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Angel Flight West Recognizes New Mexico Pilots and Receives Grant to Improve Access to Health Care

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Angel Flight West (AFW) awarded The Distinguished Pilot of the Year award to Albuquerque, New Mexico pilot Dan Telfair at AFW's 24th Anniversary Awards and on Saturday, November 17 at the annual New Mexico Wing pilot awards event. Telfair completed 56 missions over the past year. As an AFW pilot, Dan flies people in need whose non-emergency health care problems require that they travel to and from medical facilities and for other humanitarian reasons. Telfair, like all AFW volunteer pilots, donates the cost of all the missions he flies. His flights include transporting children living in the foster care system to meet potential adoptive parents; some of these flights have resulted in children finding new permanent homes.

Telfair is one of 44 active New Mexico based pilots that fly for AFW. In the past year, AFW's volunteer pilots in New Mexico have flown over 144 missions totaling 360 hours of volunteer flying, 43,200 miles flown and $79,200 in volunteer pilot in-kind donated costs.

John Courtright, another AFW frequent-flying New Mexico pilot, was recognized with The Wingman Award during the Anniversary event and at the New Mexico Wing pilot awards. Courtright, from Albuquerque, has flown 27 missions in the past year, which have included flying a now 2 year old boy from Portales, NM to Los Angeles, CA for retinal blastoma treatment.

Executive Director Michael Nanko recognizes the valuable support from the entire New Mexico Wing of Angel Flight West. He says, "The flights donated by our New Mexico pilots are invaluable. These pilots of purpose who fly out of passion and their compassion to help those in need are impressive. They truly make a difference to the residents or New Mexico. With the combined efforts of all these remarkable individuals, Angel Flight West has become the charitable aviation organization of choice in the great state of New Mexico."

As a result of the work performed by pilots in New Mexico and the recognition that there is a need for improved access to healthcare for all New Mexicans, Con Alma Health Foundation, New Mexico's largest foundation solely dedicated to improving the quality and access to health care, awarded AFW with one of their 2007 Small Grant's in the amount of $14,000 for a program titled Increased Access to Quality Health Care through Free Air Transportation. Angel Flight West was one of the recipients honored at the Sixth Annual Grants Award Banquet at the Sandia Resort and Casino on Friday, November 16, 2007.

SOURCE Angel Flight West
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