Awards News > 2005 Public Benefit Flying Award Winners Announced
NAA & ACA Announce 2005 Public Benefit Flying Award Winners
Alexandria, VA -- The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announces with great pleasure the winners of this year’s Public Benefit Awards, which recognize the contributions of volunteer pilots and other individuals, groups, and organizations engaged in flying to help others.
The awards, given in five difference categories, were created in 2003 in a partnership between NAA, a non-profit aviation association, and the Air Care Alliance (ACA), a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations.
Bill Boulton won the Distinguished Volunteer Pilot Award for his work with Angel Flight, Inc., in Oklahoma. This group provides air transportation free of any costs to needy patients who must travel for medical reasons. Boulton has flown more than 150 flights for Angel Flight, spending 2,000 hours transporting patients needing help. He also pays for all costs out of his own pocket, with each trip often costing him more than a thousand dollars. He has also paid for many patients’ airline tickets when they were stranded due to inclement weather that prevented use of his own aircraft.
Stephan Fopeano of Los Angeles, California, won the Distinguished Volunteer Award. Fopeano, who donates his time to Angel Flight West, was the driving force behind implementing the Angel Flight Information Database System (AFIDS). The system makes volunteer flying more effective through the country by helping different regions coordinate their efforts. AFIDS contains a database of donors, patients, social workers and aircraft, allowing pilots to be put in touch with those in need more quickly than was ever possible before.
There were two winners of the Outstanding Achievement in Support of Public Benefit Flying Award. Angel Flight West won for being at the forefront of volunteer flying for the last two decades, since its inception in 1984. Besides patient flying, it also transports woman and children who are victims of domestic abuse, moves organs and blood, and more. The other winner is LightHawk, a non-profit organization whose volunteers fly environmental missions throughout North and Central America. Started in 1979, the organization’s members fly more than 500 missions a year, helping government agencies, advocacy groups, and scientists protect wildlife and the natural environment.
The Public Benefit Flying Team Award goes to Mission Coordinators from Angel Flight East, Angel Flight of Georgia, Angel Flight of Oklahoma, CairFlight, LifeLine Pilots, and the Volunteer Pilots Association. These completely independent groups work together closely in order to serve 37 of the contiguous 48 states, something each could not accomplish on its own.
Alaska Airlines won the Champion of Public Benefit Flying Award for supporting non-profit organizations who assist people in need for over 20 years; Angel Flight West is the largest recipient organization who has benefited patients needing to travel to hospitals for treatment, and otherwise would not be able to afford the transportation. For the past twenty years, Alaska Airlines' contribution to Angel Flight West amounts to approximately $3.5-million. Alaska Airlines supports non-profit organizations within all of the communities it serves; the majority of their giving supports social service agencies helping those individuals in need.
Above and Beyond, the awards ceremony, has been scheduled for the 26th of September in the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
NAA is a non-profit, membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA is the caretaker of several major aviation awards and it certifies all world and national aviation records set in the United States. For information visit its website at www.naa.aero.
The Air Care Alliance is a league of volunteer-based public benefit flying organizations, serving to enhance and promote their work. Its website is www.aircareall.org.
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