Ohio University airplane Bobcat One departed from Ohio University's Gordon K. Bush Airport today to deliver 2,000 pounds of donated supplies and bring eight survivors to the United States for medical treatment.
OU filled the plane with about 1,200 pounds of nonperishable food, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, water containers, medical supplies and battery-powered radios. The plane is scheduled to stop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to pick up 800 more pounds of supplies from Operation Airdrop Disaster Relief and then proceed to rescue the eight hurricane victims. Dr. Tania Basta, the chair of the Department of Social and Public Health in the College of Health Sciences and Professions, came up with the idea to send donations to people in Puerto Rico.
“(Basta) contacted the College of Health Sciences and Professions Dean Randy Leite, as well as the deans of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Russ College of Engineering; they, along with the airport, are funding the trip,” a Wednesday news release from OU stated.
The trip was approved Tuesday evening, but the flight had to take place on Wednesday, Basta said. Social media responses to the idea were strong, according to the release.
In just a day, an "overwhelming" amount of goods were donated at Grover Center. Donations from Athens also included about $1,000.
Ohio University Chief Pilot Nick Lather, who also helped make the arrangements, is coordinating with Operation Airdrop to get additional supplies in Fort Lauderdale. That organization was formed by Houston-area pilots after Hurricane Harvey to get supplies to victims.
Lather is making the trip with co-pilot Anthony Amos. Lather also flew the plane in September to deliver donations for Hurricane Irma relief in Naples, Florida.