As the official airline of the Honor Flight Network, Southwest® supports veterans. Patriotism runs deep at Southwest Airlines®, and we’re proud to honor those who have given us the freedom to fly. Celebrating the brave military members who have served or are actively serving our country is important to us, especially around Veterans Day. Since 2009, Southwest has been the official airline of the Honor Flight Network. Through this partnership, we provide complimentary round trip travel that helps bring military heroes to Washington, D.C, to visit and reflect at their memorials. What began as a way to celebrate World War II veterans has since grown to reach veterans of other wars. Honor Flight has flown more than 230,000 heroes— at no cost—to see the memorials, including those for WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Intended as a heartfelt thank you to the veterans for their service, these trips are also an opportunity for the veterans to be honored for their sacrifices and achievements.
Southwest has provided travel for more than 9,000 veterans and their families, valued at more than $3.6 million. Additionally, since 2015, Honor Flight has been a Points for a Purpose partner, which gives our Customers the opportunity to donate their Rapid Rewards® points to Honor Flight to help support other trips. Recently, Southwest Captain John Freed and his father, Bob Freed, journeyed together from Houston to Washington, D.C., on an Honor Flight. Lt. Col. John “Dingo” Freed supported combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Staff Sergeant Bob “Spider” Freed served in Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan during the Vietnam War. “As a veteran, taking my father on an Honor Flight was a trip of a lifetime,” John said. “The memories and friendships made on this trip will last forever. I am extremely proud to be an Employee of a company that supports Honor Flight.” With respect, honor, and gratitude, we thank you, veterans, for everything you have done for our country!
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Join us on October 11 as Southwest Airlines celebrates our longest-standing community tradition with the help of our Employees and Sponsors! The 34th annual LUV Classic Golf Tournament & Party demonstrates our commitment to Loving People by raising money for children’s charities across the country. Over the past 34 years, Southwest has donated more than $17.5 million to deserving charities that focus on improving the lives of youth and children.
This year, with the spirited participation of our Employees and sponsors, we hope to further our support of the outstanding recipients of this year’s golf tournament. This year, the LUV Classic will be supporting two Medical Transportation Grant Program hospitals, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and a scholarship program for youth interested in pursuing a career in aviation.
Children's National Medical Center
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Tuskegee Airmen Youth and Aviation Programs
To celebrate the 34 th LUV Classic, we put our Heart in action a little further by offering a special opportunity for our Platinum Sponsors called the "34 FORE 34." One lucky Platinum sponsor was able to designate a children’s charity of their choice to receive a $34,000 donation on behalf of the LUV Classic. This year Platinum Sponsor Apple Leisure Group chose the North Texas chapter of Make-A-Wish® as their recipient.
Southwest Airlines is passionate about making a positive difference in the communities we serve through the LUV Classic and we need YOUR help to support these deserving charities. Come celebrate our commitment to Loving People as we TEE-up to celebrate this beloved 34 years of giving back!
To join us at the ParTEE or to learn more information visit www.southwest.com/luvclassic.
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In celebration of Father’s Day, Southwest Captain John Freed and his dad, Bob Freed, recently journeyed together from Houston to Washington D.C. on an Honor Flight.
Honor Flight is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with honor and closure by helping transport them to visit the memorials dedicated to the service and sacrifices of our armed forces. Honor Flight has been one of Southwest’s beloved military partners since 2009 and a Points for a Purpose partner since 2015.
John and his Dad are both U.S. Air Force Veterans which helped make this trip extra special for them both. Lt. Col John “Dingo” Freed supported combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Staff Sergeant Bob “Spider” Freed served in Thailand, Philippines, and Okinawa, Japan during the Vietnam War.
As the official airline of the Honor Flight Network, Southwest has had the privilege of transporting thousands of veterans to Washington D.C. for trips just like this one, and it is always an honor for us to play a role in celebrating these deserving servicemen and women.
Happy Father’s Day and thank you to all who have served!
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At Southwest, our Purpose is to connect People to what’s important in their lives and our partnership with Make-A-Wish® allows us to do just that by providing meaningful travel to Make-A-Wish families. Since the partnership began in 2011, Southwest has donated more than 15,000 tickets valued at more than $6.3 million to Make-A-Wish and has helped grant more than 4,000 wishes. While we continuously support this impactful organization by providing travel to wishes, we recently had a special opportunity to be a part of Randy’s day!
Randy is an adorable 5-year-old boy who has endured three open-heart surgeries due to a rare heart condition. His wish was to be a Southwest Airlines Mechanic and our Employees at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) were more than happy to help make this dream come true!
Our LAX Ground Ops and Tech Ops Employees and our vendors embraced Randy’s wish and truly made magic happen on the wish day. Cintas, our apparel provider, outfitted Randy with a custom Southwest Mechanic Uniform while LAX Ops Agent Helen Vincent specially tailored a Safety vest to fit Randy, complete with his name and “Aircraft Mechanic” embroidered on it.
Alan, an LAX Mechanic, was Randy’s personal escort for the day and made sure Randy experienced everything our Mechanics do on the job. To prepare Randy for his day as a Mechanic, Alan personalized a toolbox complete with real tools donated from the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. The personalized toolbox and cart for Randy to pull it was a huge hit—it never left Randy’s side! The rest of the day was a flurry of maintenance activities like engine and tire checks, a tour of the maintenance shop, and hanging out with all of the Mechanics. Giving back is at the Heart of what we do at Southwest and we enjoyed playing a role in Randy’s day.
If you’re interested in supporting Make-A-Wish and other impactful charitable organizations, join us by donating your Rapid Rewards points through our Points for a Purpose program. With your help, it’s possible for more inspiring wishes like Randy’s to come true. Learn more at www.swa.is/pointsdonation .
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The following blog post was co-written by Lori Skinner and Max Littman.
This October, Southwest Airlines celebrated one of its longest-standing traditions with the help of our Employees and Sponsors from all over the country! On October 5, The LUV Classic Golf Tournament & Party demonstrated our commitment to loving People by raising money for children’s charities. For more than 33 years, the LUV Classic has supported over 129 charities and invested more than $17 million into life-changing programs and services for children and their families.
