1st Runway Wobble a success at Executive Regional Airport

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021

RESERVE — The Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport recently hosted its first 5K run dubbed the Runway Wobble. The run was put on to benefit the nonprofit Pilots for Patients. Paul Aucoin, outgoing 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 its founder, Philip Thomas. Thomas, a Monroe, Louisiana based pilot, 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 treatment and medical facilities not available to them locally. However, its effect is tremendous. The volunteer pilots who form this group have flown over 6,000 missions, which amounts to approximately 103 times around the equator! With pilots located at various airports throughout, any resident in the state can use the service.

“We had a great turn out for our first run, with 70 participants in the race along with numerous others coming out to support the cause,” stated Lisa Braud, airport director for the Port. “With the help of our sponsors who we are so grateful to, we were able to donate to Pilots For Patients over $10,000 to support their organization.”

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. Thomas 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 is not found locally. Many thanks to all the sponsors, organizers, and very special thanks to Lisa for pulling this all together! Thank you also to Joey Murray for your support along with L.J. Brady and George Waddell, our newest PFP Pilots based out of the 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 and WSP. 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.

Joey Murray, Port commissioner and Airport Committee chairman, commented, “This is a very selfless act these pilots perform, helping those in need, to get the treatment that is truly life-saving. 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.”

For information on Pilots for Patients please visit their website at www.pilotsforpatients.org.
For information on Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport, visit www.portsl.com.