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Fri, Sep 22, 2006

Civil Air Patrol Honored For Relief Efforts

All-Volunteer Group Receives Summit Award

If you think volunteerism is all-but-dead in the US... we offer the following proof to the contrary.

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) -- an all volunteer aviation auxiliary of the US Air Force -- was honored Wednesday with the prestigious Summit Award. This is the highest award given by the American Society of Association Executives, and the Center for Association Leadership. The Civil Air Patrol is one of six winners selected from 250 nominees.

"This award truly speaks to who we are and what we are all about as a volunteer organization," CAP commander Major General Antonio Pineda said. "I am delighted that this story is being told and honored in such a prestigious way."

CAP earned the award through its extraordinary efforts on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of hurricanes Rita and Katrina. First, it established a 24/7 command post coordinating crews and search teams with local and federal agencies. That post then oversaw 1734 CAP members in four states, where they kept aircraft, communication equipment, and other supplies prepped and ready for deployment.

In all, Civil Air Patrol pilots flew more than 1850 hours during recovery operations. As reported by Aero-News, they provided invaluable aerial photos of the disaster area for rescue agencies.

When not needed for aircraft support duties, ground personnel went door-to-door surveying over 4200 homes -- searching for trapped victims.

Overall, CAP estimates its volunteers gave 35,495 hours of their time to help hurricane victims. The Civil Air Patrol has more than 58,000 members including 27,000 cadets ages 12 to 21. It boasts the world's largest fleet of single-engine, piston aircraft, and provides 95-percent of our nation’s inland search and rescue services.

The service averages 100 lives saved every year. "Well done, everyone" doesn't begin to say it...

FMI: www.cap.gov

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