Pilot Club celebrates Founders Day

Staff Writer

The Pilot Club of West Point met Tuesday night in the parlor of the Henry Clay. The October meeting presents an opportunity to invite prospective members to come and visit the club.
Diane Warren is part of the membership committee and gave a presentation on the history of Pilot International for those visitors who came to be part of Founder's Day.
"Pilot International was chartered on October 18, 1921 in Macon, Georgia, by Elizabeth Leonard and forty local businesswomen." Warren said. "The name “Pilot” was inspired by the mighty riverboat pilots of that day who represented leadership and guidance."

She said the Pilots were founded on the following
Pilot Principles: Friendship and Service
Motto: “True Course Ever”
Colors: Green (life and vigor) and Gold (sincerity of purpose)
Emblem: A riverboat pilot’s wheel with eight spokes
First Pilot President: Lucy B. Allen, elected at the organization’s first convention in 1922.
"Pearl Sparks of Florence, Alabama, wrote the Pilot Code of Ethics," Warren said. "It was first presented in 1926 at the Fifth Annual PI Convention held in Montgomery, Alabama with 69 Pilots attending."

She said in 1929, Pilot organized its first club west of the Mississippi, the Pilot Club of El Paso, Texas. In 1932, the 22nd Pilot Club was organized in Juarez, Mexico, making Pilot a true “international” organization.
To include young women in the service of Pilot, Ruby Newhall, President of Pilot International in 1949, first envisioned Anchor Clubs, Pilot’s youth service organization arm, Warren said.
"By 1954 the number of Pilot members had increased to 9,900. Membership hit an all time high of 20,877 in 1985," Warren said, "The first issue of The Pilot Log was published in January 1924. Early issues were single page bulletins containing club news. Pearl Sparks, author of the Pilot Code of Ethics, once served as editor of The Pilot Log from 1927-28."

She said Pilot International Foundation (now the Pilot International Founders Fund) was established in 1975 to further Pilot’s humanitarian efforts. Since the Pilot International Founders Fund grant program began in 1977, nearly 1,500 grants totaling more than $1.5 million have been disbursed to Pilot Clubs.

"Our biggest fundraiser of the year begins Nov. 3," said Sandra Cox of the fundraising division. "We have our annual grocery grab coming up in a few weeks."
Jeannie Johnson said she had printed out the tickets and everyone could take a few sheets to start selling now. No one has to wait until Friday, Nov. 3, to buy grocery grab tickets.

"The price is the same, they are $1 each or 6 for $5," Cox said. "We'll be in front of Sunflower every Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. selling tickets. The winner of the opportunity to run through Sunflower for two minutes to grab $200 worth of groceries, will be drawn at 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18."
Cox said there is a limit of $50 on meat, and beer and cigarettes are not included in the grab.

"Our membership is down this year," Jeannie Johnson said. "Everyone needs to sign the sheet to work at the table in front of Sunflower at least three times. I know usually it was twice but we need a little more help this year. If you look at the sheet and the member coming after you is a teacher, expect them to be a little after 3 p.m."

Cox said she enjoys selling the grocery grab tickets. She see's people she hasn't seen since the previous year.
"Everybody loves the grocery grab," Cox said. "People start asking about it in October. Even if you don't need the food, people can write down the Project Homestead Food Pantry, the West Point Clay County Animal Shelter or their church if they want to. It's a fun project that everyone looks forward to."