Submitted by Mickey Baity
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The Friends of Fernandina Aviation (FOFA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the primary goal of promoting an understanding of and appreciation for the role of aviation in our daily lives through aviation-related education and service to our community.

Our members participate in “career day” activities at Nassau County schools and provide supplemental educational presentations on basic aviation-related subjects to high school math, science, technology, and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) classes. Some of our members serve as adjunct professors for the FSCJ aviation curriculum. In addition, we work hand-in-hand with many other local non-profits (USO, JIA Ambassadors, Fernandina Beach Civil Air Patrol Squadron, Amelia Island Museum of History, Micah’s Place, Ben Byrns Memorial 5K Run, Community in Schools, et. al.), frequently providing manpower and/or funding for events and projects.

Through our annual fund raising activities and generous donations, the FOFA also supports a scholarship program for Nassau County high school students. Each year, we provide financial assistance to deserving high school seniors who plan to pursue advanced studies in preparation for an aviation-related career. For the 2012-13 academic year, the FOFA awarded scholarships worth a total of $8000 to four Nassau County students.

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Our organization supports and promotes the continuing improvement, modernization and development of the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, helping to educate the public on the importance of this critical asset for the local community. We remind the public that our Airport is not only a gateway to Amelia Island and Nassau County but also an essential economic engine to the continued growth and development of our region, as well as a critical recovery element in the event we experience a natural disaster that could isolate the Island community from the mainland.

An upcoming project for the FOFA is to provide an entrance display for the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, consisting of a ¾ scale F-4U “Corsair” aircraft in a small memorial park. This would serve as a visible reminder of the Airport’s history during WWII when it was an “outlying field-OLF” for NAS Jacksonville supporting Corsair pilot training. The FOFA plans to initiate a capital campaign to fund this project.

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If you are interested in promoting the importance of aviation, aviation-related education, and community service, please contact our organization and become involved.

President, Jerry Kawecki, 415-0217
Membership Chairman, Mickey Baity, 904-277-8360

October 14, 2013 1:00 a.m.

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