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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Southern Heritage Air Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Museums

Mission: Our mission is to preserve Aviation and WWII history so that all generations can appreciate the America's history, and learn more about it. We have a museum that features the stories and memorabilia of local and regional heroes from WWII, and we have several planes that you can get up close to and see. We have a 1945P-51D Mustang n amed Charlotte's Chariot II, A 1942 AT-6 Texan, a 1948 Twin Beech, a 1935 model WACO Classic Bi-plane and a 2001 Amphibious Aviat Husky! All of which still fly today. We offer a rides program, flyover program, make appearances at many air shows and host a bi-annual airshow. We offer group tours!

Target demographics: Our mission is to preserve Aviation and WWII history so that all generations can appreciate the America's history, and learn more about it. We have a museum that features the stories and memorabilia of local and regional heroes from WWII, and we have several planes that you can get up close to and see. We have a 1945P-51D Mustang n amed Charlotte's Chariot II, A 1942 AT-6 Texan, a 1948 Twin Beech, a 1935 model WACO Classic Bi-plane and a 2001 Amphibious Aviat Husky! All of which still fly today. We offer a rides program, flyover program, make appearances at many air shows and host a bi-annual airshow. We offer group tours!

Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year over 7,000 people came through our small museum and attended our bi-annual air show which has been dubbed "The Best Little Air Show in the World"!

Geographic areas served: The field of Aviation and WWII History.

Programs: educational, living history, honoring our veterans and those currently serving, Our group tours will provide you with a trading card of a person, plane or event somewhere within the walls of our museum. That is who you are during the tour. At the end, individuals keep their trading card as a souvenir. If time permits, the group can off on a Recon Mission (Scavenger Hunt) and test their knowledge on what they have learned!

Community Stories

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have attended many functions at SHAF each and everyone was better than the one before. The planes are awesome. The museum is full of so much history. It is such a beautiful tribute to all of our Veterans. Patty Mekus, Dan Fordice, and all the volunteers truly show, love and respect for all of these great heros. If you have not had the opportunity to visit this wonderful museum make a date to do it I promise you will not be disappointed. I learn something new each time I go.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great museum great people and interesting tours. Also for a fee you can ride onboard an airplane....great lunch once a month for vets family and friends.....if you get a chance check out the mustang (car)

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is doing a wonderful job of educating the public on local war heroes and keeping everyone interested in vintage war birds. SHAF’s air shows are also great in exposing groups of all ages to modern and vintage planes. Many people are able to acquire their first plane or helicopter ride here. My son took his first helicopter ride here several years ago and decided he wanted to go into aviation. He completed his IFR test today at Delta State. I personally want to thank SHAF and the Fordice family and volunteers for all they do. SHAF brings excitement to aviation lovers and supports veterans. What more could you ask for?

1 Lena M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one of the Best kept secrets around. And it shouldn’t be. Everyone needs to come and see what a wonderful job the Southern Heritage Air Foundation has done. They have preserved history of our beloved WWII vets.
They bring a personal touch to these amazing men & women who risked it all to protect our citizens and country.
You will walk away with a sense of pride and feeling like you knew the fine folks the museum honors.
I also had the opportunity to go up in one of the planes. What an honor!!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an aviation magazine editor, I have visited countless museums and collections. This past fall I traveled south to visit the Southern Heritage Air Foundation for their air show and salute to veterans. It was one of the most enjoyable events I can remember! The hospitality of the staff is amazing and the quality of the event and museum is fabulous. The aircraft are gorgeous! I also noticed the prices in the gift shop were half what I see in other museums, which shows the museum is dedicated to their visitors, many of which are young families. I am looking forward to visiting again and I highly recommend it as a destination for anyone who loves WWII history.

