One man’s missions of mercy.

Volunteer pilot John Alston and Angel Flight Soars executive director Jeanine Chambers stand with a young boy and his mother as he heads off for medical treatment.

BY: Mickey Goodman

When Buckhead resident John Alston, the founder and CEO of ClubDrive, was learning to fly, he looked for a way to use his hobby to help others. The answer was Angel Flight Soars, an organization that enlists volunteer pilots to fly children and adults for lifesaving medical treatment.

“One of my first missions was transporting an 11-year-old girl from Bainbridge, Georgia, to Atlanta to get treatment for her failing eyesight,” he says. “Over a three year period, Angel Flight flew her scores of times, and even though the outcome wasn’t 20/20 vision, she would likely have become blind without the specialized medical care she received in Atlanta.”

Another of Alston’s favorite missions was flying two military paratroopers from North Carolina to Atlanta to visit an injured comrade who was hospitalized at the Shepherd Center. “He had no family other than his platoon members,” says Alston, “so two fellow paratroopers got permission to give him some badly needed moral support.”

Alston has been a volunteer pilot since 2007 and serves as chairman of the board of the 501C3 that has operated out of Peachtree DeKalb Airport for 36 years. He’s flown hundreds of missions, and his company also provided pro bono IT services to ensure that Angel Flight personnel can coordinate missions from alternate locations in the event of a disaster.

For more information, visit angelflightsoars.org.