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You Can Fly Challenge enters final monthYou Can Fly Challenge enters final month

For all of us who’ve benefited from aviation’s role in our lives, there’s less than a month left to pay it forward by donating to the You Can Fly Challenge to help get and keep more pilots flying.

All donations made to the You Can Fly Challenge before Aug. 31 will be matched by the Ray Foundation. Photo by Chris Rose.

Every dollar contributed to the You Can Fly Challenge by Aug. 31 will be matched by the Ray Foundation with a generous grant of up to $2 million, doubling the impact of every donation.

The You Can Fly program is building a stronger pilot community that will help protect our freedom to fly by:

  • Providing a comprehensive, STEM-based aviation curriculum free of charge to high schools across the country and introducing students to aviation opportunities.
  • Recognizing flight schools and instructors who are providing outstanding service with The Flight Training Experience Awards and offering a customer service course for those who want to improve.
  • Supporting the creation of 120 new flying clubs to make flying more affordable and enjoyable and offering resources to more than 1,500 clubs in our Flying Club Finder.
  • Making it easier for inactive pilots to get back up to speed with a Rusty Pilots in-person seminar or online course; so far more than 7,500 have gone on to complete their flight review.

AOPA President Mark Baker notes that a key aspect of the You Can Fly program is that it “supports pilots wherever they may be in their journey, whether they’re being introduced to general aviation, in flight training, actively flying, or they need help getting back into flying.”

The You Can Fly Challenge was launched in January,  marking the fourth year the Ray Foundation has extended a challenge to the AOPA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The $2 million goal of this year’s You Can Fly Challenge is an increase over last year’s $1.4 million challenge. When the 2018 challenge was complete, donors had generously contributed more than $1.8 million, motivating the Ray Foundation to step up yet again by generously increasing its matching grant to $1.8 million, for a total of more than $3.6 million in You Can Fly program funding.

The Ray Foundation honors the memory of its founder, James C. Ray (1923–2017), a pilot, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who was deeply devoted to aviation, and youth programs in particular.

A lifetime AOPA member, Ray owned and operated numerous aircraft, and he believed strongly that learning to fly “builds character and confidence.”

For more information or to contribute to the 2019 You Can Fly Challenge, visit the AOPA Foundation website.

Topics: You Can Fly, AOPA Foundation, Pilot Training and Certification

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