This year, more than $500,000 was donated to our 2018 recipients: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, a recipient of our Medical Transportation Grant Program; Make-A-Wish Foundation®; Ronald McDonald House Charities; Ronald McDonald House of Hawaii; and the Ronald McDonald House of Cincinnati.
Candace Asam-Lopez, the Director of Development for the Ronald McDonald House of Hawaii shared, “This donation will be used to support the renovation and expansion of our children’s indoor/outdoor play area and the creation of a family-centered recreation room. We can’t wait to see the newly expanded and renovated rooms, and especially can’t wait for the children and their families to make full use of them.”
New to this year’s LUV Classic was the 33 FORE 33, a way to honor the Classic’s 33rd anniversary and put our Heart in action a little bit more. We held a drawing allowing one of our platinum level sponsors to choose a children’s charity of their choice to receive a $33,000 donation on behalf of the LUV Classic.
This year’s winner, Coca-Cola®, chose the Children’s Miracle Network as its organization to receive the donation. We are so excited this year’s event was another hole in one, and it couldn’t have been done without the support of our amazing 260 volunteers, 480 golfers, and 1,400 Party guests. Over the past 33 years, we’ve donated more than 17 million dollars to children’s charities and are excited to continue adding to that sum.
With the season of giving underway, we hope the LUV Classic’s giving spirit inspires you! We are so grateful to be able to help our nonprofit partners year after year, and support children and their families facing serious illnesses. We hope the LUV Classic can inspire you to also give during this season and support their great work!
Be sure to mark your calendars FORE next year's event on October 11, 2019. You won't want to miss out on this beloved tradition where we support children's charities, one shot at a time!
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The following blog post was co-written by Lori Skinner and Mike Nutting.
Our Heart helps us connect People to what's important in their lives, which is why we are proud to partner with Knights of Heroes, a camp for sons and daughters of fallen soldiers. As the official airline for Knights of Heroes we support the organization through ticket donations.
At Knights of Heroes, kids 10 to 17 come together to enjoy a week of outdoor adventure with their peers at no financial burden to their families. In 2016, we further celebrated our 10 year partnership with Knights of Heroes by donating $125,000 at our annual LUV Classic & Party. This donation helped provide travel accommodations to 100 participants and assisted Knight of Heroes in completing construction on their grounds for an elevated summer camp experience.
Interested in supporting other deserving children’s charities? Come join us for a fun-filled Friday night on October 5 at Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, Texas. Just click the Register to PARTY button to start partying!
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The following blog post was written by Southwest LUV Classic & Party Platinum sponsor, Rob Taylor.
A letter from Herb Kelleher more than 20 years ago began my involvement with the Southwest LUV Classic & Party. The passion for the event, which benefits children’s charities, grew for my colleagues and me over the years—we went from simply golfing in the tournament to becoming sponsors so that we could invest directly! Two years ago, our connection to the Southwest LUV Classic & Party and one of this year’s recipients, the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), grew even stronger.
On June 1, 2016, my son and his wife had twins born 10 weeks prematurely in Temple, Texas. We welcomed Caleb and Carly into the world, but were quickly overcome with fear when we found out Carly had a serious heart problem. The doctors told our family she would need to go to the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for additional treatment. The “Kangaroo Crew” jet, Texas Children’s specialist transport service, transported Carly by helicopter and within three hours, our entire lives had changed drastically. We had to make the tough decision to split the family up. My wife, my daughter-in-law, Caleb, and I stayed in in Temple, while Carly and my son were hours away in Houston.
When my son arrived in Houston, exhausted and overwhelmed, the doctors had already arranged a room for him at the Ronald McDonald House. He was relieved when he found out the Ronald McDonald House family room was down the hall, ensuring he never had to leave the floor that his daughter was on for the next 10 days. The environment the Ronald McDonald House created gave him a peaceful place where he could process the situation and find community with other parents going through similar hardships. Caleb and Carly, now two years old, are happy and healthy. Carly’s heart condition was successfully treated and now just requires frequent checkups.
After experiencing firsthand the impact the Ronald McDonald House has on families like ours, it makes supporting the Southwest LUV Classic & Party so much more meaningful. My wife and I are incredibly grateful to the Ronald McDonald House for taking care of our family, and we are overjoyed to do our part by giving back to RMHC through the Southwest LUV Classic & Party.
The October following my son’s stay at the Ronald McDonald House, my wife walked up to the raffle ticket booth and told me, “These people took care of my son—so I’m going to take care of them.”
We were thrilled to find out that RMHC was one of this year’s recipients of an event we always love to partake in. Our story is just one of the millions that the Southwest LUV Classic & Party has touched through their generous donations to children’s charities across the country. We can’t wait to see what we will be able to accomplish at this year’s event for the recipients!
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This past October, the 32nd LUV Classic Golf Tournament and Party hit the greens to donate more than $500,000 to deserving charities around the country. This beloved annual event invites golfers to participate in a unique tournament and tee up to support great causes. With more than 1,200 people attending this year, the LUV Classic helped give back to communities in three important ways.
The LUV Classic donated to four charities that focus on improving the well-being of children across the country: Shriners Hospital for Children, MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center, Folds of Honor, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Whether these charities are providing medical care, scholarship opportunities, or a home away from home, these charities all have a common goal the LUV Classic donations will support—to make a positive difference in the lives of children. Fun Fact: Both MD Anderson and Shriners Hospital for Children are also founding Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program recipients, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.
In addition to supporting deserving children’s charities, this year the LUV Classic donated to the Southwest Airlines Employees Catastrophic Assistance Charity for the first time ever. This charity focuses on helping Southwest Employees suffering severe financial hardship from a catastrophic event in their lives. The donation from the LUV Classic will help Southwest Employees as they look to rebuild their lives.
Golfers in this year’s LUV Classic each received a golf club cover designed by the nonprofit organization, Dallas Designing Dreams. These unique gifts were created from upcycled Southwest Airlines airplane seat leather and retired uniform sweaters.
