NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU), New York's Hometown Airline, today announces its fifth annual Swing For Good Golf Classic and Bid For Good online charitable auction, the airline's major fundraising campaign of the year. Swing For Good began as a friendly competition between JetBlue and its business partners, with the ultimate goal of making a difference and raising funds for non-profit organizations. This year's recipients are KaBOOM! and First Book.
For the fifth anniversary of JetBlue's annual campaign, business partners, customers and crewmembers will play golf and bid online at charitybuzz.com/jetbluebidforgood for one-of-a-kind items with the proceeds benefitting two worthy community organizations. Over the past five years, the Swing For Good and Bid For Good efforts have raised more than $1.5 million for a variety of nonprofit partners. Last year, JetBlue donated $420,000 to KaBOOM! and PBS Kids.
KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most, has been a recipient of the fundraising campaign for the past five years. The airline is also happy to welcome a new beneficiary this year – First Book, a non-profit social enterprise that provides access to new books for children in need.
"Swing For Good allows us to join forces with business associates and customers to raise awareness and funds for deserving causes," said Robin Hayes, chief commercial officer for JetBlue Airways. "Our commitment to our charitable partners goes beyond just one day. As part of our NYHometown focus, we've partnered with KaBOOM! to build playgrounds in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy to restore play and a sense of normalcy for affected children. We are also working with First Book to provide nearly 250,000 new books to children in need, many of whom reside in the New York area."
The Swing For Good Golf Classic will be held on Wednesday, September 25 at Bethpage State Golf Course in Bethpage, NY. The Bid For Good online auction takes place through October 16. Customers can bid on a wide range of exclusive packages including luxurious all-inclusive JetBlue Getaways vacation packages, access to VIP sporting events, signed memorabilia and other one-of-a-kind experiences. Bid For Good auction items include opportunities to:
- Name a character in best-selling author James Patterson's new book
- Serve as grounds keeper for a day for the Boston Red Sox and help the grounds crew prepare the field before a game
- Throw the ceremonial first pitch at a 2014 regular season Boston Red Sox game
- Participate in a flight training experience at JetBlue University complete with tutoring by one of JetBlue's professional flight instructors
- Experience a JetBlue Getaways package – Five days/Four night stay at the Occidental Grand Xcaret in Riviera Maya, Mexico
- Attend a table read for "The Simpsons" animated TV show
"KaBOOM! is honored to have a long-standing partner like JetBlue who shares the belief that children need to play actively every day at home, in schools and in their communities," said Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM! "Unfortunately, play among children has been disappearing despite the fact that we know play can transform children - from sedentary to physically active, bored to mentally active, and solitary to socially active. We're grateful that adults are taking time from their busy schedules to play, which provides a great example and also directly benefits children."
"Over the past seven years, First Book and JetBlue have provided nearly a quarter of a million new books to kids from low-income families," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "We are delighted to participate as a charitable partner of JetBlue's Swing For Good Golf Classic. Thanks to the generosity of JetBlue and its partners, we look forward to continuing to improve the lives of children in need."
About First Book First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, visit First Book online or follow their latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
About KaBOOM! KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.
About JetBlue Airways As New York's Hometown Airline™ and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando and San Juan, JetBlue carries 29 million customers a year to 79 cities in the US, Caribbean and Latin America with more than 700 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. JetBlue's fleet totals 188 aircraft, comprising 129 Airbus A320s and 59 EMBRAER E190s. Upcoming destinations include Savannah, Ga.; Worcester, Mass.; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Lima, Peru, subject to receipt of government approval. For more information please visit www.jetblue.com.
SOURCE JetBlue Airways