This is the time of year when many COPA Flights plan an annual dinner. For some it will be a Christmas affair whereas many choose to avoid the Christmas season all together and hold theirs in January or February. Whenever it is taking place your Flight can help out a very important cause.
Two years ago we made an appeal for donations to increase our Special Action Fund because legal fees to fight our many court battles are eating into the fund faster than interest can replenish it. We want to build the fund up to $2 million from the current $1 million to make sure we have funds available when really needed. Over the last two years contributions to the fund came to only $58,000. This is a long way from $1million.
Three COPA Flights came through with large donations, the largest of which was $2,000. Taking this as a cue I am now appealing to all COPA Flights to do something to raise money for the Special Action Fund. If you do have a winter event planned build a little fund raising into it. Here are some ideas.
A silent auction at the annual Flight dinner can be a lot of fun at the same time as raising money. Don’t just ask members to bring items to donate to the auction but go after businesses to donate as well. Let them know why you are raising money and most will help by donating merchandise of some kind.
And don’t make it a pilots’ stuff only auction. For best results make sure at least half the stuff is appealing to spouses. If you get 70 or 80 people out for your dinner you can easily raise $1000.
Tell members that all proceeds will go to the COPA Special Action Fund and they will be inclined to be looser with their bidding. You can also add an extra $5 to the dinner ticket price if you tell them where it is going.
One Flight I am familiar with runs a raffle every year to both raise money and encourage members to renew their membership on time. They usually raffle off something in the $500 range like a handheld radio, or some power tools. Only members who have renewed for the New Year are eligible to buy a ticket and the draw is made in February. Typically they clear about $800 from this event.
You can also run raffles at your monthly meetings. Just about everyone has good stuff kicking around that they are willing to donate for a raffle. Collect half a dozen things and sell tickets at the meeting then let winners pick their prize and keep drawing until all the items are gone. Sell tickets for $1 or 3 for $2 and you could collect $50 to $100 each meeting.
The next time your members get together for a group flight for that $100 hamburger, offer to take passengers along for a $20 donation to the Special Action Fund. If you’re going with empty seats anyway it won’t cost anything extra.
I realize that Flights need to do some of these things to raise money for their own activities but please give some thought to dedicating your fund raising to the Special Action Fund over the winter. Just for the fun of it try something you haven’t done before specifically for the fund.
There will be a special report on some of the current cases being funded by the Special Action Fund in the next issue of COPA Flight. Please watch for this and read it carefully. It will explain in detail how critical it is that COPA continue to put down the challenges that keep cropping up and threaten our freedom to fly.
Keep your prop spinning over the winter.