Ensuring a Strong General Aviation Community for the Next Generation


Sporty’s was there from the beginning!

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Young Eagles program, which began in 1992 and has provided more than 2 million young people ages 8-17 with an introduction to the world of personal aviation.

To celebrate, EAA planned a variety of events and activities throughout the year starting with a special 25th-anniversary exhibit in the EAA AirVenture Museum. The exhibit shared the history and impact of the Young Eagles program through photos, videos, and interactive displays.

From its inception, Sporty’s and later The Sporty’s Foundation have been a major sponsor of Young Eagles. Now a mature and ongoing program, Young Eagles is successful in bringing young people into the ranks of pilots.

Here are two of the many motivated young people who have benefited from Young Eagles.

“Even as somebody that had a strong aviation background and the support from my dad, it (Young Eagles) was absolutely instrumental. I mean, having the ability to have those Sporty’s lessons and really know your stuff was super helpful.”

“It kind of makes you believe, hey I could do this, I can fly.” – Laura Joy Erb, a private pilot, earned her certificate shortly after her 17th birthday.

“Most kids think that learning how to fly is only for adults, that the FAA rules must be difficult to learn, and that training is expensive. Without the Young Eagles program, very few young people would get a chance to see how special it feels to fly.” – Casey Owen has since joined the Wisconsin Civil Air Patrol cadet program. Although he is still in high school, Casey plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering with a goal of finding a position where he can combine his appreciation for both engineering and aviation.

Great News for Future Aviators and STEM Projects

Sporty’s Vision Jet Auction Raises Over $687,000 for Charity

With a winning bid of $2,615,000, an anonymous, pre-qualified bidder won the auction, clinched the deal and will soon be the proud owner of a Cirrus Vision Jet. The auction took place all week at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and ended Friday, July 28, 2017.

Sporty’s placed for auction its early delivery position for a Cirrus Vision Jet, pledging that any money bid over the aircraft list price including options ($1,927,653), would be donated to charity. With the final bid, $687,000 will be donated to charity.

Sporty’s partnered with Cirrus Aircraft in this auction so the overage will be split between the charities chosen by the two companies. Sporty’s share will be donated to The Sporty’s Foundation which funds programs and scholarships to ensure the next generation of pilots and technicians. With its share, Cirrus will split the funds between AirSpace Minnesota and the Duluth Children’s Museum.

“We have the best possible outcome for this auction,” said Sporty’s Founder and Chairman Hal Shevers. “We hosted a successful auction, and the money will stay within the aviation community and be used to inspire young people in aviation and STEM subjects.”

A Personal Message from Hal Shevers

AOPA Pilot Sporty's Hal Shevers Pilot Shop Flight Line Aztec AOPA Merchandise Portrait Julie Boatman Mark SchaibleYou might say we are singularly focused at The Sporty’s Foundation. Our mission is to do what we can to ensure that young people are exposed to the possibility of aviation both as a career and a lifestyle. As such, I am proud to report that The Sporty’s Foundation has been and continues to be the largest contributor to EAA’s Young Eagles program.

We’ve been a supporter of Young Eagles from its inception. We are proud we helped make a good program even better with the enhancement of Next Step, a program by which all Young Eagles have access to Sporty’s award-winning private pilot video course – at no cost to them. Through our financial donations and the value of our courses, The Sporty’s Foundation leads the way as Young Eagles’ largest benefactor.

Aviation Exploring is another program close to my heart. As a Distinguished Eagle Scout, I am eager to support the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life efforts. Aviation Exploring is open to both young women and young men, and it gives them an introduction to the aviation community and the varied careers to be found there.

An integral part of my work with Aviation Exploring is as the lead supporter of the annual scholarship program. We have the “good kids” already identified through their Aviation Exploring participation and give the best of them a hand up in their college studies. Along with The Sporty’s Foundation, other forward-thinking aviation organizations and individuals have joined us to help fund this important scholarship program.

It’s good to give back to the industry that has been my home for my entire career. Through your financial support of The Sporty’s Foundation, you can join me in these and other crucial programs for young people. As a reminder, Sporty’s covers all administrative costs for The Sporty’s Foundation – from staffing to postage and everything in between. That’s your guarantee that, unlike many charitable efforts, every dollar you donate will go straight to programs to help change the course of the lives of worthy young people.

Best regards,

Hal Shevers

The Next generation needs a support team

We talk about the general aviation community, and that’s what it is – not just pilots and aircraft owners, but all the skilled technicians that support them. With glass cockpits, composite technology, and new powerplants, maintenance and support are all the more necessary.

It’s all about the young people

The Sporty’s Foundation strives to reach young people at the earliest possible age. Since its inception EAA’s Next Step has been the primary recipient of Foundation funds. This program ensures that every EAA Young Eagle has a place to go next after the initial spark from their Young Eagle ride.

If you are interested in funding an Aviation Exploring scholarship or creating a named scholarship in memory of a loved one, please contact me directly at Hal@sportys.com or 513.735.9100 ext 209.