John Clough, a pilot with Angel Flight East and his lovely wife, Ruth, joined the club for breakfast this morning. Again this year, Angel Flight Northeast was is the recipient of the proceeds of our annual Pancake Breakfast held at and in partnership with
in Newtown, PA.
Each year, John continues to provide additional information about this amazing organization.
Celebrating more than 23 years in service, Angel Flight Northeast is a story about the courageous men, women and children and their families with an incredible will to live. Angel Flight Northeast flies these fine people free of charge to hospitals so they can receive critical care treatment. We have answered over 77,000 flight requests and have flown over 14 million miles since we began operation in Spring 1996.
During their busy times, we schedule between 80 to 100 flights for these courageous patients and their families ensuring they have access to medical care they need.
We have never turned away a request, and with a little help from the organization’s friends and supporters, they never will.
Angel Flight Northeast was founded by Fr. Larry Camerlin, an avid pilot and priest who has dedicated his professional career to the healthcare field. He knew he wanted to find a way to give back to the community and support those in need of accessing life-saving medical care.
After leaving the Franciscan Order, he continued his ministry in healthcare and hospice work. Fr. Larry is a Catholic priest in the American Old Catholic Church, one of the rites of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, whose mission is rooted in the gospels, while providing an affirming, inclusive, evangelical and sacramental presence to all in their diversity. Fr. Larry holds a B.A. in Philosophy and M.Div in Pastoral Ministry. He is married with four children and six grandchildren.
With pro bono counsel from attorney Nicholas Hodge at the international law firm of K & L Gates LLP, Angel Flight NE was incorporated in March 1996 and soon thereafter the IRS granted us 501 (c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt status. Using a small office space donated by the Beverly Flight Center, our flight operations began on May 31, 1996 with 10 volunteer pilots and two requests for flights.
Today, Angel Flight Northeast is comprised of 500+ volunteer private pilots who combine our love of flying with the spirit of grassroots volunteerism by flying patients and their families to the critical health care they need. They provide air transportation in private aircraft by volunteer pilots so that children and adults may access life-saving medical care free of charge.
We are also a vital mode of transportation for organs, blood and for patients awaiting organ transplants. We also make compassion flights and provide air care wherever there is a compelling human need. Through our membership in Air Care Alliance, we can arrange flights throughout most of the country and Canada. Angel Flight Northeast flies extensively in the Northeast portion of the country.
The Angels for Armed Forces® program provides free flights to military personnel and veterans, who need to access medical care. It also provides flights for military family members who need to travel to visit injured service members and whose financial resources do not permit them to travel by commercial airlines.
These flights are conducted by Angel Flight Northeast volunteer pilots, many being veterans themselves, who share not only a love of flying, but also have a deep commitment to helping others. They donate their time, their airplanes, all expenses of the flight, and mostly, their hearts to serve their community and those in need.
Angel Flight Northeast entered into a memorandum of understanding with the USO in 2010 to mutually promote the Angels for Armed Forces® program.
Earth Angels is a vital partner with Angel Flight Northeast generously donate their time and vehicles to transport patients to and from the airport / medical facilities.
Fast Facts about Angel Flight Northeast
- Range from transporting children and adults for medical care to flying people for compassion flights and other compelling needs.
All our flights are offered completely FREE to the passenger,their family, and travelling companions.
- Angle Flight Northeast has never refused anyone in need!
- We serve patients nationwide through our partnership with other air charities and airlines.
- Approximately 40% of our patients are children, suffering from life-threatening cancer, severe burns or crippling diseases.
- We will fly people for as long and as often as they need to travel, with no limit whatsoever to the number of flights we provide.
Our Flights and Area of Coverage:
- Their flights are flown in private aircraft, by volunteer pilots and commercial airlines.
- Their volunteer pilots donate their time, talent, airplane, fuel and operating expenses.
- Their volunteer pilots have flown over 14 million miles.
- They have scheduled more than 77,000 missions since 1996.
- On average they coordinate 80-100 missions per week.
- They have recruited 500+ volunteer trained pilots.
- Over 200 “Earth Angels” donate their time and cars to drive our patients to and from the hospital and airports.
- Each dollar donated generates on average five dollars worth of contributed services by Angel Flight NE volunteers.
- They primary service area covers 9 states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Additionally, we can serve patients nationwide through our partnership with other air charities and airlines.
John then ran two of many on-line videos of real families whose families have been saved in part due to the incredible generosity and dedication of Angel Flight Northeast and its dedicated pilots.
Please take a few minute to learn more about these heartwarming stories at: http://www.angelflightne.org/news-events/videos.html?wvideo=g2mqohb83k
John fielded questions, including lots of them about his plane, logistics, and certifications. He is on his fourth plan, this one is a fast, four-seater. He has it docked at a professional airstrip not far from his home in New Holland. While he could do a lot of maintenance himself, he also has them service it. He uses the regular landing strips at all of the major airports in this area (VA to Boston). Of course, everyone was in awe of how expertly he must have to guide in his plane, given very busy airports. The air traffic controllers treat him like any other plane. (The airports also waive all fees for Angel Flight.).
John’s only allowed to fly at far lower altitudes than his commercial peers/plans. John is usually at 10,000 to a max of 13,000 ft. up in the air.
He has an FAA physical once a year (private pilots are only required to do that every 3 years!). He must also notify the FAA if he goes to the doctor and anytime he fills a prescription. There is extremely close monitoring of pilots, understandably. He must demonstrate and re-certify as a pilot annually as well. He has basic emergency equipment on board and related training, thankfully he has never had to use it.
Our club’s $1600 will go to defray some of John’s gasoline costs. John flies about once a week for Angel Flight and plans to do it, “as long as I am in fine health!” As he accepted the club’s check, he and his wife again thanked and blessed us all for our unwavering support of his efforts.
The Club was then honored to present John and Ruth with a check for $1,600.
(l to r) Pancake Breakfast Chair and former Navy pilot Jerry Redington, Ruth and John Clough and Club President Jeff Revak
When we hve the unique opportunity to meet and work with and support folks like John, we are reminded of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson; “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Tomorrow, please take a moment to remember the sacrifices made by so many American, British and Canadian soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, estimated at 10,000, including 2,500 dead … to help secure freedom for millions across Europe.
Finally, our sincere congratulations to our Assistant District Governor, Chris Potter, who recently received both recognition and a more expansive job within Rotary District 7450 Director for Areas 1, 2, and 3, after serving in Rotary since 1988 and a significant promothion at Kramer Insurance Center.