Over the past 32 years of the LUV Classic, Southwest has donated more than $17 million to deserving charities. In that same amount of time, our Employees volunteered almost 50,000 hours for the event, rallying together for causes we’re all passionate about. And of course, over the past 32 years we’ve had countless hours of fun!
Thank you all of our Employees who made this year’s LUV Classic another success and for helping us to continue our commitment to making a positive difference in the communities we serve. Be sure to mark your calendars now for the 33rd Annual LUV Classic on October 5, 2018! It is sure to be another Hole In One!
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At Southwest Airlines, we’re proud to honor those who have fought so hard to protect our freedom. Recently, Southwest had the privilege of flying an Honor Flight composed of all women who bravely served our country. The Honor Flight Network is an organization dedicated to transporting America’s Veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated in their honor.
This Veterans Day, we hope you’ll join us in recognizing those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. We’re proud to partner with organizations that serve these brave veterans and their families:
Folds of Honor rallies our nation to ensure no family is left behind in the fight to preserve American freedom. Through scholarships and other assistance, Folds of Honor give back to the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) strives to build an empowered generation of veterans who provide sustainable leadership for our country and their local communities.
Knights of Heroes empowers children who have lost their fathers during military service by providing positive adult mentorship, character development, and lasting friendships forged during an annual wilderness adventure camp.
Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Since its creation in January 2010, Team Rubicon has impacted thousands of lives in the U.S. and around the world.
The Mission Continues empowers veterans facing the challenge of adjusting to life at home to find new missions. Through the Mission Continues, veterans serve their country in new ways by engaging in innovative and action-oriented programs.
UTD Center for Brain Health, Warriors Initiative provides brain training for our service men and women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
This Veterans Day, we’re also appreciating Active Duty military through the A Million Thanks campaign. If you would like to thank our military for their service, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to transcribe it and send it on your behalf.
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Southwest Airlines is proud to host our 30 th Annual LUV Classic Golf Tournament benefitting children’s charities. Each year, golfers from throughout the country come together for a great cause and enjoy a day of golf and fun Southwest Airlines style. Sound like fun? It is!
Do you and three friends have what it takes to play in the LUV Classic tournament?
Tweet @SouthwestAir with a video of your best golf swing between September 15 and September 17. Want an edge on the competition? Wear your best 1985 golf outfit in honor of the LUV Classic’s 30 th anniversary! The Winner and three guests will win roundtrip airfare to Dallas, a two night hotel stay, and entry for four to play in the LUV Classic Golf Tournament on October 2.
Make sure you read all the rules and use the hashtag #LUVClassic and #Contest to officially enter the contest via Twitter!
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This is a guest post from Julia Masucci, Director, Donor Care & Administration Make-A-Wish® Metro New York and Western New York.
For the second year in a row, our wonderful partners at Southwest Airlines created huge smiles and warm hearts for Make-A-Wish® kids and their families on Thanksgiving Day. Southwest provided a first-class opportunity to view the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the Southwest Porch located in the southwest corner of Bryant Park.
The Southwest Porch is the ideal spot for wish families to gather, with a fire pit, heaters, and a flat-screen TV to view the parade festivities. Breakfast treats and delicious warm beverages were enjoyed by all, including plenty of hot chocolate for the kids—and many a parent! We couldn’t help but feel spoiled as crowds continued to pour into the area looking for a good viewing spot, while we were tucked away on our warm and cozy porch with friends. No one could believe it when each family was presented with toasty warm, red Southwest scarves and a 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade keepsake ornament.
Kids and adults alike shared their thoughts on which balloons they wanted to see most—Snoopy was high on the list, as were Annie, SpongeBob SquarePants, and of course, Santa Claus. With the 6 th Avenue parade route right in front of the porch, we could hear the excitement of the parade approaching. None of our wish families had ever viewed the parade in person before, due to concerns about being outside for so long in the cold weather and in all of the crowds. But this wasn’t your average parade-viewing opportunity! The National Law Enforcement & Firefighter’s Children’s Foundation kindly provided wristbands to wish families who wanted to go to the front of 6 th Avenue for an even closer view of the parade. Kids eagerly scooted to the front or jumped on parents’ shoulders to view the amazing floats, balloons and bands.
Thank you, Southwest Airlines! You do so much throughout the year to provide special flight experiences for kids and families traveling for their wishes. This additional, amazing Thanksgiving parade opportunity has created even more special memories for children and families who have gone through so much with the diagnosis of life-threatening medical conditions. We are all truly thankful to have your partnership and wish all of you and your families the happiest of holidays.
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This is a guest post from Brandi Hale, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Ronald McDonald House, which was one of the eight recipients of the 2013 LUV Classic.
Gracias from your friends at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Puerto Rico (Fundacion Infantil Ronald McDonald). When we received the news that we would be a recipient of the Southwest Airlines 2013 LUV Classic, we were thrilled (we were jumping up and down thrilled). Even though your beautiful planes had only been flying to our island for a short while, we already felt part of the Southwest Team.
Several times a year, we have Southwest Teams cooking at our Ronald McDonald House and volunteering at our events. We are very appreciative that these volunteers have been sharing our story with many of you. Last year, we were able to serve over 20,000 children and families through our local programs: our Ronald McDonald House in San Juan, Ronald McDonald Family Room in Aibonito, Ronald McDonald House in Ponce, Pediatric Vision and Hearing Clinics, and our Friendship Visits to pediatric hospitals.
With the opening of our third Ronald McDonald Family Room this year, your donation will help us achieve our dream of ensuring operations and family-focused services at our Casa Ronald McDonald continue to serve those who need us most. Because of your generous donation, we plan on updating lighting, making our house more energy-efficient, updating the bedrooms, replacing and updating kitchen items, ensuring the families have home-cooked meals (and meals to take with them to the hospital), and creating special family events to keep them together when they are so far from home.
Our programs exist because there is a need; we continue to serve others because of amazing fundraising events like the LUV Classic.
This is four year-old Sadora from Haiti. She is in Puerto Rico to have heart treatments, and is living at our Ronald McDonald House with her mother during this time. From her heart and from the bottom of my heart—thank you, Southwest Airlines. You make LUV possible for so many and make big dreams come true!
