16 October, 2019

American Airlines Sky Ball Raises $2.4 Million for Veterans Causes

American Airlines Sky Ball, the company’s annual fundraiser to benefit military heroes and their families, raised more than $2.4 million this year. The funds go to the Airpower Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting members of the military and their families by providing grants to worthy veteran-related causes.
Sky Ball XVII culminated with a black-tie gala on Saturday, Oct. 5, in an American hangar at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. This year’s program featured profiles of a variety of organizations supported by Sky Ball and closed with a special performance by country music artist Martina McBride. About 2,400 people attended the gala.

“Holding an event of this calibre in an aircraft hangar is what makes it so special. There’s no event like it in the country and I couldn’t be more proud of the more than 1,000 American Airlines team member volunteers, many of whom fly in for the weekend, who come together to make this all happen,” said David Seymour, Senior Vice President of Operations for American and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. “It’s simply amazing to see them work night and day to transform our largest hangar at DFW into a concert venue, followed by a second transformation into a ballroom that’s fit for gowns and tuxedos.”
The three days of Sky Ball events included a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 3 that honoured those who have received the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest award for valour in combat. Other Skyball weekend events included a veteran-focused career fair, educational outreach programs highlighting the Medal of Honor’s Character Development Program at area schools and a Salute to Heroes concert honouring members of the military, first responders, veterans, their families and the families of our fallen military heroes. The concert featured country musicians Austin Allsup and Stoney LaRue.
Two American team members received Citizen Hero Awards from the Airpower Foundation during the concert. Patty Herdlicka, who works in the Marketing Department of the American Airlines Federal Credit Union, and George Galloway, a Fleet Services Clerk Crew Chief at O’Hare International Airport (ORD), were recognized for their dedication to community service and commitment to volunteering. Combined, the two have volunteered more than 1,500 hours in 2019 so far.
Seventeen of the 70 living recipients of the Medal of Honor attended Saturday’s black-tie gala, which included recipient Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Patrick Brady, who recited the Oath of Enlistment to 20 new recruits. Former United Kingdom Royal Navy Sailor and Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine served as culinary director for more than 7,000 people over the course of the weekend.
“Thanks to American Airlines and all of their team members who donated their time and talent to supporting those who serve our country," said Sid Eppes, Chairman of the Airpower Foundation. "The funds raised through Sky Ball allow the Airpower Foundation to fund and make a major impact within the military community through great organizations like the Adaptive Training Foundation, USO, Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, Armed Services YMCA, Robert Irvine Foundation and many others. It also allows us to purchase mobility devices, fund scholarships, support Gold Star families and other life-changing programs.”
For more information about Sky Ball, visit skyballinfo.com

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