Angel Flight is an Angel and Won an Award in South Carolina to Prove It!

Secretary of State Mark Hammond Announces Scrooges and Angels for 2010

11/17/2010

South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond with
Angel Flight's SC Branch Director, Bo Bowman.

South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond
with some of the Angel Flight staff and volunteers.

(Columbia, SC) – South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond announced today the fifteenth-annual Scrooges and Angels for 2010. The ten Angels were recognized at a press conference and honored with a reception in the Secretary of State’s Office following the announcement.

The Angels honored represent organizations that exemplify charitable giving in South Carolina. Representatives from all organizations were in attendance to receive a plaque and recognition from Secretary Hammond. The Angels recognized, with the percentage of their program expenses that went toward their program activities, are listed below. Those recognized are listed in alphabetical order, and are not ranked by the Secretary of State.

  • Angel Flight Soars, Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • Cheer for Children, Rock Hill, SC
  • Family Promise of Beaufort County, Inc., Beaufort, SC
  • Fields to Families, Ladson, SC
  • Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Jacksonville, FL
  • Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands SC, Greenville, SC
  • Horry County Museum Foundation, Conway, SC
  • House of Hope of the Pee Dee, Florence, SC;
  • Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy, Kiawah Island, SC
  • Pets, Inc. of the Midlands, West Columbia, SC

The Angels were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office. The following criteria were considered: the charity must have been established for at least three years; has collected revenue greater than $20,000; 80 percent or more of the revenue must go toward the charities’ program goals; makes good use of volunteer labor; and receives minimal funding in grants. The panel also sought to showcase charities with different missions, and chose charities across South Carolina and outside the state.

The designation of Scrooge is based upon the charitable organization’s failure to spend a high percentage of their collections on stated program activities and/or use of a high percentage of collections to pay professional solicitors. The Scrooges chosen, with the percentage of their program expenses that went toward the program activities, are listed below.  Those recognized are listed in alphabetical order, and are not ranked by the Secretary of State.

The Scrooges were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office. The following criteria were considered:  the charity had given 40 percent or less of the revenue to the charities’ program goals; collected revenue greater than $20,000; and spent a large amount of donations on the use of professional fundraisers.

Secretary Hammond issued the following statement: “As Secretary of State, I have the duty of enforcing the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, and of protecting the public against “Scrooge” organizations that want to take advantage of our giving spirit. Charitable solicitations across the state have increased in the last three years because more and more people are in need of assistance.  Even though times are tough, South Carolinians continue to be some of the most generous people in the nation and always answer the call when it comes to defending and helping the less fortunate.  However, there are those who would take advantage of our generosity. So I ask that you check out any organization before you contribute your hard-earned money. Please visit our Website at www.scsos.com; select the Charity Search button to learn the charity’s total revenue, program expenses, total expenses, net assets, and fundraiser costs.  We have even calculated the percentage of total expenses that the charity has devoted to its program services. You can also call our Charities Division at 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484).”

To View more photos from this event, visit our Facebook page.

“I am pleased to announce that we are opening the first branch office for Angel Flight,” states Jeanine Chambers Biron, Executive Director of Angel Flight. “It will be located in the Greenwood, South Carolina airport and will serve the entire state. We have named Bo Bowman, one of our premier pilots, as our new South Carolina Branch Director.”

Among his many duties, Bowman will give presentations to area civic, social and community groups and will be working to make sure that the public is aware of the important mission of Angel Flight, which is to provide free flights to those with medical needs outside of their immediate area. He’ll stay in touch with pilot associations and other groups to recruit new pilots into the program. He will also manage the pilot program and set up training sessions. Another important facet of his work will be reaching out to businesses and foundations in South Carolina to ask for their financial support.

Bo Bowman has spent most of his life thinking about, and then making the environment and the world a better place. Along the way, he fell in love with flying and now he is happily celebrating the marriage of both.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” enthuses Bowman. “Most pilots want to fly regularly and we look for reasons to fly. But to have a reason to fly that helps humanity...well it doesn’t get better than that!”

When asked how he got involved with Angel Flight, Bowman explains. ”I have a pilot buddy who volunteers for Angel Flight and he introduced me to this wonderful organization a year ago. I started volunteering right away. I realized that I could help, and that so many others would want to help if they just knew how easy it was to make a difference.”

Bo’s fascination with flying started when he was 8 years old.  His dad took him to a country airport and arranged for them to take a flight in a small plane. Bo was completely hooked, and vowed to someday have his own airplane.

Also at an early age Bo began thinking about the environment and man’s interaction with it, and its effects on the community. Growing up in Westernport, Maryland was the perfect setting. The small town of about 5,000 people sits on the banks of the Potomac River and the major employer in the area is a paper mill.  Living in that area was something that would ultimately change the way Bo viewed the world and greatly influence what he would do for a living.

Most of their friends went to work at the paper mill, but Bo and his wife Peggy wanted to get out and see the world and have an adventure.  Bo also wanted to pursue his dream of flying and owning a plane, but that would have to wait.  However, he did figure out a way to combine his Master of Science degree with his love of flight.  During the aerospace boom of the 1960’s, Bo took a job as a rocket engineer in California and was thrilled to work as a test engineer on the Apollo rocket that circled the moon.

During their time in California he also studied the smog in the Los Angeles area and wondered what could be done about that and other environmental problems.  When rocket testing was moved from California to the middle of the Nevada desert, Bo and Peggy decided to leave the smog and head back east.  He landed a job with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in Hartford, Connecticut as an engineer for jet engines.  Later he moved into a job as an engineer for power plants, then returned to working with jet engines.

After about 8 years in Hartford Bo took a job with Westinghouse in the Pittsburgh area where he would work for 29 years on various job assignments such as design and project engineer for power plants and ultimately to one of his major interests, environmental clean up.  He worked on a number of high profile clean up projects including some with nuclear contamination.

During this time, around 1980, Bo also realized his dream of getting his private pilot’s license and a few years later bought his first plane.  He currently owns a Piper Archer which he hangars at Greenwood County Airport.

In 2001 Bo and Peggy moved to Greenwood, South Carolina near the lake at Stoney Point. The idea was to retire, but the energetic Bowman went to work part time for David & Floyd. Still pursuing his interest in improving the environment, he works on storm water pollution prevention. 

Bo and Peggy love their new home in the Carolinas and have become active in their community by volunteering at two local soup kitchens, at the food bank, and in a number of outreach programs sponsored by their church, Immanuel Lutheran.  Neighbors are used to Bo’s “buzzing” them overhead when he is out flying and heading back to the hangar!

In early 2008 Bowman found Angel Flight and now is able to combine his love of flying with his passion to help others.  On one of his early flights he met a young man with cerebral palsy.  Bo let him ride up in the co-pilot seat.  It was a special time for both the teenager and Bo.

“When you spend time with someone who really needs the service you are providing, there is a bond that you share,” Bowman says.  “It can be deeply personal as they share their joys and their fears with you.  I enjoy that connection immensely and it helps to give my life purpose.”

Realizing they had a good number of flights out of South Carolina, Bo pursued the idea of setting up a branch and helping to create a hub for the pilots in the area.   He is a member of the South Carolina Breakfast Club, a group of more than 100 pilots in the state who fly to a designated airport to meet every other Sunday to share breakfast and flying stories.  On January 25th they met in Greenwood and Bo was there to share the exciting news about the opening of the new Angel Flight branch office.

To get more information about the new Angel Fight office in Greenwood, South Carolina, call Bo Bowman at 864-554-3198.  To schedule a flight with Angel Flight call 1-877-4 AN ANGEL or 770-452-7958.