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This is a guest post from Ashley Johnson, a volunteer with Make-A-Wish Metro New York & Western New York.
Growing up, our Thanksgiving tradition wasn’t centered on turkey or my grandma’s dressing—it was on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I can remember my grandma waking me up at 9:00 a.m., warning that if I didn’t get up, I would miss my favorite characters and Santa. So, it was a great privilege to represent Make-A-Wish® as a guest of Southwest Airlines at the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The day started at 8:00 a.m. as Make-A-Wish families arrived at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park, a centrally-located spot directly on the parade route on 6th Avenue. Southwest greeted Make-A-Wish families with breakfast, warm beverages, and yellow scarves, which came in handy not only for the cold, but also so we couldn’t miss each other on the parade route. The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hot cocoa were big hits around the firepit! As the time approached 9:30, I could see the same light in the eyes of the wish kids that I had in my eyes as a child watching the parade on TV. There was so much anticipation as everyone waited to see the balloons and floats. A wish child from Brooklyn couldn’t wait to see her favorite characters. “I’ve never been this close,” she exclaimed.
Not only was the parade route viewable from the Southwest Porch, but families were given the opportunity to view the parade from street level of 6th Avenue in a special section—also the viewing area for police commissioner, Ray Kelly, and former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. A wish family from Brooklyn expressed their desire to attend the parade for years, especially as New Yorkers, but due to their daughter’s condition and wheelchair, it would have been hard to get through the crowds. This special viewing section was perfect for the families, as many of the wish children and their siblings interacted with parade participants and received showers of confetti.
While the majority of the families in attendance were local New York wish kids, we also saw the international presence of Make-A-Wish with one family from Make-A-Wish Italy in attendance on a wish trip to visit NYC. Thanksgiving was a great day for wish families from Make-A-Wish Metro New York and afar. Although I am sure these children will never forget Thanksgiving 2013, Southwest Airlines ended the day with a gift to each family that included a “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013” ornament. And, they gave an even greater gift, the very mission of Make-A-Wish—the gift of hope. For on this Thanksgiving Day, these families were able to forget everything else and enjoy an once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was a great moment full of laughs, excitement, and smiles for the children and their families.
W. Clement Stone once said, “If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” Make-A-Wish is so appreciative that Southwest Airlines projected the Thanksgiving spirit by sharing the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with Make-A-Wish families. This was the first time we teamed up for this event, and we look forward to many more Thanksgivings together. Happy Holidays!
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Imagine what your life would be like if you had never gone on a vacation before. Your days are consumed with doctor’s appointments, and you’ve never even had the chance to step on a plane.
When Kidd Kraddick, a syndicated radio personality, first came to Southwest in 2007 asking for our support of his organization, Kidd’s Kids, we knew it would be special. Since then, Southwest has sponsored the annual Kidd’s Kids trip—an all-expenses paid five-day trip for critically and terminally ill children and their families to Walt Disney World in Orlando with a special charter and send-off party. During this magical time, the families can take a break from worry, medical treatments, and hospitals to just enjoy themselves.
To raise support for the annual journey, Southwest Airlines and The Kraddick Foundation designate a Kidd’s Kids Day each year. On this day, Southwest Employees answer phones and collect donations from Kidd Kraddick in the Morning listeners. This year, 75 Employees volunteered their time to be part of the heartfelt legacy of Kidd Kraddick and took callas that raised $75,000!
I am truly proud to work for an airline that supports such a great cause, alongside many of my big-hearted Coworkers. Cami Simonis, from the Communication & Outreach Department and third-year volunteer, said, “I love hearing the stories from the donors. I spoke to a grandmother who allows each of her five grandchildren to donate $100 to the cause of their choice, and this year, they selected Kidd’s Kids. What an awesome way to teach your grandchildren about giving to others, and what a generous donation of $500 toward a memory that lasts a lifetime.” When asked why she volunteers, Carla Pope, from the Finance Department and a first-year volunteer said, “I lost my 29 year-old daughter three years ago. Volunteering for Kidd’s Kids is my way of keeping her spirit alive.”
This marks the first year the Kidd’s Kids trip will go on without its beloved founder, Kidd Kraddick, who died suddenly this summer. Southwest is proud to continue his legacy of giving back, both at the telethon and at the annual send-off event in Dallas on November 21! For more information about Kidd’s Kids, visit kiddskids.com.
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With 575 golfers and 260 volunteers, it’s no wonder that Southwest’s 28 th Annual LUV Classic was on the FORE-front of helping others in the community.
Each year, the LUV Classic charity golf tournament and party raises money for Ronald McDonald House Charities, which enables Houses across the country to serve critically ill children and their families. This year was no exception, with more than $700,000 raised in just one FUN-filled day.
The tournament combines what we LUV here at Southwest—helping others while having a rockin’ good time. As part of the Community Programs & Engagement Team, I have the privilege of planning the LUV Classic and helping manage Southwest’s relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities. I’ve been fortunate enough to witness, first-hand, the good Ronald McDonald Houses do for families on a daily basis. Ronald McDonald Houses provide far more than just a place to stay—they give families a home away from home where they can heal and recover.
In order to keep their mission alive, Ronald McDonald Houses rely on donations. Over the past three decades, Southwest has donated more than $14 million to Houses in the communities we serve, with the LUV Classic as our primary fundraiser. This year, the proceeds from the 28 th LUV Classic will benefit the Houses in Dallas, Memphis, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Pensacola, Greenville-Spartanburg, Dayton, and San Juan. In addition, thanks to the tireless volunteer hours our Employees give to Houses in the cities where they live and work, each of these homes will receive four roundtrip tickets through our Tickets for Time program, which awards a nonprofit one roundtrip ticket for every 40 hours Employee volunteers. We’re thrilled to support these Houses, and many more, through our giving and volunteerism.
We owe the LUV Classic’s success to our many wonderful supporters. Employee Volunteers donated their time to the event, and their efforts, combined with the generosity of more than 150 sponsors helped us exceed our fundraising goals. Thanks, once again, to all of our supporters for helping us raise more than $700,000 and continue Southwest’s legacy of giving back from the heart.
