May 17, 2012
By Benét J. Wilson
Greg Greenbaum uses his Cessna Citation V jet to fly volunteer missions with Atlanta-based Angel Flight Soars. According to Executive Director Jeanine Chambers, Greenbaum, who has been a pilot since 1995, is one of her most dedicated volunteers, flying 25 missions since joining Angel Flight Soars in 2005, including 10 in 2012 alone.
In his day job, Greenbaum is the president and CEO of Atlanta-based CentraArchy Restaurant Management Co., overseeing 20 restaurants with annual sales of $75 million and 1,500 employees. He handles strategic planning, upper management development, new site selections, as well as concept and restaurant design and uses his jet to visit his restaurants, all located in the south.
Thanks to his larger and faster Citation V, Greenbaum is able to fly missions for Angel Flight Soars that it otherwise wouldn’t be able to handle, said Chambers. She offered many stories of Greenbaum’s generosity, but offered three examples of his impact on families with sick children needing transportation for medical care.
Three-year-old Owen Johnson was paralyzed and suffered respiratory failure after a drunk driver hit the car he was in. The Cleveland Clinic performed an experimental surgery on Owen and succeeded in implanting a diaphragm pacer that allowed Owen to breathe without machines. The drive for Johnson’s family would have been more 1,000 miles if Greenbaum had not used his jet to get the family home in less than three hours.
Fourteen-year-old Mason Marchand, suffering from inflamed bowels, needed to get home to Birmingham, Ala., after being in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for a month undergoing multiple surgeries to remove and repair parts of his intestines. Greenbaum got him home in an hour, allowing his family to avoid an eight-hour drive.
At only 11 months old, Kersten Jarvis needed a liver transplant and had to be in Atlanta within seven hours. Greg was close to Jarvis in Florida and responded within minutes of the call, delivering her to the hospital within three hours of the transplant call.
Greenbaum will be hosting a fundraising event May 20 at the Atlanta branch of the New York Prime, with all proceeds from the evening benefitting Angel Flight Soars. “It’s volunteers like Greg that allow us to help patients and their families get the medical treatment they need in distant locations without having to worry about the cost,” said Chambers. “We believe that the cost of travel should never stand in the way of receiving medical care, and volunteers like Greg allow us to fulfill our mission.”
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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