Angel Flight Southeast Pilots Take Flight to Save Lives

Leesburg-based charity provides free air transportation to adults and children needing specialized medical attention across Florida, Southeast.
Angel Flight provides free flights for medical and charitable needs.
Angel Flight provides free flights for medical and charitable needs.
LEESBURG, Fla. - Sept. 19, 2013 - PRLog -- Jeb Bolivar has had over 300 operations in his 34 years of life. Born with a condition that affected his jawbone, Bolivar’s latest treatment requires periodic visits to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, where he has undergone reconstructive surgery and where doctors are now focusing on opening his airway.

Each visit for the Eustis man begins at Leesburg International Airport where he boards a private plane for the first leg of the three leg trip to Arkansas. The Angel Flight Southeast ( pilots who fly him on his journey donate their time and aircraft. His next medical appointment at UAMS is scheduled in November.

“If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to do this,” said Bolivar of the pilots who dedicate so much to get him to his appointments. “Most of the pilots I’ve flown with have become my friends and we talk often.”

While pilots donate their airplanes, fuel and flight hours to help Angel Flight Southeast complete more than 3,000 flights each year, the non-profit organization is reliant on donations to pay for support services and to keep their passengers and pilots in the air.

The Harper Family Charitable Foundation has helped underwrite Angel Flight Southeast’s expenses since 2007 but recently agreed to be the title sponsor of the upcoming Pilot Awards Gala and 17th Annual Golf Tournament ( November 10th and 11th, at Arlington Ridge Golf Club, 4463 Arlington Ridge Boulevard, in Leesburg.

“The Angel Flight Southeast’s mission matches our mission of supporting the health, education, maintenance and well-being of disabled children and adults in Central Florida where the need is greatest,” said Robert W. Harper, Board of Director and Treasurer of the Harper Family Charitable Foundation.

Volunteer pilots from across Florida are recognized at the November 10th gala for their dedication to Angel Flight passengers. Golfers participating in the tournament are paired with a sports celebrity or community VIP for the day on November 11th and will have the opportunity to win prizes or have a chance to win $1 million for a hole-in-one.

“More than 600 pilots make up the network of volunteers who will often drop everything to ensure a patient gets to his or her needed medical appointment,” said Steve Purello, CEO of Angel Flight Southeast and himself a volunteer pilot. “We do it because we know these passengers would otherwise not get the care they need because treatment is too far away and travel is too expensive.”

Angel Flight Southeast seeks sponsors and attendees for the Pilot Awards Gala and 17th Annual Golf Tournament. For information, please call 352-326-0761 or visit

About Angel Flight Southeast

Angel Flight Southeast, Inc. is a non-profit volunteer pilot organization that provides free air transportation throughout Florida by private aircraft to distant medical facilities when commercial air service is not available, impractical or simply not affordable. Angel Flight Southeast is a member of Air Charity Network, an association of charitable aviation organizations comprised of more than 7,500 pilots and who represent over 90% of all charitable non-emergency flights flown in the nation. Angel Flight Southeast has won the seal of approval from Independent Charities of America recognizing Angel Flight Southeast as a good steward of the funds it generates from the public.
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