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At Southwest, we are all about making a difference in our communities, and it always comes from the heart. One of the ways we’re committed to helping others is through Concert for Kids, a nonprofit organization that hosts musical events and distributes proceeds to children’s charities in the Denver area.
On Saturday, May 25, Concert for Kids will host its sixth annual Denver Day of Rock. Southwest Airlines is proud to be a stage sponsor of the event that will bring together more than 25 bands for a free day of rock in downtown Denver! Headlining this year’s event is Vintage Trouble, who we’ll soon see rockin’ out on a Southwest flight with the Travelin’ Taylor Tour.
So, want to get in on the fun? In the spirit of rockin’ out, we want to know how you make a difference! Share a photo with us on Instagram of how you rock your community by volunteering at your local 501c3 nonprofit organization for the chance to win two VIP passes to Denver Day of Rock, a two-night stay at The Oxford Hotel, and of course, we’ll fly you to Denver for free! As an additional way to say thanks, we’ll donate two green passes to the nonprofit you volunteer with.
Make sure to include what you do to make a difference, mention @Southwestair and use the hashtag #SWARocksDEN. See below for official rules on the contest, and we look forward to seeing your rockin’ photos on Instagram!
Want to know who else is playing at this year’s Denver Day of Rock? Check out the Line-up here: http://denverdayofrock.com/2013-lineup/
"Rock Your Community" Contest Rules & Regulations
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. VOID IN PUERTO RICO AND WHERE PROHIBITED.
1. How to Enter the Contest a. Southwest Airlines “Rock Your Community” (“Contest”) will begin on or around 10 a.m. CT on Thursday, May 16, 2013 and will end on or around 11:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 18, 2013 (“Contest Period”). b. To participate in the Contest, you may enter via the following method: Submit an Instagram® photo of you volunteering at your favorite nonprofit 501(c)3 organization to the Southwest Airlines Instagram® via the handle @SouthwestAir using the hashtag “#SouthwestRocksDEN”. In the Instagram tag, be sure to list the organization name and tell us what you do to make a difference at your favorite charity. Entrants may also share all Rock Your Community Instagram photos on Twitter® and Facebook®, but will not be judged from those channels. All entries submitted will not be acknowledged or returned. By entering, Entrant grants all Sponsor an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free, freely transferable license to use the photo for all purposes, in any and all media, whether now known or hereafter devised. Photos must not be copied. Entries may not violate any third party rights nor use any third-party intellectual property such as logos or background signs. Entrants acknowledge and agree that their entry does not violate any rights of privacy or publicity and that they have the written permission of those appearing in their photo to submit their image. Entries must not disparage; contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, or vulgar; or promote bigotry, racism, hatred or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation. Use of any device to automate entry is prohibited. Proof of submission of an entry shall not be deemed proof of receipt by Southwest. Southwest Airlines computer is the official time keeping device for the contest. Southwest is not responsible for entries not received due to difficulty accessing the internet, service outage or delays, computer difficulties or other technological glitches. By entering this Contest, you agree to abide by these Official Rules and acknowledge that this Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. c. One entry per person is permitted. Any person found using multiple Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter accounts to enter will be found to be ineligible. 2. Eligibility Restrictions a. The contest is open to all legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older and the age of majority in their place of residence and have a valid e-mail address and an Instagram account as of May 16, 2013. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited or restricted by law. The contest is offered only in the United States. Employees of Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, and the members of their immediate families (spouse and parents, children and siblings and their spouses) and individuals living in the same households of such employees are ineligible to enter or win. The contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. b. Only one winner per household is permitted in any Contest administered by Southwest Airlines. c. Entrants are required to provide truthful information and Southwest will reject and delete any entry that it discovers to be false or fraudulent. Southwest Airlines will disqualify any entry from individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements, and Southwest Airlines will also delete any entry received from persons under the age of 13 in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Prizes a. One (1) First Place Prize: Winner will receive a trip for two (2) (winner and guest, age 21 or older) to Denver from the nearest continental U.S. airport to the winner’s home served by Southwest for a two-night stay at the Oxford Hotel. Trip includes round trip airfare on Southwest Airlines, 2 VIP tickets to Denver Day of Rock, and a 2-night standard double occupancy hotel accommodations (one room). Winner will also have the option of traveling on the Travelin’ Taylor Tour flight on Friday, May 24 from Los Angeles to Denver where Vintage Trouble, the headliner band at Denver Day of Rock, will be performing an inflight concert. Certain travel restrictions may apply. Travel arrangements must be made through Sponsor’s agent for dates on or around Denver Day of Rock, Saturday, May 25, 2013. Round trip airfare for two on Southwest Airlines is subject to Southwest Airlines terms and conditions; certain restrictions may apply. Airline tickets will not be refundable or redeemable for cash or credit at any time, nor will tickets be replaced if lost or stolen. Tickets may not be sold to a third party. Tickets valid on Southwest-operated, published, scheduled. If the winner does not live in a city served by Southwest Airlines, he/she is responsible for transportation to the nearest airport served by Southwest Airlines. Approximate prize value is $1,500.00.
Government issued ID required to travel. All other expenses, not specifically mentioned herein are the sole responsibility of the First Prize Winner. No prize substitutions, cash equivalent, or transfer of prizes permitted except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Prize subject to availability and the Sponsor reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to award a prize of greater or equal value if the advertised prize is unavailable. If any winner cannot travel on dates specified by Sponsor, winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner selected. All other costs not specifically stated herein, including, but not limited to, taxes, meals, tips and ground transportation, are the responsibility of the winner. Taxes are solely the responsibility of the winner. Winner and travel companion must travel on the same itinerary and are responsible for obtaining all required travel documents. In addition, travel companion of Winner must be 21 years of age or older. Winner may be required to present a valid credit card upon hotel check in to cover any incidental expenses incurred during their stay. If a selected event is unable to take place as scheduled, for reasons such as cancellation, preemption, postponement or unavailability, or for any reason beyond the control of the Sponsor, the Sponsor’s and contest entities’ sole responsibility to a Winner will be to award the remaining available portion of the prize and no substitution will be provided for unawarded portion of prize. Tickets are subject to terms and conditions as specified by issuer. Sponsor and Contest Entities reserve the right to remove or to deny entry to winner and/or guest if he/she engages in a disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person during their trip.
b. The winner’s selected nonprofit will receive a pair of NRMR tickets. Tickets go directly to that nonprofit. Community Relations Team will handle NRMR ticket distribution directly to the nonprofit.
