Submitted by the Emmanuel Episcopal Parish Church.
ABOVE AND BEYOND … that describes the volunteer work of the Orcas Mercy Pilots.
On Nov. 24, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we honor and give thanks to our friends and neighbors who offer themselves, their time and flying expertise to help our island community. Just how many members of this community the Mercy Pilots have helped is hard to say, as over the past two decades they have been there to serve, often in repetitive schedules, providing transportation in response to various needs for our friends, family and neighbors who require off-island medical care or therapy.
The pilots do not receive any pay for this service. They do this voluntarily, from their hearts, to ensure timely medical services are met, above and beyond our Island’s capabilities. Only donated funds replenish the aviation fuel account, so that each Mercy Pilot can utilize a special credit card to cover the cost of their flight fuel for each trip which is F.A.A. approved. None of this is funded by the county. A flight may take under 15 minutes and, compared to taking an all-day ferry round trip, the energy and health of the individual is not compromised. An example and one of many cases is a mother who needs to undergo weekly radiation treatments off-island. Once her children are in school, she can be flown to receive her scheduled therapy and be back before her children come home from school. This peace of mind is substantial healing in itself, thanks to the Orcas Mercy Pilots’ transportation.
Emmanuel Episcopal Parish, in our effort to “walk the walk and talk the talk” of giving back to our island community, has appropriated funds from the St. Agnes Guild’s giving back program. At this time of Thanksgiving, on Sunday, Nov. 24 at the 10 a.m. service, we wish to thank our Orcas Mercy Pilots Gil Blinn; Jack Becker; Rick Fant; Beverly Franklett; Dwight Guss; Jack Huffman; Pat Muffet; Michael Triplett; Bob Waunch and flight coordinator, Audrey Wells.
Tax-deductible (501-C-3) donations may be made to Orcas Mercy Pilots, P.O. Box 164, Eastsound, WA 98245.