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The Whirly-Girls, Inc. was organized in 1955 by Jean Ross Howard when there were only 13 helicopter-rated women around the world. The nonprofit, educational and charitable organization's original goals were "to promote interest among all women in rotary wing craft, to establish scholarships to help other(s) learn to fly helicopters, and to provide a standby women's helicopter reserve for civil defense and other national emergencies." As times changed, the Whirly-Girls de-emphasized the latter in the interest of securing helicopter landing areas for hospitals and promoting heliports. Since the organization's formation, 2,000 individuals from 49 countries have become members.