Selection of Winner Decisions of judges with respect to the Contest are final.
a. The winner of the ROCK your Community Contest will be selected by a Southwest Airlines panel of judges from the Communication & Strategic Outreach department. The judges will be judging on the following qualities: • Creativity and Originality: 20% • Community Impact: 25% • Southwest Appeal: 35% entry should reflect our Culture and Commitment to the Community. • Rules: 20% Read and complied with the official rules.
b. Odds of winning depend on how well your entry reflects the judging criteria, as well as the total number of eligible entries received
c. Winner need not be present to win
d. Potential winner notification will be made by Southwest Airlines via Instagram. The potential winner will be asked to contact Southwest with a given e-mail address provided via comment on the entrant’s Instagram entry. Once potential winner and Southwest make e-mail contact, Southwest will provide a photo for the potential winner to upload to the Instagram account the user uploaded the photo with in order to validate their account. Once the validation occurs, potential winners must execute and return any required affidavit of eligibility and/or liability/publicity release in which they agree to hold Southwest Airlines, Facebook, and each of their parent, subsidiary and affiliated corporations, and the officers, shareholders, directors, employees, agents and representatives harmless against any and all claims or liability arising directly or indirectly from use or misuse of a prize or participation in the Contest. Affidavits will be mailed or emailed based on the potential winner’s preference beginning May 21, 2013. Affidavits must be executed and returned within seven (7) days or prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner may be chosen. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to sign and return the required affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period, or if a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits prize. Upon timely completion of required affidavits and release, winners should expect to receive their prizes in the mail by May 31, 2013.
5. Conditions a. Payments of all federal, state and local taxes are solely the responsibility of the winners. Winners may be required to sign an IRS Form W-9 or the equivalent. b. By participating in the contest, the winners agree to have their name, voice, or likeness used in any advertising or broadcasting material relating to this contest without additional financial or other compensation unless prohibited by law, and, where legal, to sign a publicity release confirming such consent prior to acceptance of the prize. c. Southwest Airlines is not responsible for lost, stolen, mangled, miss-delivered, postage due, illegible, incomplete or late entries, telephone service outages, delays, busy signals, equipment malfunctions and any other technological difficulties that may prevent an individual from entering or claiming a prize. d. Southwest Airlines in their sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of Southwest Airlines website, or otherwise in violation of the rules. They further reserve the right to cancel, terminate or modify the Contest if it is not capable of completion as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort. e. Sponsor reserves the right to make changes in the rules of the Contest, including the substitution of a prize of greater or equivalent value, which will become effective upon announcement. f. Failure to comply with the Contest rules may result in a contestant’s disqualification solely at the discretion of the Sponsor. g. The Sponsor is not responsible for typographical or other errors in the printing, the offering or the administration of the Contest, or in the announcement of a prize. h. Copies of the written Contest rules and a list of winners (when complete) are available during regular business hours at Southwest Airlines, Emerging Media P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX 75235-1611. For a winners list, send a self-addressed return envelope, after May 18, 2013. All requests must be received by June 15, 2013. 6. Sponsor Southwest Airlines Co., Emerging Media, P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX 75235-1611
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Six hundred thousand. Can you imagine the many ways we can make a positive difference in the lives of others with $600,000? Each year, the LUV Classic charity golf tournament and party raises donations for Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation, which allows Ronald McDonald charities to continue making a difference in the lives of critically ill children and their families. This year’s event raised more than $600,000 for Ronald McDonald House charities- a staggering amount crucial to the success of the organization.
As a Community Outreach Team Member for Southwest, I have the privilege of planning the annual LUV Classic golf tournament as well as managing Southwest’s partnership with the Ronald McDonald House. Volunteering regularly at our local Ronald McDonald House has helped me understand how crucial these donations are to the homes. From funding repairs to taking care of families, Ronald McDonald charities rely on donations from generous supporters to continue providing a home for families when a loved one is receiving the care they need. Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, & CEO Gary Kelly Hits the Links for Charity
Each year, Southwest chooses local homes across the system to receive the donations. This year’s contributions will be distributed between Ronald McDonald houses in Dallas, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Washington DC, Spokane, Buffalo, and Reno.
The LUV Classic is successful thanks to the support of our more than 100 sponsors and vendors, and of course, the help of more than 230 Employees who lend their time for the cause. Your generosity has put caring at the FORE-front in our communities, and we couldn’t do it without you! Over the past 27 years, Southwest has donated more than $13 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities, and I believe our partnership will allow us to continue working together to change the world one family at a time.
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Today, a child received the chilling diagnosis of a life-threatening disease. Can you imagine facing this battle with your child, knowing that they may never win? The outcome is incomprehensible; the solution unknown. You would do anything to give your child a fighting chance. But what if the best treatment for your child is across the country? How do you afford the travel or find a place to stay? How do you find hope when you are simply fighting for another day? These families are facing what may be the most challenging time of their lives, and, at such a time, the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) provides what they need most—a place to call home. For little or no cost, Ronald McDonald House provides families a place to stay near the hospital where their child is receiving medical attention. Not only does Ronald McDonald House provide a home away from home, it also provides three warm meals a day often provided by caring members of the community. Each month, Southwest Employees across the system are those caring members of the community, giving their time to create and share a meal with RMH families. From shopping for the groceries to preparing the food and sharing the meals together, our Employees are involved every step of the way, displaying the Servant’s Hearts that have always set us apart . I am proud to work for a Company that has supported Ronald McDonald House charities for 27 years. I served my first meal at the Ronald McDonald House ten years ago, and since then have had the privilege of sharing my passion with our Company. As a member of the Teams who do Community Outreach for Southwest, , I not only manage our partnership with Ronald McDonald House, but also plan the LUV Classic, our annual golf tournament that has raised more than $13 million benefitting Ronald McDonald Charities for nearly three decades. This year’s LUV Classic will be held on Friday, October 5—stay tuned for more details on how to get involved! If you haven’t had the opportunity to provide a meal to those who need it most, I would encourage you to get involved. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact your local Ronald McDonald House by visiting www.rmhc.org. Serving a meal may sound like a small, simple thing to do for families who are going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Southwest Employees do more than serve food at the Ronald McDonald House; we serve hope to those who need it most.
