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The Gathering

Your Impact. Your difference.

The Gathering Raises Nearly $2.4 Million for EAA Initiatives

Your Finest Hour was reflected in this year’s Gathering event held on Thursday during AirVenture. This evening captured the essence of EAA and our members, supporters, and volunteers who believe in the vision and mission of growing The Spirit of Aviation®.

Proceeds from The Gathering support EAA’s most vital education, safety, and outreach initiatives. In one night, guests provide over 42 percent of the yearly charitable dollars needed to launch new programs, respond to industry threats and opportunities, and improve existing programs and strategies that directly impact the overall vitality of personal aviation.

The Gathering, held in the EAA Aviation Museum’s Eagle Hangar, celebrated the importance of personal aviation. Four EAA members were also honored for their generous donations of their time, talents, and charitable support to some of EAA’s most notable programs.

Sean D. Tucker, became the sixth chairman of the EAA Young Eagles program in 2013. He has routinely flown a Young Eagle and a volunteer Young Eagles pilot before each of his air show performances across the country and is a tireless promoter of the Young Eagles program, helping to raise thousands of dollars for it along the way.

James C. Ray regularly supported many aviation organizations, including EAA. The construction of the Air Academy Lodge and the success of the Air Academy program were both propelled by James’ contributions.

Clay Lacy, has supported EAA and its education programs since the late 1980s, including a scholarship program that allows University of North Dakota students to spend a summer in Oshkosh gaining flight experience and serving as Air Academy counselors.

Dave Lau, has supported EAA through contributions to the development of Compass Hill, the EAA Young Eagles® program, exhibit areas in the museum, and flight simulators.

This year, The Gathering debuted mobile bidding that gave access to everyone on the AirVenture grounds and beyond to donate or bid on auction lots with their mobile phone and provide support to EAA’s programs. The Gathering has raised more than $20 million in two decades – providing memorable experiences that are the heart and soul of general aviation – to support youth who get to experience the magic of aviation.

A one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang GT was also auctioned off Thursday evening for more than $400,000. The vehicle, specially designed and built by Ford Motor Company for The Gathering, was inspired by the British Spitfire fighter planes that flew during Operation Goodwood nearly 80 years ago. The high bidder for the vehicle will also receive an all-inclusive package for two to attend the 2018 Ford Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit, Michigan, in August.

Over 1,000 people participated in the evening and made a difference!

View Event Photos


The Gathering Sponsors

Table Hosts


Stuart Auerbach | Blue Sky Foundation | Jim Cooling and Dick Kimberly | Tracy Forrest | GE Aviation | Global Aerospace | HondaJet | Keith Kocourek | Dave Lau   Mars Wrigley Confectionery | Phil Martineau | Andrew McKenna | Parker Aerospace | Darren Pleasance | Lou & Christine Seno | Wendy & Buddy Stallings and Bob & Susan Wilson | The James and Shelley Tobul Foundation | Pat Tracy


Airbus | American Airlines | Tom & Hetty Ball and Ben Lee | CAA | CJP | Stephen Foote | Ford Motor Co. | Greg & Suzanne Herrick | Ken Hoffman | Jim Janes Jeppesen | Dave & Florence Kleine | Bill & Beth Knighton | Monte Koch | John & Kay McCann | David McCredie | Mooney International Corporation | Ed & Pat Noel  Myrt Rose | San Diego Air & Space Museum | Sporty's | True Blue Power | Twin Otter, Intl | Jon Vesely | John Vette | Jackson Walker

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