A Hart Nation’s Hands-On Outreach at Sheltair’s Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport Turns Dreams into Reality

Shelair's unique aviation blog series.


The Denver community received quite the treat on National Aviation Day when multiple industry partners stepped up for a growing nonprofit that delivers results for the aviation sector. I Hart Flying Foundation’s core team, board members and several Hart Scholars traveled to Denver Col. August 18-20 bringing impact, excitement, and opportunities for a next generation of pilots and STEM professionals. And they literally, and figuratively, TOOK FLIGHT!

September 27, 2023 – Blog Post #6:

Many who know me understand how much I love supporting and facilitating outreach events around the world. I get a ‘high’ from seeing the faces of young people interact with STEM, aviation professionals, unique aircraft of our past, present, and future and even the chance to…SOAR! 

Yes, that’s right. For each outreach event I am involved or leading, we are hands-on, making sure young people are expanding their mind, challenging themselves and seeing the world from a different lens. Many times, we put youth into an aircraft, giving them the yolk, so that lens and perspective changes their whole world! It’s incredible to watch. I did not have these opportunities as a kid – so when building my company, I made sure that every nonprofit FunD Av supports and serves, takes outreach seriously and delivers results that matter! 

For almost eight months, I Hart Flying Foundation (IHFF) and partner, FlyteCo Brewing worked tirelessly on the plans for a one-year anniversary of FlyteCo Tower, their new location at the old Stapleton Airport in Denver, Col. The owners, Jason, Eric, and Morgan were all in agreement to make their anniversary celebration an opportunity for patrons to get involved even further: through charitable giving, supporting more pilots! 

That’s when they came to I Hart Flying in the early stages of planning to offer their event a benefit supporting the foundation’s goals to raise dollars for women in flight training and outreach. With any type of event planning, it is no easy task. But that’s ok! Both I Hart Flying and FlyteCo’s teams were up for the challenge. We knew this would be the first event of many, and wanted to make it special, memorable. Special is exactly what it was. More than 100 VIPs and Hart Nation partners, team and scholars attended the event raising $7,500 toward IHFF scholarships and outreach programming. It was fantastic! Great food, music, entertainment, and games! 

Yes, games. FlyteCo Tower hosts 3-levels of restaurant, bars, and family fun games. It delivered a highly engaging event giving attendees full access to it all – PLUS tower tours for VIPs! A silent auction had folks competitive bidding till the last minute with amazing packages from LIFT Aviation, Cirrus Aircraft, FlyteCo Tower, I Hart Flying and Aviation Influence. 

Check out this short and fun recap reel by film producer of the Hart Team, Bryan Fusfield: FlyteCo Tower One-year Anniversary Event with I Hart Flying Foundation

Now here’s the thing. Upon planning for Denver and the event at FlyteCo Tower, and again, for those who know me well, I don’t just travel somewhere for one thing. I approached Rachelle – founder of IHFF – as we were engaged in the event planning on an idea to facilitate an I Hart Flying outreach event at Sheltair’s BJC FBO location – the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport. I know, I know! More work for me!! That’s ok – WORTH IT!

I knew for this event to be meaningful, impactful, plus bear results, we needed help. We needed the industry. So, we got to work – and fast, because August 19 was descending on us and while planning this effort, we had many other balls in the air getting the newest themed scholarship opportunity “Hands Lift, Harts Propel, a Nation Delivers,  off the ground, EAA AirVenture and two big media drops! At the same time, we had pulled together four amazing industry partners – Immaculate Flight, Sheltair Aviation, AEG Fuels, Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) funding  “Hands Lift, Harts Propel, a Nation Delivers, Currently, I Hart Flying has seven finalists for this opportunity offering $40,000 plus in flight training scholarships including industry packages, pilot supplies and equipment. 

