American Airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Bell Helicopter Present 10th Annual Sky Ball Fundraiser Benefiting Military Families
Airpower Foundation’s Annual Gala Supports U.S. Service Members and Families
Series of Events Includes Career Expo for Veterans, Static Aircraft Tour for Area Students, Special Concert for Military Families by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band
The Airpower Foundation’s 10th annual Sky Ball fundraiser, a series of events presented by American Airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport and Bell Helicopter, will begin Thursday, Oct. 25, culminating in the gala itself the evening of Saturday, Oct. 27. This year’s celebration honors those who have served in Iraq and salutes the Marines on the 100th anniversary of Marine Aviation. Proceeds from Sky Ball X will enable the Airpower Foundation to provide increased support for military families in North Texas and across the United States.
The Airpower Foundation is again hosting the black-tie gala, which will be held for the first time at American Airlines Hangar 5 at DFW Airport. The program will feature musical performances by Broadway sensation Lauri Gayle Stevenson; “America’s Tenor,” Steve Amerson; and the Turtle Creek Chorale. The evening will conclude with a concert by Academy Award-nominated actor and musician Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.
“Over the past decade, Sky Ball has made a difference in the lives of countless service members and their families,” said Tom Horton, American’s Chairman and CEO. “It’s an honor for American to host this annual event, which allows us a special way to honor the sacrifices made by those who serve our country. The continued success of Sky Ball is truly a testament to the dedication of many people and organizations across North Texas, including the people of American and American Eagle who volunteer to organize and staff the event.”
Special guests at Sky Ball X will include Medal of Honor recipients, wounded warriors, actor Greg Kinnear (We Were Soldiers) and the official mascot of the weekend, Lucca, a recently retired military working dog who sustained injuries while serving in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of her left front leg. Highlights of the evening will include a special aerial demonstration before the main gala, as well as a number of vintage military aircraft on static display.
“DFW Airport is pleased to serve as a partner for Sky Ball X and we’re proud to take an active role in this important mission to serve our military families,” said Jeff Fegan, DFW Airport’s Chief Executive Officer. “DFW has been honored to serve our nation’s military over the years with our USO facilities and with the ‘Welcome Home a Hero’ program, and the Sky Ball events give our community even more opportunity to express our thanks to the families who sacrifice so much for our country.”
Sky Ball X events will start Thursday, Oct. 25, with a veteran-focused Career Expo to be held at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum in partnership with the Non-Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA). Texas-based veterans and military personnel leaving active service are invited to attend the expo, which will include representatives from more than 65 companies that seek to recruit former service members. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in professional-development sessions held throughout the day. Individuals interested in attending the expo may register online at www.military.com/career-expo. Once registered, attendees will receive a follow-up email three to five days before the event with the list of participating companies registered for the event.
On Friday, Oct. 26, activities will continue with a private luncheon at the C.R. Smith Museum featuring the presentation of an original portrait by artist Phil Taylor of the American Fallen Soldiers Project. The presentation will honor a soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Friday evening, more than 3,000 military families, guests and Sky Ball X volunteers will attend a free private concert hosted by the USO and Armed Forces Insurance. The concert will feature Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. American is the official airline of the Gary Sinise Foundation, providing support for the band in many capacities to promote the organization’s mission to honor U.S. defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, as part of educational programs being conducted during the week, 300 local schoolchildren are expected at American’s DFW hangar to tour more than 20 static aircraft on display. The educational display will showcase airplanes, military vehicles and military hardware, including a Bell V-22 Osprey, vintage aircraft, ground support equipment and several commercial aircraft. American will also provide aircraft for the display. Air crew members will also be on hand to talk with the children about the importance of math and science in aviation.
“On behalf of the 11,000 men and women of Bell Helicopter, we are proud to be part of Sky Ball, an event that honors our service members,” said John L. Garrison, Bell Helicopter’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We also want to thank our military families for their unwavering support. The commitment of fathers, mothers, husbands, wives and children are the glue that holds our military together.”
Last year, with help from nearly 1,000 American and American Eagle employee volunteers, Sky Ball IX raised more than $1 million to support the Airpower Foundation and the organizations they support. With contributions from Sky Ball, the Airpower Foundation is able to provide assistance including financial aid for deployed families; welcome-home receptions; support for national programs that help those wounded in battle transition to civilian life; various scholarship programs for dependents of military personnel; and support for Snowball Express, an organization that supports children who have lost a parent on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001.
For additional information, including how to become a sponsor or purchase a table for Sky Ball X, please visit http://www.skyballinfo.com.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle? and the AmericanConnection? carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,500 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers nearly 900 aircraft. American’s award-winning website, AA.com?, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld? alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect ser