MARCH- LIFELINE PILOTS
The Peoria Rivermen have launched a charitable component to their partnerships this season with the addition of the Captain’s Causes initiative. Each month of the season, a different non-profit organization will be spotlighted through all available Rivermen outlets in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
Each month the featured organization will have a representative appear on WMBD This Morning for a live, on-camera interview. They will receive mentions over the public address system during intermissions at Rivermen home games, a live interview on the Rivermen radio broadcast during an intermission and an informative section of the team’s web site dedicated to the month’s cause. The Captain’s Cause will be permitted to setup tables in the concourse for Rivermen games to display informational literature and promote their cause. Players, coaches and front office staff will also participate in individual fundraising efforts throughout the month.
MARCH'S CAPTAIN'S CAUSE- LIFELINE PILOTS
Established in 1981,LifeLine Pilots’ mission is to facilitate FREE air transportation through volunteer pilots for financially distressed children and adults with medical and humanitarian needs.
History of LifeLine Pilots:
Founded in 1981 by Wanda Whitsitt of Champaign, IL, LifeLine Pilots’ mission is to facilitate free air trans-portation through volunteer pilots for financially distressed passengers with medical and humanitarian needs. LifeLine Pilots began as a small group of pilots in Illinois who envi-sioned using their special skill of flying to help people with emergencies to reach medical centers. With only 40 pilots, all activity was limited to departing or arriving within the state. All operations were under the auspices of Illinois Emergency Services and Disaster Agency taking advantage of their 24 hour phone service and liability protection. After five years, the group separated from the state agency to ex-pand the service area outside of Illinois. Criteria was ex-panded to include a financial need and logistical concerns. Board Members served as volunteer mission coordinators. The 100th mission was flown in 1987.
By 1990, it was evident that the increase in mission activity would require a paid mission coordinator to handle the volume. In 1998, the move was made to relocate Life-Line Pilots’ office to Byerly Aviation at the Greater Peoria Airport and broaden the scope of activities. A steady growth in mission activity has underlined the importance of this de-cision. To date, over 7400 missions have been flown by Life-Line Pilots’ Volunteer Pilots. The service area has grown to include free air transportation to those traveling between the Rocky Mountains and the East Coast.
The generosity of 550 volunteer pilots makes the mission of LifeLine Pilots’ a reality. Their decision to do-nate their time and resources to those with transportation needs has resulted in over 2,000,000 charitable nautical miles flown. The Volunteer Pilots come from all walks of life, are FAA certified pilots, have met the LifeLine Pilot’s volunteer pilot criteria and have a willingness to donate 100% of flight expenses. LifeLine Pilots’ passengers must have financial need, be able to sit upright, be ambulatory and be willing to fly in a small unpressurized aircraft. They have exhausted re-sources in their own community and are needing to travel a great distance to continue lifesaving treatments. LifeLine Pi-lots does not limit the number of times a passenger can uti-lize the service. Missions are facilitated for babies through senior citizens. LifeLine Pilots’ has also participated in re-lief efforts for natural disasters by transporting volunteers and supplies to areas of need. Ongoing outreach to referral sources such as medical centers and service organizations, as well as participation in general aviation events are a nec-essary part of LifeLine Pilots’ operations. The organization is a 501 (c)(3) charity that is privately funded by individuals, corporations and foundations.