The cancellation of the 2020 National Championship Air Races due to COVID-19 has put the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) in a tight spot. Now, to “Save The Races,” the nonprofit is asking the community for financial help with a goal of raising $500,000 by the end of the year.
“No event meant no income,” the organization said in a statement, adding that cancelling the event has led to repercussions that are both fiscal and emotional.
“We greatly missed our September Family but safety and following Nevada’s restrictions on gathering size unquestionably had to be our priority as we sought to preserve the long-term viability of the Reno Air Races,” said Fred Telling, CEO of RARA.
Early in the pandemic the organization secured some federal aid to cover operating costs and retain some staff, and has since received some donations and had about 12% of this year’s ticket proceeds donated (from tickets sold prior to the cancellation).
“It has unfortunately not been enough,” officials said. They said they’ve cut costs in a number of areas and laid off 75% of their staff, but note that they’ll need to bring back some essential staff positions in early 2021 to pick up planning for next year’s Reno Air Races.
“The funds raised have carried us this far, but it is not enough to get us through the end of this year and into the beginning of our planning season,” said Tony Logoteta, COO of RARA. “We are in need of new income to make the necessary investments for an event in 2021.”
Donations for the Save The Races fundraiser can be made at airrace.org/save-the-races. All donations are tax deductible and can be made online or by check and mailed to 14501 Mt. Anderson St. Reno, NV 89506.
Next year’s National Championship Air Races are scheduled for Sept. 15–19. More information can be found at AirRace.org.