OSHKOSH, Wisc., July 30, 2014 - The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Piper Aircraft on Thursday, July 31 will host a special group of students and their teacher from Appleton, Wisc. during EAA's AirVenture Oshkosh 2014.
A number of years ago, Woodland Elementary School fifth grade teacher Eric Vander Loop's teacher's aide shared that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Vander Loop saw an opportunity to help while teaching his students about kindness to strangers.
Since then, students at the school district in Appleton have raised more than $120,000 for cancer research, a compassionate outcome that earned Vander Loop a recent opportunity to represent the Milwaukee Brewers during the All-Star game as one of 30 winners of People magazine and Major League Baseball's All-Star Teachers campaign presented by Target. The students that began the program in fifth grade are high school juniors today.
When Piper's Senior Manager of Marketing, Rorie Ainbinder, who coordinates Piper's air show exhibits, read about Vander Loop and his students in the People article, she thought of friends and family who have been impacted by cancer. She also saw an opportunity to reach out to an extraordinary teacher and his special students by giving them a day to remember at Oshkosh Air Venture.
Ainbinder arranged for the teacher and his students to have their admissions to AirVenture and lunches provided by Piper and she enlisted the support of EAA and AOPA to make the day even more special. EAA will give the group aVIP tour and AOPA will offer the kids a membership in AOPA's AV8Rs program for aspiring aviators.
"Piper has been very active for a number of years in raising funds to fight cancer, and nearly everyone has been or will be touched in some way by this disease," Ainbinder said. "So when this opportunity came along to give back to an exceptional teacher and group of special kids, we jumped on it with EAA and AOPA."
Vander Loop will bring a group of about 15 students to Oshkosh on Thursday, July 31. While at AirVenture, they will be supervised by a number of adults and it promises to be a special day for the cancer-fighting students and their compassionate teacher.
About Piper Aircraft
Piper Aircraft, Inc., headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla., offers aviators throughout the world efficient and reliable single-engine and twin-engine aircraft. The single-engine M-Class series-the Meridian, Mirage andMatrix-offers businesses and individuals elegant performance and value. The Twin Class Seneca V and Seminole balance proven performance, efficiency and simplicity in twin-engine aircraft. The Trainer Class Archer TX, Archer DX, Arrow, Seminole and Seneca V aircraft form the most complete technically-advanced line of pilot training aircraft in the world. All Piper airplanes feature advanced Garmin avionics in the cockpit. Piper is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.