Air Show gives back more than $41,000 to Valley youth organizations and charities

(WTVM) - During a breakfast celebration on August 1, eight youth organizations and charities from across the valley will be presented $25,000 by the 2013 Thunder in the Valley Air Show.

The presentation will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the main conference room of the Columbus Airport. Checks will be presented to the executive directors of the following youth organizations and programs:

*Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley

*Chattahoochee Council, Boy Scouts of America

*Easter Seals of West Georgia

*Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

*Russell County Child Advocacy Center

*Safe Kids Columbus

*Storybook Farm

*Young Eagles

The Thunder in the Valley Air Show also provides fund-raising opportunities for youth groups through the operation of air show concessions, carnival activities and other needed duties. This year, the Thunder in the Valley Air Show provided tickets to Ft. Benning's training brigades and youth groups to afford trainees and underprivileged youth the opportunity to experience the show. $16,300 in contributions and tickets were donated to 17 youth groups and 1,000 trainees, bringing the total contribution of the Air Show to $41,300 for 2013.

The Thunder in the Valley Air Show is a non-profit event managed and operated by more than 400 volunteers each year. Despite the absence of all current inventory military aircraft as a result of the "sequester" and a drop in attendance of nearly 40%, the Air Show was able to generously give back to the community. The Air Show committee is grateful for the support of our sponsors and spectators, and the participation of our devoted volunteers.

"Considering the performers and line-up of acts, this year's air show was one of our best," says Phaedra Childers, event coordinator. "Unfortunately, a variety of other events on Air Show weekend, the absence of military acts and overcast skies reduced attendance noticeably. Despite those setbacks, the Air Show committee worked very hard, and our sponsors were very generous, allowing us to continue to support our community with donations to organizations which benefit youth in the Chattahoochee Valley."

Mark your calendars for the 2014 Thunder in the Valley Air Show on Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16, 2014 at the Columbus Airport. The line-up of performers and static displays will be announced in January.

About the Thunder in the Valley Air Show:

The Thunder in the Valley Air Show began in 1997 as a local fly-in for aviation enthusiasts and has grown to become one of the largest outdoor family events in the Chattahoochee Valley. The air show brings in top performers from across the United States. National attention has been given to the Thunder in the Valley Air Show by the International Council of Air Shows for excellence in marketing. The Thunder in the Valley Air Show is a fun, family-friendly event that is both alcohol- and tobacco-free. Proceeds from the air show are donated to youth organizations in the Chattahoochee Valley. For more information, visit

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.