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Sherwood Park Cadets make final push for England

June 6, 2012, Sherwood Park, Alta. - A team from a Sherwood Park Air Cadet squadron is cutting it close to making the fast-approaching deadline to obtain the necessary funds to send them to an aerospace challenge across the Atlantic this July.


June 6, 2012
By Calli Forbes Sherwood Park News

The team from the 12 Edmonton Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron, based in Sherwood Park, has raised approximately 75 per cent of the estimated $45,000 needed to attend the prestigious Schools Aerospace Challenge at Cranfield University in England, and with a June 9 cut-off date, Thomas Hinderks, executive director of the Alberta Aviation Museum, is making one final plea for the public’s help.

“We’ve pretty much reached out to the aerospace world as hard as we can and we’re waiting for responses. We’ve pushed the various levels of government,” Hinderks said. “It’s such a worthwhile program that we’ve just got to push. So I guess it’s brute force over bloody ignorance to try and make this thing happen.”

The challenge is designed for youth ranging from 16 to 18 years old to provide solutions for a real Royal Air Force. Canada and other Commonwealth countries were invited to attend this year’s competition in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Three members from the 12 Squadron were chosen by the Alberta Aviation Museum, due to the squadron’s 70-year history, making it the second longest serving cadet unit in Canada.

This year’s challenge requires contestants to create a design concept for an unmanned air vehicle that could potentially be used by the Royal Air Force. The team has been training at the Alberta Aviation Museum since they found out they were invited to participate in the challenge.

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Hinderks said the community support for the program has been fairly good since they reached the halfway point.

“We’ve had contributions from British Columbia, from Alberta, from Saskatchewan and we’re closing in,” he said.

Organizers who are working to send the team to England will be meeting to see if there are any other costs that can be cut from the trip and to explore any other funding options. However, Hinderks said the fact of the matter is that if the funds are not there come June 9, the team simply will not be able to attend.

He said he wants the public to know that the organizers will not give up on sending the team to such a beneficial program that encourages youth to stay in school and to explore opportunities in the high-tech industry.

“It’s an important program and it’s the start of something really good, and we want it to continue,” he said. “We want this program to go this year and we want to see it expand to include more and more opportunities for kids to get into the program, to open doors, to give them a reason to stay in school, to give them a reason to reach a little farther.”

All funds go solely towards the team’s expenses. All donations will receive a Canada Revenue Agency-accepted charitable tax receipt from the Alberta Aviation Museum. If the event is cancelled, all funds will be returned to the donors.