Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, the annual airshow that opens on Tuesday, is the primary fundraiser for the nonprofit show organizer’s Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), a STEM-related and aerospace education hub. Under ACE’s wing is the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA), an aviation- and engineering-focused public high school on-site at Lakeland (Florida) Linder International Airport (KLAL).

While the airshow brings in considerable resources for CFAA, there are some funding gaps, including the need for an updated audiovisual system, repainting the interior, and covering field-trip bus transportation. That is why the school’s Parents Launching a Network of Educational Support (PLANE) group is separately fundraising by selling food and drinks (cash or card) this week during the airshow just outside the back of the CFAA building, near the forum area. This year’s offerings from PLANE include pastries and fruit for breakfast; hot lunches such as grilled hamburgers; chips, cookies, and trail mix for snacks; and water and soda.

Overall, PLANES strives to be “enthusiastic advocates for CFAA students and we look forward to providing them opportunities for socializing, teambuilding, recognition, and lifelong fond memories of high school,” secretary Lissa Bontrager told AIN.

ACE, which is headquartered at the Florida Air Museum at KLAL, also includes learning centers, outreach programs, aviation scholarships, aerospace summer camps, and the Lakeland Aero Club for area high school students. CFAA is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.


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