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Fundraising efforts to benefit Indiana USO, Young Eagles

Thursday, August 25, 2011

GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Airport Appreciation Days (PCAAD) Group has announced fundraising efforts for this year will be directed toward two organizations -- USO of Indiana and the local Young Eagle program.

Almost everybody is aware of the USO since World War II and continuing through the Gulf War in large part because of the efforts of comedy legend Bob Hope. The USO's mission continues today supporting military fighting the Global War on Terrorism.

The USO of Indiana served more than 146,000 troops in 2010. What most people do not know is that the USO of Indiana, while affiliated with the national organization, is responsible for its own fundraising and does not receive funds from the national organization or the government.

USO of Indiana currently operates three centers in Indiana -- at the Indianapolis International Airport, Camp Atterbury near Edinburg, and Muscatatuck Urban Warfare Training Center near North Vernon.

A new satellite facility at Bear Field in Ft. Wayne will soon open.

The facilities at Camp Atterbury for years have used a converted World War II era building.

However, this fall, a new modern facility will open, which will be more able to serve the needs of the USO and military men and women stationed there.

In 2010, the center provided services for more than 101,000 service members and is on track to serve 125,000 service members in 2011.

The other program that funds are being raised for is the Young Eagle program.

Through the Experimental Airplane Association (EAA) Young Eagle plane rides have been more offered since 1992. To date, more than 1.6 million Young Eagles have been given the opportunity to either experience their very first plane ride or at the very least, experience their first flight in a general aviation aircraft (private planes or sport aircraft).

In the past eight years, 880 Young Eagle rides have been given at the Putnam County Airport.

The Young Eagle experience is offered to all youth who have turned 8-years-old and have not turned 18. Children 8-17 are afforded a Young Eagle plane ride absolutely free of charge; however, their parent or legal guardian must be present to give permission in writing for a flight to take place.

Funds are needed for scholarships to EAA camps, educational programs and other Young Eagle-related activities.

Fifty percent of the funds raised will go to the USO of Indiana and the remaining 50 percent will go to the Young Eagle program.

Fundraising activities are centered on two activities. The first involves raffle tickets, which sell for $5 each or three for $10.

The winner will be given two hours of ground school and one hour of instructional flight.

The winning ticket will be drawn during intermission of the second Dixie Chopper 20th Century Radio Show Saturday, Sept. 10.

The winner does not need to be present to win.

Raffle tickets are available at Treasures on the Square, Curves, the Dixie Chopper Business Center and Wabash Capital.

The second method for raising funds is by selling dinner tables or individual seats for the event.

The price of an individual seat is $20 and tables sell for $160.

Tickets for the radio show may be purchased at either Curves or the Dixie Chopper Business Center.

Seating is becoming limited so those wishing to purchase tickets are encouraged to do so early.

For additional information, persons may contact Jack Sutton at either jnottus58@aol.com or by calling 765-720-0967.

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