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I enjoyed the opportunity on Saturday evening to attend Youth Aviation Adventure’s annual Hangarfest fundraiser at my home airport of KCMH. This is the national headquarters for YAA and Spirit Avionics graciously opened up their facility to host the event. Rick Ochs and the guys at Spirit are very involved with YAA and it shows, they pulled out all the stops to make it a nice evening to anyone who wanted to attend.
I should interject with a few words about YAA. They are not-for-profit volunteer run organization that is dedicated to youth outreach. They were founded 10 years ago in Columbus, OH., but have since sprouted to over over two dozen chapters throughout the U.S. and they continue to grow. Unlike Young Eagles(YE) they are targeting kids between the ages of 12-18 and there’s no airplane ride involved unless it happens informally or in concert with an YE rally. They are all about educating our youth about aviation.
The original charter was to help Boy Scouts get their aviation badge by conducting a half day workshop. They still do that, but they have widened the audience to include any youth in that age bracket that is interested in learning more about aviation. In Columbus they put on two events a year and they get several hundred kids in attendance at each event. To say these volunteers are go-getters is an understatement! My Friend, Rick Buergel who invited me to the Hangarfest, and all the other volunteers work non-stop during these events. This was true for the fundraiser as well.
The Hangarfest enjoyed gorgeous weather and there were six airplanes on static display, including yours truly which is how I came to be there. There was a nice variety with the ERJ, T-34C, Stearman, C-182, and a P-51D (the crowd favorite, of course) all parked just outside the hangar and lighted so the attendees could stroll out among them – nice touch!
The attendance was ample and they were engaged. It was like a who’s-who of GA in Ohio. They had a well stocked silent auction that even this tightwad took a stab at – predictably I came up short.
I had my wife and kids meet me there once the event began and they had a great time too.
I met so many great folks and I’m really looking forward to next year’s event. I’m also planning to attend their next youth event so I can see the team in action with the kids.
More to come.
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