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Philanthropic Partnerships in Action: SC Army Aviation Heritage Foundation

The South Carolina Army Aviation Heritage Foundation (SCAAHF) at Central Carolina Community Foundation was created in celebration of the accomplishments of current and former South Carolina Army National Guard Aviation members.

The first major project the foundation will complete is creating a Heritage Room within the Army Aviation Support Facility on McEntire Joint National Guard Base. The room will serve as a gathering place for active, retired, potential members of the SCARNG aviation program. The space will also serve as a venue to host social events, VIPs, and public officials.

One of the foundation’s goals is to connect with community partners while improving partnerships with the National Guard. Community outreach is one of their top priorities and creating the heritage room is the first step in doing so.

According to the foundation’s director of marketing, Joel Gooch, “The purpose of this room is to represent the unique history of our members’ great service and allow us the opportunity to see where we’ve been and where we’re headed.” Both Gooch and the foundation’s director of operations Michael Roberts emphasized the importance of using the heritage room to connect with the community.

“Community outreach is something we’ve been working on,” said Roberts. “We’re talking about strategic objectives and asking ourselves ‘How do we improve the culture deliberately?’”

When asked why they chose to work with the Community Foundation, Gooch said, “The SCAAHF has partnered with the Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) as our fiscal sponsor. This grants us the special privilege of receiving tax-deductible donations via cash, stocks/bonds/mutual funds, life insurance transfers, real estate, charitable bequest, retirement account assets and IRAs.”

Right now, the South Carolina Army Aviation Heritage Foundation’s goal is to raise $150,000. All money raised by SCAAHF will support the construction of the Heritage room, and any additional community outreach efforts such as event planning, hosting community partners, and figuring out new ways to tell the story of the organization.

Construction of the room will include renovating a space in one of the current buildings and is expected to be completed during the first few months of 2022.

Heritage rooms are common on military bases and the South Carolina Army National Guard is excited to have one of their own.

The unit’s long history will be featured through pictures, mementos, and artifacts around the room, as well as various screens with information about the unit’s past. The design plan for the space has already been completed, and the room will feature a sleek look with many references to the organization’s history.

The room is designed in two sections: tables and chairs for a more formal seating area and couches and a bar top for entertaining. The new space will feature unique architecture and design and will include seating for up to 40 people.

One of the unique features offered involves the top ten donors being recognized by having their names inscribed on one of the ten available bar stools. This fundraising competition demonstrates one way the foundation is encouraging community members to give thoughtfully.

Anyone who donates more than $250 will be honored through permanent plaques in the heritage room according to the appropriate sector:

  • Master Founder – $10,000 or greater
  • Senior Founder – $5,000 – $9,999
  • Founder – $1,000 – $4,999
  • Patron – $250 – $999

The South Carolina Army National Guard has been a prominent and honorable part of the rich history of the Midlands and South Carolina. McEntire Joint National Guard Base is located just outside Columbia, in Eastover, SC, and has had thousands of service members come through the facility since 1943. This longstanding history is certainly something to be celebrated, and the SCAAHF was created to do just that. SCAAHF is a separate organization from the South Carolina Army National Guard, though many National Guard members are involved.

In addition to serving in director positions for the foundation, Gooch and Roberts are both active South Carolina Army National Guard members. They both hold the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4). Additionally, Mr. Gooch is the 1-151st ARB Standardization Pilot, and Mr. Roberts is the 59th Aviation Troop Command State Aviation Mission Survivability Officer.

McEntire Joint National Guard Base is a large facility where much of the training and coaching happens for SC Army National Guard service members. Countless service members have worked and flown through the airbase.

Mr. Roberts and Mr. Gooch plan to invite community groups to tour the facility, like local schools and nonprofit organizations. The hope is to use the heritage room as a place to connect and learn about the SC Army National Guard.

CCCF is proud to serve as the fiscal sponsor for SCAAHF. To learn more about the SCAAHF, visit


Michael S. Roberts, CW4, SCARNG


Joel L. Gooch, CW4, SCARNG