NEW YORK, June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 13, the American Red Cross Greater New York Region presented JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) with its Corporate Leadership Award at the annual New York Red Cross Ball held at the Plaza Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Red Cross board member and JetBlue Airways Chief Operating Officer Rob Maruster accepted the award, which honored the ongoing partnership between the two organizations, on behalf of JetBlue's 540 Ready Team crewmembers.
JetBlue's relationship with the Red Cross, which has grown considerably over the years, has taken many forms. JetBlue has arranged flights to transport Red Cross volunteers to disaster-stricken areas; the airline with a big heart has provided generous financial support to Red Cross disaster relief efforts; and as members of JetBlue's Ready Team, hundreds of JetBlue crewmembers have taken Red Cross disaster relief training to mobilize with the Red Cross when disaster strikes.
"While we've worked with the Red Cross for years, our relationship was formalized four years ago and we're excited to see how the program has grown," said Mr. Maruster. "I think 'humanitarian aid' means something to everyone, but as an airline with a founding mission to 'bring humanity back to air travel,' it resonated deeply with our company."
The Ready Team is made up of JetBlue crewmembers who volunteer to work with the American Red Cross in its response to major disasters. The program, launched in 2009, trains crewmembers in emergency response and disaster assistance. Since its start, JetBlue has grown its partnership with the New York American Red Cross by expanding the Ready Team program, which now has 540 crewmembers and counting.
Ready Team members first deployed to North Dakota to prepare shelters for residents of the towns of Minot and Bismarck, areas that were forecasted to be hit with historical flooding. Additional events that the Ready Team has assisted the New York chapter of the American Red Cross with include: setting up disaster relief shelters in Yonkers and Queens; providing aid to Binghamton, New York after Hurricane Irene; supporting participants in the Annual Veterans' Day Parade by passing out over 1,000 bottles of water and countless bags of Terra BlueChips donated by JetBlue; and participating in the 2011 American Red Cross Metro Area Shelter exercise.
The award was presented by super model Niki Taylor and Sam Kille, regional communications director for the Greater NY Red Cross. During the presentation Kille spoke of how JetBlue crewmembers responded to disasters in North Dakota and Binghamton, N.Y., following floods last year and recalled a unique situation when the Red Cross needed to get assistance to the residents of Pine Hill, N.Y., who were isolated by flooding following Hurricane Irene: "When JetBlue found out, they quickly helped us organize an airlift from JFK with the Air National Guard," Kille said. "Blackhawks were loaded with pallets of food courtesy of JetBlue — together, we saved the day for those in Pine Hill."
Attended by more than 500 supporters, celebrities, corporate leaders and philanthropists, the ball also honored Simon Ruddick, Managing Director of Albourne Partners and Ann Kaplan, member of the American Red Cross Board of Governors.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™ with other focus cities in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Orlando. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) as well as super-spacious Even More Space seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 71 cities with 750 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530, or visit www.jetblue.com.
SOURCE JetBlue Airways