Pilots host “Fla~mingle” event

Maggie Blackmon, Lacie Demaurice, Jennifer Griggs, and Pilot Membership Chair Melissa Schwier. Photo Contributed.

The Pilot Club of Darlington recently hosted a Meet and Greet “Fla~Mingle” Event at the Wilds- Edwards House. There were twenty-three guests who attended to find out more about the Pilot organization. There were many displays, posters, flyers, Pilot International promotional and informational materials, BrainMinder puppets and books, and scrapbooks for guests to view. Pilots were on hand to greet the guests, offer refreshments and share the story of Pilot.
Pilot International is a community-based volunteer organization founded in 1921 in Macon, Georgia. Elizabeth Leonard and six of her friends met on September 7, 1921, and the Pilot Club of Macon was born. Soon afterward, many Pilot Clubs were established.

The organization was founded on the basis of “friendship and service.” Pilot called its first International Convention in 1922 at the Dempsey Hotel in Macon, Georgia and Lucy B. Allen was elected the first President of Pilot International. The motto of “True Course Ever” was adopted. The colors green (for life and vigor) and gold (for sincerity of purpose) were approved. The emblem adopted was a riverboat pilot’s wheel with eight spokes.

In 1926, at Pilot’s fifth international convention, Pearl Sparks, President of the Pilot Club of Florence, Alabama, presented “The Code of Ethics,” which continues to be used without change. In 1940, Pilots donated an ambulance to the Red Cross for use in England during WWII. In 1949, Pilot Clubs were chartered in Paris, France and London, England. Two years later, clubs were established in Bermuda and Japan. Pilot launched Anchor Clubs, named Helen Keller an honorary member, and granted the first scholarship in 1952. Pilot reached an all-time high of 20,877 members in 1985. In 2001, we introduced our signature focus of BrainMinders to teach children how to protect their brain for life.

Pilot International envisions a world where all are valued. Our mission is to influence change in communities throughout the world. To do this, we come together in friendship and service.

We focus on:

• Preparing youth and young adults for service

• Encouraging brain safety and health

• Supporting those who care for others

As Pilots, we strive to “Do More. Care More. Be More.” in countries around the world…the

USA, Bahamas, Japan, and South Africa.

The Pilot Club of Darlington sponsors the Darlington Anchor Club, provides BrainMinder programs to teach children as well as seniors tips for brain safety, and supports caregivers by providing Pick Me Up projects to uplift those who tirelessly care for others. The Club sponsors the South Carolina Sweet Potato Festival the second Saturday in October in downtown Darlington. They also provide Project Lifesaver in cooperation with Darlington County Fire Department to help find loved ones who wander and bring them safely back home.

Pilots provide funds for the Safe Harbor Fund to assist Pilots and their communities in times of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Pilots also provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students and grants to clubs for special projects in communities around the world.

The Pilot Club of Darlington meets the second Monday of each month at the Wilds-Edwards House. If you are interested in learning more about Pilot, please contact Pilot Club President Judy Langley at 843-617-0689 or President Elect and Membership Chair Melissa Schwier at 843-858-9014.

Author: Duane Childers

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