February 23, 2005

Fly-in, breakfast will aid tsunami relief effort

by Katharine Quaranta

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Several aviation student groups from Southern Illinois University Carbondale are hosting a charity fly-in and pancake breakfast on Saturday, Feb. 26, to raise funds for UNICEF to help victims of the tsunami disaster in south Asia.

The event takes place from 8 a.m. to noon in the upper level of the terminal building at the Southern Illinois Airport between Carbondale and Murphysboro. Organizers plan to donate proceeds to the University-wide fund-raising effort, spearheaded by the International Student Council and Undergraduate Student Government.

For a donation of any amount, those attending can enjoy a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausage, coffee and milk. Members of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) will offer airplane rides.

Organizers are especially encouraging children ages eight-17 to take advantage of this opportunity because by flying, they will become EAA Young Eagles. The program allows young people the opportunity to experience the joy and excitement of flight. The number of pilots attending Saturday's event will determine how many of those attending get a chance to fly.

In addition, in an effort to raise even more money for UNICEF, the event will feature a silent auction.

Organized by the Aviation Management Society, Women in Aviation, Global Aviation Organization, Aviation Ambassadors, Flying Salukis and Alpha Eta Rho, this unique fundraiser is the result of much hard work and dedication. David A. NewMyer, chairman of Aviation Management and Flight, has been particularly impressed with the students' efforts.

"I am very proud of all of the SIUC Aviation Student Groups and the Experimental Aircraft Association for making this a priority this semester," NewMyer said. "And I am proud of Jeff Pelch and the other volunteers who are giving up their time to market the event, get supplies, make pancakes, run the silent auction, etc."

Jeffrey Pelch, acting president of the Global Aviation Organization, has high hopes for the fundraiser. "We encourage all students, faculty members and community members to come out and make this the best it can be."

For more information, contact NewMyer at 618/453-8898 or newmyer@siu.edu, or Pelch at 618/791-3114 and ProPilotJW@aol.com.

Those interested in donating an item for the silent auction may do so at the main terminal of the airport, at the Aviation Management Office in room 126 of the Applied Sciences and Arts building on campus, or bring it directly to the breakfast at 8 a.m.

Outreach and public service are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, a long-range blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.