenton, VA 20187. Please be sure to write your AOPA membership number on the check but do not send your check to AOPA as we cannot accept it.

AOPA will match every dollar donated through the AOPA link, up to $25,000. All donations are tax deductible. Donations before January 31, 2005, are deductible on 2004 taxes.

Update: January 21, 2005

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