RENO, NV - Two weeks ago, the Reno Air Racing Association announced a fundraising effort for $500,000. They said without the money they could not cover the cost of holding the event, and would have to cancel it in 2014. Thursday they revealed the result of that campaign.
"The air races are back and we are moving ahead," Air Racing Association President Mike Houghton announced triumphantly. Only hours before it could have gone either way. Thanks to generous donations from the RSCVA and local hotels, the Association had come within $50,000 of their goal, three days before the December 15th deadline.
Houghton admits that the deadly crash on September 16th 2011 has left his organization struggling. They've worked hard to meet new regulations and steep insurance premiums, which have put the future of the races in jeopardy. He says despite the tragic nature of the crash, it's time for everyone to start looking forward and stop looking back.
A goal for 2014 is to see the return of military aircraft, but indecision on spending in congress has delayed a firm commitment. Houghton says the biggest expense for this event is soaring insurance premiums. He says last year it was two million, but because of procedural changes they hope to have it down to just $1 million in 2015. Meanwhile the Air Racing Association is looking for donors or businesses interested in sponsorship to help raise the remaining $50,000"If we want it to move forward and want it to grow, we as a community need to step up and make it work," says Houghton