Yearly-Bird Volunteer Program honored by SUN ‘n FUN!

Did you know one out of four American’s volunteer, and two out of three Americans help their neighbor, according to a study performed by The Corporation for National & Community Service. With countless reasons for volunteering, every volunteer faces a time of both challenges and rewards. The Yearly-Bird volunteer program participants give a minimum of four hours a month, 10 months out of each year. These volunteers are recognized with Day of Choice tickets to the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo, passes to Florida Attractions, and an annual banquet acknowledging their contributions throughout the year.

Just over 100 Yearly-Bird volunteers engaged in a delicious dinner, and conversations with their peers to honor the time given to the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo in the Florida Air Museum event venue on the evening of October 21, 2021.  The Director of Volunteers, Robin McFarland, remarked, “ Well every year I think to myself this was the best one. This year it was about New Beginnings. I started my journey with SUN ‘n FUN as a Donor Relations Admin for Kathryn McMannis. To stand in the Atrium area of the SkyLab was so emotional since the museum was very different back then. We have made it, all of us together have accomplished what was just a dream back 18 or so years ago. To be able to share with our Yearly-Birds what a huge accomplishment we have all been a part of was so exciting. Also, to be able to actually share it with them was so gratifying. It just made the evening perfect.  The Yearly-Birds were honored for their gift of time and talents. We enjoyed a great meal together and toured the SkyLab. It was a wonderful celebration for all.  I encourage anyone that has time to spare to join our Yearly-Bird volunteer force.”

Volunteers were greeted and served by the Aerospace Center For Excellence (ACE) Internship program represented by 7 CFAA students, 6 Jr. Interns, and Polk State Interns. The night finished with a speech from President and CEO of SUN ‘n FUN, John “Lites” Leenhouts, who believes, “It’s so rewarding to have the opportunity in an official gathering to recognize and thank the people who throughout the year, give their most precious time to ACE and SUN ‘n FUN. They help us write the future of aviation education.”

Volunteers have helped SUN ‘n FUN get through this unique year, and have contributed in so many ways that it is impossible to name them all.  As ACE begins the mission to Engage, Educate, and Accelerate the next generation of aviators, we must ensure that through our SUN ‘n FUN volunteers our future aviators begin to realize the value and impact of giving back to their communities.  The Aerospace Center For Excellence Jr. Intern, Ashlee Driskell, states, “I am very proud to be a part of this community. Helping out with Sun n Fun and ACE is the best part of it. Thank you to all the volunteers for their hard-working hours of service. It was truly a night to remember.”

Support The Mission

The mission of the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) is to “Engage, Educate, and Accelerate the Next Generation of Aerospace Professionals. The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo and dozens of other events year-round produce the majority of the revenue that goes into supporting this mission. By attending our events, you are helping us deliver top-quality, industry-leading STEM education and scholarship programs to thousands of young men and women each year. The opportunities that ACE provides give young people a competitive edge as they navigate their educational journey that can ultimately lead to a rewarding career in the world’s incredibly diverse and rapidly growing aerospace industry. You can help! Please click the links below to explore how you can share your knowledge and expertise as a volunteer in over 3500 available positions, become a patron of the Florida Air Museum, or donate to assist us financially. Regardless of how you assist, whether by attending our events, visiting the museum or donating financially, we sincerely appreciate your support!

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