Check out the seven finalist videos here: IHFF Finalist Videos

Here is what I can tell you about this industry – they step up and if you show up for them, they show up for you. I made the calls. The very calls that would change a few lives! After a few weeks, Rachelle and I had a fruitful plan of action for a full-scale I Hart Flying outreach event at Sheltair’s beautiful BJC facility. But wait, there’s more! Of course, we went bigger! Rachelle sent personal invitations to every single former Hart Scholar, board member, scholarship committee member, and Hart Nation partner. Yes, that is a big task, even for a younger nonprofit. Over the last six years in existence, we’ve built the organization to encompass more than 150 partners and annual donors, over 35 scholars awarded more than $175,000 in funding, flight equipment and pilot training aids. We really ‘TOOK FLIGHT’ growing the organization, so why not ‘TAKE FLIGHT’ in Denver? 

There was one more call to make, and I think the accompanying photo of a legendary Grand Dame airplane, radial engines turning, under the Sheltair BJC awning says it all. Since I Hart Flying Foundation, the D-Day Squadron, Sheltair and Avfuel are all involved, I decided to call my ‘BIG BROTHER BRANDON’ (as I refer to him) of Legend Airways Foundation and see if we could engage him and his crew to fly the historic C-47 “Liberty” with the ‘Hart Team’ aboard into the outreach event on National Aviation Day! Let’s bring history, education, and aviation to life, to youth, to BJC! Shortly before EAA AirVenture, we had it confirmed and off to the races where we were adding even more engagement to this event. Brandon was excited and it was just some logistics and other support to make it ‘a go!’ 

Thankfully, Sheltair and Avfuel came together to support the C-47 flight and outreach display. They really did “Fuel our Harts” and step up! We hosted, with Sheltair and Avfuel, quite a successful event from 9:00am-11:30am on National Aviation Day. Mission Accomplished!

Three flight schools on the field – Rocky Mountain, Western Air Flight Academy and McAir Aviation – organized their aircraft to be on display and provided crews to engage with youth. Cirrus Aircraft had Conor bring the SR22T, giving attendees full access, an up-close experience with a general aviation aircraft. Boeing/Jeppesen supported an exhibit and taught the attendees how to use Jepp charts! It was amazing to watch. The Broomfield Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol added to the event eight Cadets to experience this outreach and support the infrastructure. The CAF Mile High Wing put their historic Beech 18 on display and a local pilot, Dan, brought his Skybolt and Harlow. Our friends at LL Johns Aviation Insurance sponsored lunch and all three flight schools awarded discovery flights. 

The Hart Team with several Sheltair BJC employees flew aboard C-47 Legend Airways ‘Liberty’ into the event and loaded up after, helping return her to home base. Liberty was the highlight display, and her WWII combat history is why we get to enjoy aviation today.

A special thank you to Go Rentals, a longtime partner of I Hart Flying Foundation, who’s willingness to supply a large vehicle provided the Hart Team to get around during our time in Denver.

Check out this amazing outreach event recap REEL by film producer of the Hart Team, Bryan Fusfield: I Hart Flying Foundation ‘Takes Flight’ with Sheltair, Avfuel at BJC for National Aviation Day

Outreach Event Photos, by Steve Nelson: I Hart Flying National Aviation Day

Special Outreach and Event Partner Gratitude

NEWS about Girls in Aviation Day – Sheltair

Sheltair Cements Its Commitment to Future Aviators with Network-Wide Girls in Aviation Day Events

Fort Lauderdale, FL. / September 28, 2023 / Aviation News – Sheltair teamed up with Women in Aviation International (WAI) to celebrate Girls in Aviation Day (GIAD). On Saturday, September 23rd, Sheltair hosted over 3,000 next-generation aviators at FLL, DAB, TPA, ECP, SAV, OCF, and JAX, while others in our network partnered with NASA, ACE, and other local WIA chapters to represent Sheltair to share the world of aviation, over twice as many as the previous year’s attendance of 1,200. This marks an impressive milestone achievement where the entire aviation network displayed its commitment to the future of this industry.


As I advance this themed monthly blog with Sheltair, you will become more intimately involved in special projects FAC has oversight. Some of these, just to give a teaser, involve WWII aircraft, a presidential aircraft restoration, global flight missions, female flight training scholarships, and more! FAC is now a team of 10 and growing. We love to have fun, we all enjoy the freedom of flight, engaging with industry, and supporting this sector with everything we have. We invite you to learn more about us here: FunDAvConsulting.com


Stay tuned for the October blog!