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    Vons Foundation Awards Ventura County 99s Grant for Flight Scholarships

    The Vons Foundation will award the Ventura County Chapter of the Ninety-Nines (VC99s) a $3,000 grant at the Wings Over Camarillo Airshow at Camarillo Airport at 2:30pm on Saturday, August 17th, 2019. The funds will be used for flight training scholarships for Ventura County female student pilots. Only 7% of current pilots are female, and there is a growing shortage of commercial pilots. The Ninety-Nines are helping support entry into aviation, one of many STEM careers.

    About the VC99s: The VC99s, based in southern California, is a large and active local chapter of The Ninety-Nines, Inc., a nonprofit organization of more than 6,100 women pilots. The chapter serves all who are interested in aviation and educates the community at many events, including the annual Camarillo Airshow, Girl Scouts in Aviation Days at Camarillo Airport, an annual Aviation Career Day at Camarillo Airport for hundreds of Ventura County high school students, and First-Sunday-of-the-Month events at Santa Paula Airport. The chapter also partners with the international 99s to award a Karen Johnson Solo Scholarship to young women between the ages of 16-20 who want to learn to fly.

    The chapter provides support for the local and the aviation communities in a variety of ways, including, aviation speakers to civic organizations, and leadership, labor and funding for the public Viewport at Camarillo Airport, This park is a popular community attraction where families bring picnics, let kids play on the model runway, hear communications between Camarillo Tower and departing and arriving aircraft through the model control tower, and watch planes land and take off on Runway 26. The VC99s, in partnership with the Dept. of Airports and other local aviation organizations, took the lead in managing the fundraising and design for the original Viewport and the 2018 final phase. The chapter Museum Committee has 2 permanent exhibits on display at the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula, an interactive simulated cockpit where young children touch and identify instruments, teaches them about the forces of flight. The other exhibit is about the life of Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African American descent and the first woman of Native American descent, to hold a pilot license.

    For the aviation community, VC99s have robust scholarships for Ventura County women who want to learn to fly or pursue advanced training. The chapter also hosts an annual series of 20-25 Pilot Proficiency Classes for the California pilot community. In its 19th year, over 3,000 California pilots, student pilots and instructors have attended these classes.

    About the Vons Foundation: The Vons Foundation funds organizations that strengthen the neighborhoods they serve and supports causes that impact their customers’ lives. Stores provide the opportunity to mobilize funding and create awareness in their neighborhoods through employees’ passion, partnerships with vendors and generous contributions by customers.

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