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Saturday, May 26, is Denver’s fourth annual Denver Day of Rock presented by Concerts for Kids, a nonprofit organization that puts on musical events and distributes the proceeds to children’s charities in the Denver area. Southwest Airlines is proud to be a stage sponsor at this great event that will bring more than 20 bands to 16th Street for a free day of rock in downtown Denver! We want to bring YOU in for the fun! So in the spirit of rockin’ out, we’re asking our Customers to show us how they “Rock in the Community”. At Southwest Airlines, we LUV to Give Back by volunteering in the communities we serve. Show us how you make a difference in your community by sending a photo of you volunteering at your favorite nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. In the Tweet you send to the @SouthwestAir Twitter account, use the hashtag #DenverDayofRock, and be sure to list the organization name, include your best photo, and use your remaining 140 characters to tell us what you do to make a difference at your favorite charity! If your volunteerism rocks enough for us, you can win two VIP passes to Denver Day of Rock, a two-night stay at The Oxford Hotel, and of course, we’ll fly you to Denver for free! The fabulous Oxford Hotel is also throwing in complimentary valet parking, and a choice of a 50-minute massage or 50-minute facial at The Oxford Club Spa & Salon for each guest. Again, submit your entry to the @SouthwestAir Twitter account using the #DenverDayofRock hash tag. Southwest Airlines will have a panel of highly-qualified judges who know all there is to know about making a difference in the community. They know they’re stuff. So warm up that camera and show us how you ROCK Your Community! CONTEST RULES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. VOID IN PUERTO RICO AND WHERE PROHIBITED. MUST BE LEGAL U.S. RESIDENT, 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. 1. How to Enter the Contest a. Southwest Airlines “ROCK Your Community Contest” will begin at 10 a.m. CT on May. 8, 2012 and will end at 11:30 p.m. CT on May 22, 2012. b. Southwest Airlines is not responsible for lost, stolen, mangled, mis-delivered, illegible, incomplete or late entries, telephone service outages, delays, busy signals, equipment malfunctions and any other technological difficulties. c. To participate in the ROCK Your Community Contest, you may enter via the following method: Submit a Tweet with a photograph of you volunteering at your favorite nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. to the Southwest Airlines @Southwestair Twitter account using the hashtag “#DenverDayofRock” In the Tweet be sure to list the organization name and use your remaining 140 characters to tell us what you do to make a difference at your favorite charity. All entries submitted will not be acknowledged or returned. By entering, you grant Sponsor an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free, freely transferable license to use the contents of the tweet and photograph for all purposes, in any and all media, whether now known or hereafter devised. Tweets must not be plagiarized. Entries may not violate any third party rights nor use any third-party intellectual property such as logos or background signs. Entrants acknowledge and agree that their entry does not violate any rights of privacy or publicity and that they have written permission to use the photograph from those appearing in it. Entries must not disparage; contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, or vulgar; or promote bigotry, racism, hatred or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation. Use of any device to automate entry is prohibited. Proof of submission of an entry shall not be deemed proof of receipt by Southwest. Southwest Airlines computer is the official time keeping device for the contest. Southwest is not responsible for entries not received due to difficulty accessing the internet, service outage or delays, computer difficulties or other technological glitches. d. One internet entry per Twitter account is permitted. Any person found using multiple Twitter accounts to enter will be found to be ineligible. 2. Eligibility Restrictions a. The contest is open to all persons who are legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older as of May 1, 2012. Employees, of Southwest Airlines Co., Airtran Airways, Inc., and the members of their immediate families (spouse, parents, children, and siblings, and their spouses) and individuals living in the same households are ineligible to enter or win. b. Entrants are required to provide truthful information and Southwest will reject and delete any entry that it discovers to be false or fraudulent. Southwest Airlines will disqualify any entry from individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements, and Southwest Airlines will also delete any entry received from persons under the age of 13 in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. 3. Prize: a. One (1) First Place Prize: Winner will receive a trip for two (2) (winner and guest, age 21 or older) to Denver from the nearest airport to the winner’s home served by Southwest for a two-night stay at the Oxford Hotel. Trip includes round trip airfare on Southwest Airlines, 2 VIP tickets to Denver Day of Rock, 2-night standard double occupancy hotel accommodations (one room), complimentary valet parking, and a choice of a 50 minute massage or 50 minute facial at The Oxford Club Spa & Salon for each guest (Approximate Retail Value ("ARV"): $1,500) Certain travel restrictions may apply. Travel arrangements must be made through Sponsor’s agent. Round trip airfare for two on Southwest Airlines is subject to Southwest Airlines terms and conditions; certain restrictions may apply. Airline tickets will not be refundable or redeemable for cash or credit at any time, nor will tickets be replaced if lost or stolen. Tickets may not be sold to a third party. Tickets valid on Southwest-operated, published, scheduled service only from the airport nearest the winner's residence served by Southwest Airlines. If the winner does not live in a city served by Southwest Airlines, he/she is responsible for transportation to the nearest airport served by Southwest Airlines. Government issued ID required to travel. All other expenses, not specifically mentioned herein are the sole responsibility of the First Prize Winner. No prize substitutions, cash equivalent, or transfer of prizes permitted except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Prize subject to availability and the Sponsor reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to award a prize of greater or equal value if the advertised prize is unavailable. If any winner cannot travel on dates specified by Sponsor, winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner selected. All other costs not specifically stated herein, including, but not limited to, taxes, meals, tips and ground transportation, are the responsibility of the winner. Taxes are solely the responsibility of the winner. Winner and travel companion must travel on the same itinerary and are responsible for obtaining all required travel documents. In addition, travel companion of Winner must be 21 years of age or older. Winner may be required to present a valid credit card upon hotel check in to cover any incidental expenses incurred during their stay. If a selected event is unable to take place as scheduled, for reasons such as cancellation, preemption, postponement or unavailability, or for any reason beyond the control of the Sponsor, the Sponsor’s and contest entities’ sole responsibility to a Winner will be to award the remaining available portion of the prize and no substitution will be provided for unawarded portion of prize. Tickets are subject to terms and conditions as specified by issuer. Sponsor and Contest Entities reserve the right to remove or to deny entry to winner and/or guest if he/she engages in a disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person during their trip. b. In the event that a prize or prize certificate is mailed to the winner, it will be with the prior written consent of the winner and therefore, winner assumes the risk of its loss. Sponsor is not responsible for the safe arrival of a prize or prize certificate. 