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Gathering of Eagles Raises More Than $2.2 Million
July 30, 2015 — The Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual Gathering of Eagles fundraiser brought together 1,000 aviators and aviation enthusiasts to the Eagle Hangar in EAA’s AirVenture Museum on July 23. The event, held during the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in, raised more than $2.2 million in support of EAA’s youth education programs.
“The overall energy of the night was powerful,” said Nadia Farr, EAA’s director of donor relations. “We all gather for this annual event to inspire and share our passion with today’s youth, and this year it felt like that was accomplished more than ever.”
In previous years, the event drew many personalities, and this year was no different. This year’s theme, “Imagine the Possibilities,” came full circle with the attendance of many members of the Apollo 13 crew. A highlight of the evening was an especially moving video sharing the crew’s story followed by Capt. Jim Lovell’s own comments about the mission.
One of the most highly anticipated portions of the evening was the auction of the one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang, with a design inspired by the Apollo 13 mission and crew, which sold for $230,000. Two other unique auction lots, an Alaskan Adventure donated by ConocoPhillips and flight experience with Red Bull Helicopter pilot Chuck Aaron each had winning bids of $50,000.
Raise the Windsock, the segment of the evening that solely raises funds for EAA’s flagship program, Young Eagles, raised a total of approximately $250,000. In hopes of growing participation in aviation, the program has allowed more than 1.9 million young people to experience flight in a general aviation aircraft.
“The aviation community united here at Oshkosh to preserve and promote flight for future generations,” Farr said. “We deeply appreciate and thank all who support EAA’s mission.”