Pilots who join the AOPA Foundation’s Hat in the Ring Society, renew their participation, or upgrade their support before Dec. 31 will have their efforts matched, dollar for dollar, by a challenge grant offered by two longtime aviation philanthropists.
A generous $200,000 challenge fund has been established by the Tom Davis Fund and Hat in the Ring Society member Michael Baldwin.
"Combined with the tax-deductible status of your gift, this dollar-for-dollar match is an extraordinary opportunity for you to have a huge impact on general aviation’s future while enjoying the benefits of membership in our prestigious Hat in the Ring Society program," said Justin Biassou, membership liaison for the Hat in the Ring Society. He discusses the challenge grant offer with AOPA Live producer and reporter Paul Harrop in this video.
By joining, pilots provide critical support for the AOPA Foundation’s efforts to strengthen GA, including the Air Safety Institute, which provides no-cost safety programs to tens of thousands of pilots each year. As the acknowledged leader in GA safety, the Air Safety Institute has played an important role in reducing the fatal accident rate over the years.
The Hat in the Ring Society is the AOPA Foundation’s longest-running philanthropic-giving circle. The society consists of philanthropist-pilots who "throw their hats in the ring" each year with charitable donations between $1,000 and $5,000. The name originated with the 94th Aero Squadron, the World War I fighter squadron led by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker.
Actor/pilots Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Chris Meloni, and Dave Coulier serve as the Society’s honorary chairmen. Other co-chairmen include aviation author Stuart Woods, aerobatic champ Michael Goulian, country music star Dierks Bentley, baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr., and other notable pilots who share a love of aviation and believe that preserving the freedom to fly is a cause worth fighting for.
Hat in the Ring Society members make a significant and lasting difference in GA's future. They enjoy special benefits and are invited to attend events, meetings, and receptions at major aviation gatherings such as Sun 'n Fun and EAA Airventure.
In acknowledgement of their sustaining role in supporting the AOPA Foundation, Society members receive a certificate of membership, a lapel pin, a permanent name badge for recognition at AOPA events, an annual AOPA Foundation wall calendar, personal recognition in the AOPA Foundation’s Annual Report, a personal membership liaison at AOPA headquarters, invitations to Hat in the Ring Society events, and an embroidered Hat in the Ring Society windbreaker.