Thursday, October 4, 1990
Every so often a project is announced that requires an immediate response. As many of you may know, Maharaji has recently been speaking about the need for a longer range and slightly larger aircraft. He explained that as much as he loves the Lear 55, to meet the demands of his expanding work, he has been pushing its capabilities beyond the bounds of safety and prudence. The resulting search to find a safer, longer range, and economically efficient aircraft turned up the Canadian-made Challenger 601 as the only suitable alternative. A buyer was also found for the Lear who has offered more than the total investment in the aircraft.
The response to initial presentations around the world about acquiring a Challenger has been encouraging. In only a few weeks, almost $3 million from around the world has been pledged of the approximately $7.8 million needed after the sale of the Lear.
Then last Sunday, in a meeting about this project, Maharaji announced that only one aircraft is presently available which is equipped to meet the requirements for international travel, and that if secured immediately, it could be purchased at a very favorable price. To meet the closing date on this plane, contributions must be in hand, in California, not later than Monday, October 15th (preferably by Friday, October 12th). The question was, could we do it? That same day an additional $500,000 was pledged by phone and in writing by people from across the country who understood the importance and urgency of acquiring this particular aircraft at this time.
The purpose of this announcement is to let everyone interested know about the project and to invite you to participate in its success.
Extensive research has shown that the need for a larger and more capable aircraft is real. In spite of the Lear 55's impeccable performance record over the 630,000 miles flown over the last four years, (equivalent to 25 times around the world), experts advise that it is simply no longer adequate for the expanding and extensive international travel Maharaji is now doing, particularly the very long Pacific legs. Maharaji explained that in the Lear, to fly from Los Angeles to New Delhi, West to East, it takes a total of seven days including five stops, one of which is an overnight in Saudi Arabia. In the Challenger he could fly the longer Pacific stretches with only one overnight stop, and arrive in New Delhi in two days, while avoiding the dangerous and restricted areas of the Middle East. The Challenger will allow Maharaji the freedom to respond spontaneously to the needs of people on every continent with maximum safety and efficiency while minimizing the inevitable strain of over 200 days per year of international travel. Its larger capacity affords more comfort for the pilot on long flights and provides enough additional seating for instructors who now participate with Maharaji in conducting Knowledge Sessions world-wide.
For anyone interested, the time to participate in this project is now. An additional $4.3 million is needed by Monday, October 15th to complete the transaction. Gifts of all sizes are very much needed and greatly appreciated. For this project to succeed gifts of $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 will also be needed. We are happy to report that a number of such gifts have already been received, along with hundreds of others of all sizes. Gifts to date range from $10 to $120,000.
Many individual contributors have already gone to considerable lengths to enable this project to proceed. Some have taken out personal loans in order to make a more significant cash contribution now. Others have contributed real estate, stocks, and other assets. Some have also committed substantial short term loans to provide immediate funds until all contributions have been received as well as long term loans, should they become necessary.
Please enclose the Challenger Pledge Card with whatever contribution or pledge you can make at this time. Contributions that can only be sent after October 15th are still important and should be pledged now on the card.
As important and urgent as this project is, it is not the only one on the horizon. Besides the ongoing needs of his work, Maharaji has been speaking about his vision for International Learning Centers in different parts of the world where he could meet with people with Knowledge and people preparing to receive Knowledge. It is clear that the opportunity to support his work is ongoing and expanding. Given the enthusiastic global response to this project, it is also clear that people's love and valuing of Maharaji's gift is also expanding.
We look forward to your earliest possible response.
William N. Wishard - President, Elan Vital
David H. Coyne, Connecticut
W. Tim Gallwey, Malibu
Prentiss S. Uchida, Florida
Deana Eakles, Chicago
Challenger Sponsorship Campaign
EIAN VITAL P.O. BOX 6130, MALIBU, CA 90264
CHALLENGER REPORT ~ 1991 SPONSORSHIP CAMPAIGN
October 19, 1990 marked an important milestone in Maharaji's work with the acquisition of the Challenger 601. Maharaji is clearly delighted with the quality and capabilities of the aircraft, as well as with the depth of support from ail those around the world who contributed towards it. After flying the Challenger to Los Angeles from the closing, he said the best way to celebrate the occasion was to begin immediately to use it for its intended purpose. Since then he has made surprise visits at local events in North America, and confirmed a seven city tour of India for the first weeks in November as well as the three-day event in Rome in early December.
The successful acquisition of the Challenger does not signal the completion of a project, but rather a continuing opportunity for all those who wish to support Maharaji's work. Specific to the Challenger Project, there are two remaining priorities. One is to pay off the private loans that made it possible to acquire the aircraft without a bank loan. The other is to keep the aircraft maintained and flying by providing monthly support through Sponsorship contributions.
In round figures, the Challenger was purchased with over $4.5 million in contributions from around the world, and about $3.2 million in loans. Of these loans, nearly $2 million came in the form of short-term loans, which must be repaid in the next 30-120 days. Maharaji has bean very clear that these loans must be treated no less seriously than a bank loan. Every pledge and contribution towards the retirement of these loans is as important as the original contributions towards the purchase of the aircraft.
Regarding the necessary support for aircraft operations, the purchase of the Challenger represents the beginning of the 1991 Sponsorship Campaign, since projected operating expenses increased immediately upon taking possession of the aircraft. Everyone wanting to be a part of the ongoing support of the aircraft is therefore requested to make their 1991 Sponsorship pledge immediately, and if possible, to mail their first contribution along with a completed pledge envelope. The importance of these sponsorship pledges cannot be overstated, as the purchase of the aircraft means little without the regular support to operate and maintain it. Your monthly support will also make it possible to properly service the long-term debt until it can be retired.
The global response to the Challenger acquisition has been magnificent. It has been heartfelt, widespread, and timely. In less than one month, nearly $8 million in contributions and loans were received from around the world. More than 2700 people in the United States and Canada contributed $2.2 million in gifts and $2 million in loans, This more than doubles the amount raised for the acquisition and improvements to the Lear 55 over the past five years. And the unprecedented speed with which funds were contributed not only made it possible to acquire the best Challenger available, but to do so at a very favorable price.
This letter brings sincere and heartfelt thanks to ail who made the Challenger acquisition possible. It is also an urgent request to return the enclosed pledge envelope as soon as possible, indicating your commitments both for sponsorship support and for the retirement of the Challenger loans. Just prior to the Rome event, at an international Organizers Conference in that city, North America must announce to Maharaji and the other countries how much can be counted on from us in 1991. Your response is the only basis this year for declaring that support. We will keep you informed with periodic updates on the progress of both the Sponsorship contributions and the Challenger loan retirement.
With appreciation again for your interest, we look forward to hearing from you.
William N. Wishard - President, Elan
W. Tim Gallwey, California
David H. Coyne, Connecticut
For the Challenger Project -1991 Sponsorship Campaign