Thu, Sep 18, 2014

An Angel Takes Flight

by Susan Chapman

After a decade-long romance, a New Mexico couple decided to travel to Las Vegas to make a lasting commitment. However, less than 48 hours after the couple’s wedding, the groom went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the intensive-care unit of a Las Vegas hospital. Once well enough to travel, the groom needed to be transported back to his home state. But the expense of such a flight, which would also require a skilled medical team on board, overwhelmed his new wife. For help, she turned to Rena Davenport, founder and board president of Angel Wing Flights.
A veteran of the executive jet charter industry, Rena was able to help the couple, even though she was still in the process of establishing Angel Wing Flights. She had also just taken another bold step, leaving a full-time position to establish Exquisite Air Charter, LLC, a jet charter brokerage firm.
“I incorporated two new businesses within 60 days of one another,” Rena explains. “Jet charter is my bread and butter, but helping critically ill patients in need through Angel Wing Flights is my passion.”
Rena used her skills to establish Angel Wing Flights at the same time she was working for a local executive jet charter company. One of her flights had landed and she begged the pilots to return to the air on an air ambulance flight; a Sacramento man who desperately needed a heart transplant learned that a heart was available in Los Angeles and needed to fly immediately.
“Arranging that flight gave me the most rewarding feeling ever,” Rena enthuses.
Understanding that many of the nonprofit air services already in existence could only offer their services to patients who were both ambulatory and needed to travel short distances, Rena instantly knew that she could fill this vital necessity – but she also knew that she would need help.
“The cost of an air ambulance flight is about $25,000. So, raising money is an important part of what I do.”
Angel Wing Flights is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which can accept donations, large or small.
“The truth is,” Rena says, “small donations from different people can really add up. We can also accept items that can be auctioned at our events. Also, Exquisite Air Charter donates five percent of all profits to Angel Wing Flights. So, if you book a flight with us, know that you’re getting the very best service while also supporting something truly worthwhile.”