A Memo From John "Lites" Leenhouts, SUN 'n FUN President and CEO Regarding the 2011 Tornado Claims.
“Following the devastating storm during the 2011 Fly-In event, nearly 30 aircraft were damaged to the point where removal of aircraft and hazmat clean up were necessary in order to maintain a safe environment for all guests, exhibitors, vendors and volunteer staff. SUN ‘n FUN requested that aircraft owners submit their towing and clean up costs associated with their aircraft to their insurance companies for consideration of payment. Approximately 40% of the total bill (as of 1 Mar 2012) has been recovered from these insurance companies, leaving SUN ‘n FUN with a substantial balance. SUN ‘n FUN has paid this remaining balance in good faith on behalf of those who chose not to submit the bill to their insurance company or who did not carry insurance. At no time has SUN ‘n FUN requested that the aircraft owner pay their bill directly. For the record, the average cost passed along to each aircraft owner involved was only $2500, with the most being $19,000 which was paid by an insurance company as requested.
As a 501(c)3, SUN ‘n FUN relies on the annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo to fund its ever-expanding year-round educational STEM and aviation programs for youth. While we deeply regret the devastation that occurred as a result of a storm we could not control, to pay for the entire bill would have caused undue hardship for our non-profit organization. We are grateful to those individuals who carried an appropriate amount of insurance as well as those that paid from their own resources and to those who rallied together on the day of the storm to assist in restoring the site to a clean and safe environment for all to enjoy the following day.
If you have further questions, please direct them to myself, John “Lites” Leenhouts, President & CEO, by calling 863-644-2431. I look forward to assisting you with your questions and concerns.”