Although this is the official launch of the Pilot Flower Fund, it actually began two years ago on a much smaller scale. In 2015, Yvonne Mendez, our beloved bartender at the MCO Renaissance, lost her brother, Ivan. Several LAX pilots and flight attendants wanted to do something to help comfort our friend in her time of grieving, so we pooled our resources and ordered some flowers for her. The cover photo is the arrangement we bought for her. Since Yvonne was so touched by the flowers, we pilots thought extending the same gift would be a nice gesture to support our fellow pilots in their time of loss.
We have been quietly providing this support for LAX pilots for two years just based on word of mouth, and until now have been totally self-funded by the generous donations of about a dozen guys and the MEC members. Unfortunately, we've missed some during their time of grieving because we didn't know about their loss. It’s time to make this support available system-wide. We want to insure that nobody is forgotten or missed during their darkest days.
In order to achieve that goal, we need your help.
1. We need funding.
2. We need to know who has lost an immediate family member (spouse, child, sibling, parent). Although we would love offer this to in-laws, aunts, uncles and extended family, unfortunately, I don’t think that is financially possible as it would double or triple the cost.
3. We need to know where to send the flowers.
With 700+ pilots, flowers will be sent almost on a weekly basis. At $100/arrangement, we have an initial target budget of $5,000/year. This is 100% pilot funded and 100% voluntary. No Company or Union monies are being used to fund this. Mathematically, though, if EVERYONE pitched in only 7 bucks, we would should be set for the year. In fact, in the two weeks since we started this launch, we have had two pilots lose their fathers. Your donations have already gone to meet their specific needs. So, thank you to those early supporters.
Kam Nouri and I have LAX covered. Nick Markham has graciously offered to help out in SFO. Thank you, Nick. We could use a few more volunteers/laisons for SFO and JFK.
Should you know of a pilot who has recently lost a loved one and would like flowers sent for their funeral or memorial, please let me know.
- casey toon
- Jenny Stazel
- Lisa Booker
- Karen Bennett
- Chris Galinis
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