U.S. Representatives Robin Hayes of North Carolina and John Salazar of Colorado, both private pilots and friends of Angel Flight, are co-chairing the AFA Tribute Banquet, to be held at the Capitol Hill Hyatt Regency Hotel. Interested parties may purchase tables or buy individual seats by calling Jody Thomas, the event coordinator, at 703-354-0501. A VIP reception will be held at 6:15 p.m., with dinner served at 7:00 p.m.
After hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Angel Flight volunteer flew over 2,200 missions, airlifting the sick and injured to medical facilities, reuniting families torn apart by the disaster and relocating them to safe housing. All of the major national television networks brought the Angel Flight story before the public during the hurricane disasters, showing the pilots’ compassionate service in transporting desperate individuals and families out of the stricken region. The banquet will honor these pilots as well as the donors and friends who help make Angel Flight services possible every day. Also receiving recognition will be members of Congress who have sponsored legislation to help the cause of charitable air transportation in the general aviation sector of civil aviation. Other honorees are airline companies which donate free tickets to people in need, and foundations that contribute financially.
Those to be honored at the Angel Flight America Tribute Banquet include:
United States Congresswoman Thelma Drake (Virginia), United States Senator George Allen (Virginia), National Organization for Rare Disorders, American Red Cross, Lindquist and Vennum, P.L.L.P., Dr. Steve Groft, Director, Office of Rare Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Signature Flight Support, Team Resni Motorsports, The Hallmark Channel, New Piper Aircraft Company, Pioneer Services, Corporation for National and Community Service, National Business Aviation Association, United Way of America, American Airlines, Hogan Family Foundation, Delta Airlines, U.S. Airways, Raytheon Company, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Saab USA, Avfuel Corporation, Fox News, National Broadcasting Company, Frontier Airlines, Alaska Airlines.
Ed Boyer, chairman of Angel Flight America’s board of directors and last year’s winner of the Commonwealth of Virginia Aviation Lifetime Achievement Award, notes the importance of recognizing those who have helped create the national charitable air transportation network. “Without the help and sponsorship of key national corporations and philanthropic organizations, our task would be impossible. We acknowledge and appreciate their partnership with us.”