Suffolk Pilot Club members attend international convention

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Staff report

Jacque Edwards, Fan Panton and LaVerne Flythe, members of the Pilot Club of Suffolk, joined more than 1,200 Pilot members from all over the world at the Pilot International Foundation Annual Convention held in Jacksonville, Florida from July 14-17.

In addition to business meetings and workshops, convention attendees took part in the &uot;PIF Walk,&uot; a fund-raising event held to increase awareness of brain injury and brain injury prevention. The Walk was held along the St. Johns River on Saturday, July 17. Proceeds from this event, a golf outing, and a silent auction went to support the work of Pilot International Foundation in the area of brain-related research and education.

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Convention attendees also took part in a banquet and installation of Pilot International officers from 2004-05. Guest speakers included entrepreneur and cancer survivor Emory Austin, Executive Director and CEO J.E. Saunders of Project Lifesaver International, of Chesapeake, Va. Singer/speaker Mike Rayburn provided entertainment at the President’s Banquet. A concert featured The Diamonds, a classic Rock ‘n Roll vocal group that had a string of hits in the ’50s including Little Darlin’ and The Stroll.

Members of Anchor Clubs, the youth division of Pilot International, took part in an on-site service project during the convention, collecting hundreds of books and stuffed animals for patients in a Jacksonville children’s hospital. Anchor members also participated in workshops addressing youth leadership 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. The organization’s service focus is helping persons with brain-related disorders and disabilities through education, volunteerism and financial support.

The Pilot International Foundation awards thousands of dollars annually in grants and scholarship to further education, research, and programs that benefit those affected by neurological diseases and injuries to the brain.