American Airlines and the Fort Worth Airpower Foundation to Host Seventh Annual Sky Ball Fundraiser

Yearly Event Supports North Texas Military Families in Need

Entertainer Tony Orlando to Headline Program Including Lee Greenwood and 'America's Tenor' Steve Amerson

Oct 22, 2009, 10:00 ET from American Airlines

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Airlines and the Fort Worth Airpower Foundation (FWAPF) are proud to continue their partnership supporting the families of North Texas military personnel and pay tribute to the brave men and women in uniform who defend our country.

Hundreds of American Airlines and American Eagle employee volunteers will help host the seventh annual Sky Ball on Saturday, Oct. 24, at American's Alliance Airport (AFW) maintenance base. Legendary performer Tony Orlando will headline the entertainment portion of this patriotic program. Orlando is the honorary Chief Pilot of American's "Flagship Freedom," the special yellow-ribbon Boeing 757 that flies on many missions to support U.S. military and veterans.

"American Airlines and American Eagle have a long history of supporting the military and veterans, and we are looking forward to our continued commitment to honor the heroism of these brave men, women and their families," said Captain Steve Blankenship, American's Managing Director Veterans Initiatives. "Our ongoing partnership with the Fort Worth Airpower Foundation and Sky Ball provides us the opportunity to assist military families who make huge financial sacrifices to protect our freedoms. This is the least we can do for our neighbors who place themselves in harm's way for our country."

The Fort Worth Airpower Foundation is dedicated to helping the families of North Texas military. Many families struggle to meet their financial obligations when their loved ones are called to active duty, in many cases for multiple tours overseas. Proceeds from Sky Ball provide financial assistance to these military families. Support comes in many forms, including financial aid for deployed families, departure and welcome-home receptions, support for welfare and relief projects of the units assigned in North Texas, and delivering care packages and other gifts to the soldiers wounded in battle who are recuperating at military hospitals.

"North Texas military personnel and their families make sacrifices every day for our nation, and we are grateful to the employees of American Airlines and American Eagle who help those military families struggling to make ends meet," said Mike Snyder, Chairman of the Airpower Foundation and co-chair of Sky Ball VII. "Without the passion and dedication of these individuals, this event would not be possible."

The Sky Ball VII gala will feature a moving program, including entertainment headlined by Tony Orlando, a special guest appearance by fellow patriot Lee Greenwood - the voice of the Medal of Honor Foundation - as well as "America's Tenor," Steve Amerson. Also appearing are television and film celebrities, including Gary Sinise, star of "CSI: NY" and "Forrest Gump," Dale Dye, star of "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers," and others. In addition, there will be a special appearance by inventor Dean Kamen, known for the Segway and iBOT mobility devices, and retired Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durrant, former prisoner of war and the pilot from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment depicted in the movie, "Blackhawk Down."

Two special American and American Eagle yellow-ribbon aircraft will also be on display during Sky Ball VII. American and American Eagle have dedicated several aircraft in honor of all of the veterans and troops currently serving the United States, as well as the thousands of American Airlines and American Eagle employees who are veterans or active service members. The planes proudly display iconic yellow-ribbon decals and the slogan, "In support of all who serve," on their fuselages.

The big-band music of the Dynamic Swing Band and the Sky Ball Dancers will accompany the dinner to be created by celebrity chefs Eddie Deen and Keith Hicks. A special Yellow Ribbon Zinfandel provided by ONEHOPE Wines will be served.

All proceeds from Sky Ball directly benefit the families of reservists and members of the National Guard stationed at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. Last year's event raised more than $500,000 for families of deployed troops.

Sponsorships and tables can be purchased on the Sky Ball VII Web site,

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site,®, 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 serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection,, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)

About The Fort Worth Airpower Foundation

The Fort Worth Airpower Foundation (a 501(c)(3) Foundation) is an associate entity of the Fort Worth Airpower Council, the nation's oldest military support organization, established in 1958 with Frank Kent as its first Chairman. The Foundation is pledged to support and enhance the Military of the United States of America in all efforts to protect and promote freedom. Specifically, the Foundation is committed to supporting the families of the men and women serving our country, especially those assigned to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS-JRB) Fort Worth, recognizing and honoring the JRB's importance to our community.

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