In 1981, three people shared the dream of using empty seats on corporate
aircraft to transport cancer patients to treatment centers nationwide.
Leonard M. Greene, founder and president of Safe Flight Instrument
Corporation, Priscilla H. Blum, a licensed commercial pilot, and Jay
N. Weinberg, then owner of a Mt. Vernon, NY Avis Car Rental franchise
together developed the idea of asking corporations to accept these
patients as guest passengers.
As cancer survivors, Blum and Weinberg knew how expensive and grueling
transportation is for cancer patients who must fly long distances
for specialized treatment. Greene too had firsthand experience, having
lost his wife to cancer. He contributed his foundation, funds, business
expertise, and aviation contacts to the effort.
On December 22, 1981, Greene, a pilot, personally flew the first Corporate
Angel Network flight, bringing a patient home to Detroit for Christmas
from treatment in New York City. From that day forward, Corporate
Angel Network literally soared. One by one, corporations across America
were asked to participate and one by one, they joined.
Since its inception, Corporate Angel Network has received numerous
awards in recognition of its service to cancer patients, including
the highest volunteer award from the President of the United States,
The Volunteer Action Award. The organization has coordinated more
than 50,000 regularly scheduled corporate flights with cancer patients
aboard and attracted into its network 500 corporate participants,
half in the top 100 of the Fortune 500.
J. C. Penney Golden Rule Award
Special Salute from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce
Presidents Volunteer Action Award
Presidents Private Sector Initiative Award