This past weekend I had the privilege to attend the American Airlines Sky Ball, raising money for one of the oldest charities to support the military, the AirPower foundation.
Here’s a bit of a summary of Sky Ball from their website:
The American Airlines Sky Ball is the premier fundraising event for one of the oldest military support organizations in the US, the Airpower Foundation which was formed by the Fort Worth Airpower Council. Sky Ball has allowed the Airpower Foundation to contribute solely to funding projects that directly support the members and families of all branches of our military, veterans and wounded, ill, or injured service members and their families. Last year, Sky Ball raised more than $2.2 million to support our military through contingency funds at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base and other military support organizations mentioned below.
Let me first start off my saying this was one of the best fundraisers I’ve ever attended or participated in – the well organized event spans severals days and is nothing less than moving, when you hear the stories of wounded vets, Medal of Honor recipients and wives with lost husbands.
How I Attended
I’m part of a Facebook group for American Airlines Executive Platinum members. Each year, the group raises money for the Airpower Foundation via a raffle — up for bid are frequent flyer miles, upgrades, free tickets, expensive electronics, once in a lifetime experiences and more. This year, we raised close to $50,000, which is quite remarkable.
As part of this, I was able to make a donation to the Airpower Foundation, thereby allowing me to attend the gala, Medal of Honor dinner, and Friday night concert. In full disclosure, I gave $500 towards this event, which I consider well worth it, not only for what was received in return, but also because the foundation this goes to support is entirely worthy and deserving.
The Event Itself
Part of the series of events of the weekend include a Medal of Honor dinner, honoring Medal of Honor recipients in attendance. There’s only about 70 of these folks alive today, and about 20 of them were present at the dinner. On Friday night, a concert was performed by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, and on Saturday was the main event, the black tie Sky Ball itself.
Friday night’s Lt. Dan Band concert was a real hit.
On Saturday morning, we volunteered to set up the event. Here’s the before picture.
…and the after picture.
Prior to the start of Sky Ball was a VIP reception.
As you enter Hangar 5 at DFW airport, where the Sky Ball is held, you’re greeted by dozens of American Airlines Captains and First Officers, profusely thanking you for your support of the event.
Don’t those beverage stations look familiar? 🙂
What a gorgeous setting for this black tie event – not only is it held within a hangar, but in the backdrop is an American Airlines (LAA) A319.
The food for the event was cooked by Robert Irvine, celebrity chef, who I’m sure you’ve heard about before.
The evening was filled with speeches, musical interludes, entertainment, ceremonies and more!
To top it all off was a concert by Tim McGraw!
This was such a wonderful event, and I’ll definitely be back in years to come. It’s part #avgeekfest, part charity dinner, part just plane fun (see what I did there?). The general public can attend by purchasing tickets on their website, and I highly encourage you to attend at least once. There couldn’t be a better cause to honor than our Nation’s military heroes. The American Airlines Sky Ball is a once in a lifetime experience – hope to see you next year!
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