Flying is in Steve Wells’ blood. From a very young age, he loved planes and hoped to fly one someday. His dream came true in 1972 when he graduated from Oklahoma State and bought his first airplane—a Fleet 16B Finch bi-plane.
He says, “It took about four years to rebuild.”
ANGEL FLIGHT OKLAHOMA
Thank you to all our Angel Flight pilots, volunteers, and their guests for attending the Annual BBQ on May 14th. We appreciate your constant support and contributions throughout the year.
Below is a Facebook album of the event, including photos of those who received special recognition of their contributions to Angel Flight Oklahoma.
Volunteer of the Decade: Ailsa Vojvoda
Pilot of the Year: Steve Wells (19 flights)
Above & Beyond Award
Pilots with 10 or more flights last year: Gene Downing, Bill Fingland, Tim Grice, Craig Jimenez, David Starr, and Doug Vincent.
Wendell Holland is a pilot on a mission. Those who board his plane are often in dire straits.
Like Nikki, she is terminally ill but excited to fly to a special camp. Or like little Reese, traveling with mom to St. Jude Research Hospital.
Debbie Moore “When they’re hurting so badly he gives them some hope,” Debbie Moore says.
Craig Fitzgerald says he took his first airplane flight when he was 3 1/2 months old.
Fitzgerald grew up between Cushing and Stillwater and his father, Bob Fitzgerald, was a pilot.
“My father just liked to fly,” Craig Fitzgerald said. “We took all our family trips in an airplane. I did not take a car trip until I was about 16.”
Sixteen. A time of high school activities, beginning college plans and perhaps even dating. Stefanie Renkema was doing none of these things. After an injury on the basketball court while playing her favorite sport, Stefanie was experiencing pain in her lower back/ tailbone area. The continuing pain led Stefanie to her local doctor. Scans and biopsies later, Stefanie was diagnosed with a giant cell tumor, benign but aggressive, in her sacrum.
The pilot relied on his co-pilot to call off the pre-flight checklist. The gears, the gauges, the fuel, the wings – all were in order as the co-pilot reported with steady concentration. One completed, they set off into the air.
When you first meet 15-year old Taylor Peterson, it is his smile that stands out the most. This young man lights up a room with his enthusiasm and zest for life. He literally sparkles with joy. Taylor is a 9th grade student at Victory Christian School. He loves technology and plans to attend Oral Roberts University to be a computer tech, paramedic, and a pilot. He already has some experience with airplanes, and unfortunately, he has had his share of hospital rooms. Taylor has cerebral palsy. He was diagnosed when he was two years old and soon after was going to 11 doctor and therapy visits a week for rehabilitation.
The employees of a Tulsa restaurant are volunteering their time and tips during an upcoming benefit to help fund a Broken Arrow girl’s surgery.
Louie’s Sports Grill, 6310 E. 101st St., will be raising money Saturday for 3-year-old Carleigh Yarrington, who has a severe hemangioma, a benign tumor of blood vessels that causes swelling around one eye and causes her cheek to be stiff and puffy.
Pilots volunteer time to transport patients
If there are really angels on Earth, they might come in the form of small aircraft guided by pilots who volunteer their time and wings with Angel Flight Inc.
Since 1991, Angel Flight has helped provide transportation for low-income people who need medical treatment outside of the state. But in the last decade, founder Doug Vincent said his biggest problem is finding the people who need help the most.