1 Dan J.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Southern Heritage Air Foundation is a great organization. From the Air shows showcasing planes from a bygone era to their monthly Veteran's appreciation lunches. The museum on the Military and Aviation is worth the visit. At one of my visits I was lucky enough to get to fly in the P-51 "Charlotte's Chariot" chasing a Corsair, that was 2 "bucket List" worthy items. The people running this are top notch, friendly and informative.

1 Nancy Culpepper H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As the daughter of a WWII vet, I am so appreciative of the efforts made by Southern Heritage Air Foundation to recognize our national heroes. The variety of programs and events offered make it a family-friendly place—not your traditional “museum “ with dusty old memorabilia, but one that is ALIVE!

1 Mystique D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went to their Airshow and it was wonderful! I got to ride in a helicopter, try great food, and enjoy an amazing show. One of the pilots (who was my favorite) was Kevin Coleman. Definitely worth the drive, and I look forward to the next one.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love the great events the museum hosts! My 4yo loved watching a movie about planes, surrounded by planes, in a seat from an airplane!
The museum is full of interesting artifacts with a knowledgeable, excited staff.
We’re blessed to have a place like this in our area!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Southern Heritage Air Foundation is certainly deserving of non-profit status. I'm a former Air Force pilot and retired Colonel. I've attended their events, which draw people from surrounding states, and found them to be both inspirational and educational for both adults and children. Their airshows, which have included important vintage World War Two aircraft, such as the P-51, the F4U Corsair, and multiple T-6s, are outstanding. And they sometimes fly their aircraft for display and performances at other sites. I took this photo of one of their aircraft when it came to our town.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place does amazing work for the veterans. They offer a monthly luncheon (free for all veterans) and they have pretty awesome museum full of WW2 memorabilia. If you have not visited you should plan to see the museum, attend a luncheon or take a ride in one of the vintage planes (definitely a bucket list item) and you do not want to miss out on seeing on of their air shows (one of the best in the country).

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Overall great experience. Love that you can learn about the history of of aviation and how it plays a key part in the freedom of the US and others through out the world and learning about the local men and women that are heroes that walk among us. But actually getting to see the aircraft up close and touching them so you can feel the history.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This museum is a gem! It’s such an asset to not only the area in which it sits, but also to surrounding communities! The monthly and annual events are exciting and create a wonderful economic impact to the whole community of Vicksburg!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This one of the best little museums around and is very special to my family. Some of my late fathers and late brothers memorabilia is in this museum. My kids and I love visiting and going to the air show.

2 Cynthia Arender M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Madison Parish is so lucky to have this incredible museum in our area. My family and I have visited and participated in several events over the years at the Southern Heritage Air Foundation and have always been in awe of the place and it’s historical value to our citizens and community.

2 Jeremy R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization has done a great job of reaching the public and supporting veterans. I love them.

2 Charlene Young M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went to air show with a group of relatives a few years back. We enjoyed air show and
had a great time meeting people and eating good food. Hope to do it again.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The planes at this museum are amazing, and they all are in flying condition. The one that seems to be most popular is the 1944 T-6 Texan. They called it the “Pilot Maker” during WWII. You can do all kinds of aerobatics in this plane. It’s great that this museum is keeping these birds flying.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This place is run by some of the friendliest and most helpful people you’ll ever to likely meet! We love visiting the museum and getting to chat with the personnel about all of the wonderful memorabilia and personal stories from Veterans you’ll get to meet. We’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to take a ride in some of the planes there (Additional cost but WELL WORTH IT!!) and even had my youngest daughters first ever plane ride be in the Waco (biplane)- my kids are all hooked and my son even caught the pilot bug and is now almost completed his private pilot license with lots of support from this community of Southern Heritage Foundation. The people that work there (Dan, Patty and Paul to name a few) become friends to all!

2 Danielle Marie G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization to be apart of! It is like being part of a family!

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being at SHAF it is like a family. I love to be involved with the events and help in the smallest ways possible. Patty makes everyone feel like they make a difference. The joy on people's faces when they see the museum and planes is indescribable.