Youth organizations to benefit from success of 2016 Thunder in the Valley Air Show

The Thunder in the Valley Air Show had one of its most successful years ever and eight youth organizations in the Chattahoochee Valley will benefit.

It was announced Monday that at a planning meeting for the 2017 show on Sept. 8, $57,000 will be divided among the groups.

Receiving a check will be the Anne Elizabeth Sheppard Home, Chattahoochee Council of Boy Scouts, EAA Chapter 677 –Young Eagles, Fort Benning’s Santa’s Castle, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office Rising Star Program, Russell County Child Advocacy Center, Storybook Farm and The Literary Alliance.

The air show also provides fund raising opportunities for youth groups through the operation of air show concessions, carnival activities and other needed duties as well as tickets for youth groups, Wounded Warriors, and trainees from Fort Benning. A total of $14,700 in contributions and tickets were donated to a dozen youth groups and 860 soldiers.

“It was one of our most profitable shows ever,” said Phaedra Childers, the event coordinator.

She said the total contribution to area charities and causes of $71,700 is the fourth highest amount ever with the total of $108,000 in 2004 ranking first.

“Our success is measured by the dollar amount we are able to donate from the proceeds of the air show,” she said of the non-profit event managed and operated by more than 300 volunteers each year.

“This year’s show exceeded last year’s contribution by 97 percent,” she said.

Childers gave the timing of this year’s show as one reason for its success. It was held in April instead of March.

“It was a full month later. It got us away from Easter and Spring break. People were in town. We also got great weather,” Childers said.

The previous two shows saw the Sunday performance at the Columbus Airport canceled by bad weather.

Childers said that the 2017 show in April will be something special.

“It is the 20th anniversary and we are planning to bring back many of the most popular acts,” she said.

Larry Gierer: 706-571-8581, @lagierer