Wings Magazine

NBAA/CAN Soiree raises $380,000 for life-saving flights

Oct. 28, 2014, Washington, D.C. - The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and Corporate Angel Network (CAN) raised $380,000 through a charity benefit held on Oct. 22 to support CAN’s life-saving flights for cancer patients.

October 28, 2014  By Carey Fredericks

The funds for CAN were raised through the annual NBAA/CAN Soiree, which took place at the conclusion of the second day of NBAA’s annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2014). The event featured live and silent auctions and a concert performance by legendary music group Three Dog Night.

Another of the evening’s highlights was a video, produced by CAN and shown at the start of the soiree, which featured 6-year-old Malcolm Thornock from Ames, IA, who was diagnosed in May 2013 with stage four neuroblastoma. Through CAN, Malcolm and his parents — Todd and Samara — have been able to fly routinely, for highly specialized treatment, from their home in Ames to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

In the video, Todd Thornock called CAN’s responsiveness “amazing.”Samara Thornock added, “Across the board, people have been very, very generous” in recognizing the severity of Malcolm’s situation and supporting CAN’s work to get him to the facility that provides the specialized treatment he needs. She added that the flights provided to Malcolm through CAN and the business aviation community help “to alleviate that monetary strain on our family,” enabling the Thornock’s resources to go farther in supporting treatment that could last many years. View the CAN video, titled “Corporate Angel Network – The Story of Malcolm,” in its entirety.

Following the conclusion of the video, CAN Executive Director Dick Koenig surprised soiree participants by bringing Samara and Malcolm Thornock onto the stage. In a moving testimonial, Samara Thornock detailed the tremendous impact the assistance from CAN and the business aviation community have made on Malcolm’s treatment and their family’s life, drawing a standing ovation from the large crowd.


A nonprofit organization, CAN is the only charitable entity in the United States whose sole mission is to help cancer patients access the best possible treatment for their specific type of cancer by arranging free travel to treatment facilities across the country using available seats on business aircraft. This not only improves the patients’ chances of survival, but also reduces their emotional stress, physical discomfort and financial burden.

“The business aviation community has long supported worthy humanitarian causes like the work done by the Corporate Angel Network, and that was again clearly demonstrated by the participation in this year’s soiree,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We thank everyone who once again made this event a part of their convention schedule.”

Koenig agreed, stating: “We very much appreciate all that NBAA and the business aviation community do to ensure that the soiree is a success each year, and equally important, the support the industry provides to CAN throughout the year to help seriously ill people get the treatment they need.”

Every year, CAN is the exclusive beneficiary of the NBAA/CAN Soiree at NBAA’s convention.


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