Local Pilots attend international convention

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Anna D’Antonia, president of the Pilot Club of Suffolk, joined more than 1,200 Pilot members from around the world at the service organization’s annual convention.

D’Antonia was joined by fellow Pilot Club of Suffolk members Fan Panton and LaVerne Flythe. Panton has served in many capacities including governor of the Virginia District, and Flythe serves as chaplain of the Virginia District.

The three Suffolk leaders are part of the thousands of members of Pilot International, and each year officers of the organization gather to discuss business and participate in workshops and other events. This year’s events took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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Pilot members took part in the &uot;Toronto Trek,&uot; a fund-raising event held to increase awareness of brain injury and prevention of those types of injuries.

The trek was held in downtown Toronto on July 12, and proceeds from this event and a benefit concert by &uot;The Diamonds&uot; went to support the work of Pilot International Foundation. Funds will be earmarked for the areas of brain-related research and education.

D’Antonia said convention participates also took part in a banquet and installation of Pilot International officers for 2002-2003.

Guest speakers for the convention included Miss America contestant Jeanne Robertson, of Burlington, N.C., and association consultant Mark Levin, president of B.A.I. Inc. Of Columbia, Md. The Rev. Michael Johnson, pastor of Faith in Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Springfield, Ohio, and artist Lucille Leggio of Hampton Bays, N.Y. also participated in the convention program. Members of &uot;Anchor Clubs,&uot; the youth division of Pilot, took part in an on-site service project during the convention, collecting hundreds of books and stuffed animals for patients in a Toronto children’s hospital. Anchor members also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of their program and participated in workshops addressing youth and volunteer issues.

Founded in 1921, Pilot International is a human service organization of volunteers working together to improve the quality of life in communities throughout the world. As D’Antonia said, the organization’s service focus is helping people with brain-related disorders and disabilities through education, volunteerism and financial support. Each year, in Suffolk, as well as worldwide, Pilot’s International Foundation awards thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships to further education, research, and programs that benefits those with neurological diseases and injuries to the brain.

For details on Pilot Clubs, visit the Web site at www.pilotinternational.org.