Kaps Puts the ‘Run’ in Runway

The Port supported a good cause with its first Runway Wobble 5k

Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport hosted its first 5K Run, dubbed the Runway Wobble, on November 20th. The run was put on to benefit the non-profit Pilots for Patients. Paul Aucoin, Port of South Louisiana Executive Director, said the Port’s Executive Regional Airport was happy to raise funds for such a worthy cause.

Pilots for Patients was formed in 2007 by founder Philip Thomas. A Monroe, Louisiana based pilot, Thomas came up with the idea one night and moved forward with that dream instantaneously. Its mission is simple: “provide free air transportation to those patients needing diagnosis and treatments at medical facilities not available to them locally.” Its effect, however, is tremendous. The volunteer pilots who form this group have flown over 6,000 missions, amounting to approximately 103 journeys around the equator. With pilots located at various airports throughout, any resident in the state can use this service.

“We had a great turnout for our first run, with 70 participants in the race, along with numerous others coming out to support the cause,” said Lisa Braud, Airport Director for the Port. “With the help of our sponsors who we are so grateful to, we were able to donate over $12,000 to Pilots for Patients to support their organization.”

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In addition to the Run, there was live music performed by Miah Vicknair and the Krewe, classic cars on display and delicious food prepared by airport-based pilots.

Philip Thomas and his Marketing Coordinator Kari Barnett were on hand and stated: “Kari and I, along with all the PFP pilots, thoroughly enjoyed the festivities! We are very thankful of all the support shown for our ministry, helping our friends and neighbors across this region and around the state travel to specialized treatment facilities not found locally. Many thanks to all the sponsors, organizers and a very special thanks to Lisa Braud pulling all of this together! Thank you also Joey Murray for your support along with L.J. Brady, and George Waddell, our newest PFP Pilot based out of Executive Regional.”

The sponsors of the event included Marathon Petroleum, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Port of South Louisiana, PEC, Kutchins & Groh, Louisiana Federal Credit Union, St. James Parish Hospital, Associated Terminals, Hymel’s Turf & Landscape, WSP, and the contributors included Mobile Solvent & Supply Inc, Dustin Braud Alliant Insurance, Golden Grove Truck Stop, LaAviator.com, N2009D, Southern Eagle Distributors, Golden Ranch Aviation, Voodoo Model Boat Club, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Crescent Crown Distributing – Louisiana, and Matherne’s Market at Riverlands.

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“This is a very selfless act these pilots perform, helping those in need, to get to the treatment that is truly live saving,” said Joey Murray, Port Commissioner and Airport Committee Chairman. “Many pilots meet these patients for the first time when they volunteer for a mission, and I believe those lives touched by this kindness will be rewarded many times over. Having flown a cancer patient myself from New Orleans to Houston for treatment who could not endure the trip by car and see them recover strengthens your faith.”

Braud said the community can look forward to more events in the near future, including a Wings and Wheels event, St. John Aviation Awareness Day, a warbirds weekend and regularly scheduled fly-ins on the third Saturday of every month.

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