Angel Flight West Plans Food Deliveries to Tribes
December 18, 2009
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  • By ADELLA HARDING – Free Press Staff Writer

    ELKO – In the spirit of the holiday season, Angel Flight West pilots from Reno and Las Vegas will deliver boxes filled with food to the Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Tribe at Owyhee and additional tribes in Nevada this weekend, weather permitting.

    “I’m thinking it may be Tuesday or Wednesday. The weather is not shaping up at this time,” volunteer Angel Flight pilot Tom Porta of Reno said Friday. “We’ll keep trying right up to Christmas and even after.”

    He said plans call for representatives of the Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Tribe to meet the pilots at Elko Regional Airport, when a window of good weather permits the flights.

    Reno pilots also will deliver food to the Fort McDermitt Shoshone-Paiute Tribe on the Nevada-Oregon border, and Las Vegas pilots will deliver food to the Lovelock Paiute Tribe, Yomba Shoshone Tribe and Duckwater Shoshone Tribe.

    Porta said the Nevada wing flew toys to the tribes last year.

    “This is the first year we’re doing food,” he said.

    Pilots who volunteer for the Nevada Wing of Angel Flight West, a volunteer pilot organization that provides services to families in need of medical care, will take time away from their usual duties this season for the food-delivery event, according to an announcement on the flights.

    “This year’s flight has special meaning for many of us because we will be helping tribal families put Christmas dinner on the table in remote locations of our state,” Porta said. “This year has been especially difficult for many families and we are honored to help.”

    The Angel Flight West Nevada Wing received donations from its members to send 115 boxes of canned and boxed goods and a $25 gift certificate for turkeys to each of 75 chosen Duck Valley tribal families and 40 Fort McDermitt tribal families.

    The Angel Flight West pilots out of Las Vegas plan to deliver boxed goods and $25 gift certificates to the other tribes.

    Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., Angel Flight West began in 1983. Pilots donate their time, aircraft and the expense of working with passengers who need their help to get necessary medical treatment. The passengers and their families pay nothing for non-emergency air travel.

    The pilots are engineers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, business people, retirees and many others, according to Angel Flight West. They all have two things in common: the love of flying and the desire to touch people’s lives.

    Date: 2009-12-12