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Tue, May 21, 2013

Non Profits Suffer From Air Show Cancellations

Boy Scouts Among Those Who Routinely Count On Such Events As Fundraisers

How many times have you gone to an air show and found that the young people directing you to a parking space are a local Boy Scout troop ... or the official program said that some of the proceeds benefit scouting or some other non-profit organization?

Sequestration is putting a pinch on such organizations. With the cancellation of so many air shows due to the loss of jet demonstration teams like the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels, the fundraising opportunities that come from such shows are drying up.

The consumer organization Watchdog.org reports on its website that some scout troops could lose thousands of dollars in donations because they won't be working air shows this season ... and some could lose much more. John Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows, said he knows of at least one Boy Scout council that gets as much as $250,000 from its involvement with an air show. That council is the Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts, which puts on the St. Cloud Air Show that had been scheduled for July. But when sequestration grounded all military flying for such purposes, the scouts were unable to come up with suitable alternatives, and scrapped the effort. In a statement, the council said that the cancellation came after "careful review and consideration of the fiscal challenges we would face by not having the Blue Angels appear." The council lost not only the direct income, but the cost of the man hours spent working on the show up to its cancellation.

The cancellations are also causing financial losses for other acts who would have appeared at the scratched shows, as well as vendors and others who would normally support such events.

FMI: www.airshows.aero, www.bsacmc.org

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