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Home > News & Media Center > Op Eds, Press Releases, and Statements > Press Release

 
 

Child Welfare League of America Honors Airtran Airways as Corporate Friend of Children

AirTran Airways to be recognized for its commitment to vulnerable children and families

For more information, contact
Joyce Johnson
Phone: 804/492-4519
Cell: 703/980-7641
E-mail: jjohnson@cwla.org

March 1, 2005, Washington, DC -- AirTran Airways, one of America's largest low-fare airlines, has been named by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) as a 2005 Corporate Friend of Children. AirTran Airways was selected because it has demonstrated a sustained pattern of both philanthropic activities and charitable giving that has benefited hundreds of organizations serving vulnerable children, families, and communities.

Shay Bilchik, CWLA's President & CEO, said, "We are extraordinarily pleased to present this Corporate Friend of Children award to AirTran Airways. In today's business environment, it is especially important to recognize corporations that embody the philosophy of corporate social responsibility. "

The award will be presented to AirTran Airways on March 10, 2005, at CWLA's 85th Anniversary Gala Dinner, to be held during CWLA's National Conference in Washington, DC. This formal event attracts nearly 1,500 child advocates, representatives from Capitol Hill, national child-serving organizations, foster parents, and child welfare professionals from across the country. IndyMac Bank and New Jersey Resources Corporation will be recognized alongside AirTran Airways as Corporate Friends of Children; Bank of America will be recognized as the 2005 National Corporate Advocate of the Year.

CHRIS Kids, Inc., a CWLA member organization, nominated AirTran Airways for this distinguished award, noting that the partnership between AirTran Airways and CHRIS Kids has made a crucial difference in the organization's ability to continue providing a full array of services to children who have suffered abuse and neglect. The corporation's gifts to the organization have been more than monetary, although they have included financial contributions of nearly $100,000 in 2004 alone. Last year, eighteen CHRIS kids accompanied AirTran Airways executives and employees to pick up their first 737-700 airplane from the Boeing Plant in Seattle, Washington. For the past two years, the employees of AirTran have hosted a gigantic holiday party-a "trip to the

North Pole"-for the organization's youth aboard an airplane at Atlanta's airport. The party gave a lot of the children their first real experience on an airplane.

"AirTran Airways is pleased to be involved in each of the communities we serve, and we are extremely happy to support such a worthwhile organization as CHRIS Kids, Inc." said AirTran Airways President and COO Robert L. Fornaro. "Our Crew Members have enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the kids when we took a group of them to Seattle for the delivery ceremonies of our new Boeing 737 last summer, as well as when we hosted their trip to the North Pole at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport over the holidays."

Criteria used by CWLA in the selection of the awardees include: personnel and management policies that promote the well-being of its employees; giving and philanthropic activities that benefit children, youth, and families outside the family; corporate products that are not harmful to children and families or their physical and cultural environment; and a sustained pattern of national, state, or local activities that benefit children, families, and the community.

About AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways, one of America's largest low-fare airlines with 6,000 friendly, professional Crew Members, operates over 500 daily flights to more than 40 destinations. The airline's hub is at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where it is the second largest carrier. AirTran Airways recently added the fuel-efficient Boeing 737-700 aircraft to create America's youngest all-Boeing fleet. The airline is also the first carrier to install XM Satellite Radio on a commercial aircraft. For reservations or more information, visit www.airtran.com (America Online Keyword: AirTran).

About CHRIS Kids, Inc.
Since 1981, CHRIS Kids has led the way helping children and families in Georgia. CHRIS Kids is a last resort before institutionalization or destitution for children who have suffered abuse, neglect, and rejection. Throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area, CHRIS Kids, Inc. operates nine therapeutic group homes for abused and neglected children, two independent living programs for transitioning youth in need of life skills training, preventive and aftercare services and a variety of community programs that help children and families in crisis. CHRIS Kids provides the opportunity for victimized children to heal so that they can grow up to become contributing members of the community. The mission of CHRIS Kids is to break the cycle of abuse by healing children, strengthening families and building community. For additional information, visit www.chriskids.org.


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