1 of 500 Shelby GT-H flies off the block for $250K EAA garnered record support in its annual fundraiser, The Gathering of Eagles, held Thursday night at the EAA AirVenture Museum’s Eagle Hangar. More than 1,000 members of the aviation community attended the gala event, and when the night was over, more than $1.3 million was raised to support EAA’s youth inspiration and education mission: promote the future of, and build a legacy for, aviation. The much talked about 2006 Ford Shelby Cobra GT-H—which entered dramatically through the hangar doors between a pair of P-51 Mustangs carrying Carroll Shelby in the passenger seat—brought $250,000 alone in an auction. Edsel B. Ford II and Shelby presented the automobile to the high bidder. "EAA will apply the funds that we raised last night and that we continue to raise throughout the year toward our vision of expanding and enhancing the EAA Young Eagles first-flight program and follow-up educational and engagement activities designed to keep young people involved in aviation," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "These programs are cultivating the next generation of aviation enthusiasts, pilots, aeronautical engineers, air-space scientists, and innovators." EAA’s premier Partner in Flight, Cessna Aircraft Co., presented the event, with Jack Pelton, Cessna’s chairman, president, and CEO, serving as host. Actor Harrison Ford, chairman of the EAA Young Eagles program, also made several key presentations. The night’s presentations underscored the enormous contribution of EAA member pilots and ground-support volunteers in making the EAA Young Eagles program a success. "Thursday night the aviation community affirmed the value of our volunteers’ work, providing funding for the administration and growth of our youth programs," Poberezny added. "Young Eagles volunteers have consistently asked for enhanced follow-up activities, creating a continuum of involvement for youth touched by the Young Eagles first-flight experience. With this kind of support, and our continued fundraising efforts, we can pursue that mandate. "The member volunteers are the lifeblood of our youth-outreach campaign," Poberezny continued. "We couldn’t do this valuable work without them." EAA estimates that, in addition to generously providing their time and talents, EAA-member Young Eagles participants donated approximately $500,000 in fuel costs alone in the past year.