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Renewing Commitments to EAA Youth Programs

Ford, Pelton pledge continued support

Jack Pelton, Harrison Ford, Tom Poberezny
With the 2009 EAA Sweepstakes grand prize - a Flight Design MC - serving as a backdrop, Jack Pelton, Harrison Ford, and Tom Poberezny appear at EAA's NBAA exhibit Monday.

October 7, 2008 — EAA’s Young Eagles Program is the most successful youth aviation initiative in history, and a dual announcement at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida, Monday will help it and other EAA youth programs continue to flourish.

Cessna CEO Jack Pelton and actor Harrison Ford appeared at EAA’s exhibit with EAA President Tom Poberezny to confirm their commitment to EAA and its youth outreach initiatives for another year. Ford will serve as the Young Eagles chairman through 2009, and Pelton renewed his commitment to serve as chairman of the Gathering of Eagles Committee.

In addition to Pelton’s fifth consecutive year as committee chairman, Cessna will again be the Gathering of Eagles "naming presenter" for the event, which takes place on Thursday night during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Proceeds benefit EAA’s outreach programs including EAA Young Eagles, the EAA Air Academy, EAA AeroScholars, and other programs that help to prepare tomorrow’s pilots, aviation leaders, and pioneers. This year's Gathering raised nearly $3 million, a record amount.

Ford became EAA Young Eagles chairman in 2004. Since the program's inception in 1992, about 40,000 volunteers annually provide general-aviation flight experiences to youth ages 8-17. Flying 80,000 to 100,000 kids each year, the program has touched the lives of more than 1.4 million youth, many of whom have carried that inspiration into aviation service and careers.

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