|By Carmelo Turdo
Following the opening announcements, two guest activity leaders gave brief presentations about their aviation careers and experiences. First to speak was Phil Koch, a private pilot who volunteers to fly medical missions for Wings of Hope. Koch, a retired software industry consultant, has been flying nearly weekly for the Wings of Hope Medical Relief and Air Transport (MAT) Program. MAT was established in 2003 to provide access to life-saving health care within the Midwest to those who are unable to obtain or sustain transportation to specialty care facilities. This is accomplished using corporately-owned aircraft and volunteer pilots and medical staff. About 500 flights are provided annually in Wings of Hope aircraft or through the provision of commercial aircraft flights when practical.