The business aviation community came together last night in support of the Corporate Angel Network (CAN), the industry charity that arranges for cancer patients to fly to treatment in empty seats on business aircraft. At this year’s annual NBAA-CAN Soirée, which was held during this week’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, the silent and live auctions raised nearly $440,000 for the organization, about $70,000 more than at last year’s event.
Among the most sought-after prizes were a golfer’s “dream come true” package donated by Honda Aircraft that was auctioned for $55,000; Gogo Biz in-flight Internet equipment package donated by Aircell, which sold for $82,500; and a Rolling Stones guitar autographed by Ronnie Woods and to be signed with a personal message to the winner by Keith Richards, which went for $20,000.
According to executive director Peter Fleiss, CAN flies about 250 patients each month to life-extending treatment, “But there’s an equal number that we’re not able to help. We need more lift capacity, meaning more members who can provide empty seats on business aircraft.” Year-to-date, CAN has flown more than 2,000 patients and is approaching its 44,000th patient flight.