4. Selection of Winner Decisions of judges with respect to the Contest are final. a. The winner of the ROCK your Community Contest will be selected by a Southwest Airlines panel of judges from the Communication & Strategic Outreach department. The judges will be judging on the following qualities: • Creativity and Originality: 20% • Community Impact: 25% • Southwest Appeal: 35% entry should reflect our Culture and Commitment to the Community. • Rules: 20% Read and complied with the official rules. b. Odds of winning depend on how well your entry reflects the judging criteria, as well as the total number of eligible entries received c. Winner need not be present to win d. To Claim Prize: Potential winner only will be notified by Southwest Airlines via direct message from the Southwest Airlines @Southwestair Twitter account. Potential winner will have 24 hours to respond to the e-mail to claim the prize. Unclaimed or undeliverable prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. Entrants who are not chosen as a winner will not be notified. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission (except where prohibited) to use winner's name, organization’s name, hometown and likeness for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity in any media without additional compensation. Potential winner and their travel companion will be required to complete and sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release and, where legal, a Publicity Release, which must be returned within 24 hours after prize notification or prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to sign and return the required affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period, or if a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits prize. 5. Conditions a. Payments of all federal, state and local taxes are solely the responsibility of the winner. Winner may be required to sign an IRS Form W-9 or the equivalent. b. Southwest Airlines, in is sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of Southwest Airlines website or is otherwise in violation of the rules. It further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the contest if it is not capable of completion as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort. c. Sponsor reserves the right to make changes in the rules of the Contest, including the substitution of a prize or equivalent value, which will become effective upon announcement. If due to circumstances beyond the control of Sponsor, any competition or prize-related event is delayed, rescheduled, postponed or cancelled, Sponsor reserves the right, but not the obligation, to cancel or modify the contest and shall not be required to award a substitute prize. d. The Sponsor is not responsible for typographical or other errors in the printing, the offering or the administration of the Contest, or in the announcement of a prize. e. Winner's List: To request a Winner's Name List, send a self addressed return envelope, after May 30, 2012, to Southwest Airlines Communication & Strategic Outreach. All requests must be received by July 30, 2012. 6. Sponsor: Southwest Airlines Co., P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX. 75235-1611
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As part of Southwest’s dedication to the Ronald McDonald House, Employees from coast to coast regularly host dinners at the Houses. Last week, the Communication & Strategic Outreach department prepared meals for over 60 families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas, and a great time was had by all who participated. After a long day at the hospital with their children, a home-cooked meal can really serve as comfort food for Ronald McDonald House families. Our volunteers prepared and baked chicken pot pies, mixed up salad fixings, and created a yummy banana pudding for dessert. They also helped set up activities and games for the children, and, in so doing, collectively volunteered more than 64 hours! Of course, those hours will be recorded on SWALife and will then count towards Tickets for Time, which will be applied to the Dallas Ronald McDonald House. For every 40-hour contribution to a 501c3 nonprofit, that organization will receive one roundtrip ticket (up to six per calendar year) through the Tickets for Time program. While I was cleaning up after serving dinner, I sat down at a table and talked with a mom about her son’s extensive eye surgery. He was only nine years old, and has had numerous operations. He never wants to go to the hospital (what kid does?), but he always wants to go to the Ronald McDonald House. It is, for him, a place of joy. RMH can be a place to draw encouragement, strength, and hope during a family’s journey. To volunteer for one of these events, you don’t have to be a gourmet chef—just willing to spend a few hours with friends and Coworkers whipping up some favorite recipes, doing dishes, or visiting with the RMH families. And, when you think about the wonderful comfort, care, and support that the Ronald McDonald Houses provide families who are facing serious medical crises, it’s hard not to get involved.
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Every year, Southwest Airlines donates funds raised at the annual LUV Classic Golf Tournament to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This year’s recipients included Houses in Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Dallas. But this year, the giving didn’t stop there. A few additional Houses are benefitting thanks to some generous AirTran Pilots who rallied together to demonstrate their culture and values. AirTran Pilots Reid Bradley and Mike Davenport recently presented a check to the Ronald McDonald House Charities for an impressive $16,400. Together, Reid and Mike encouraged other Pilots to make personal contributions toward their worthy fundraising initiative. The proceeds will be split between Ronald McDonald Houses in Atlanta, Orlando, and Milwaukee in equal parts. “On behalf of the 1,700 plus pilots of AirTran Airways, we are honored to be associated with Ronald McDonald House Charities,” said Reid. “We look forward to being involved with RMHC in the years to come as we transition from AirTran to Southwest.”
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The public doesn't associate too many companies with the word "heart," but here at Southwest, we share our big hearts and LUV on a daily basis. For example, twice a year we host our official corporate fundraisers, the LUV Classic golf tournament and Party, which benefit the Ronald McDonald Houses across our system. A small team of warriors (including me, see photo below) organizes these two huge events each year, but we couldn't do it without the help of an army of volunteers and sponsors. This year, the 11th Annual Phoenix LUV Classic and Party will be held on May 14, while the Dallas LUV Classic and Party will celebrate its 25th annual event on October 1. Through these tournaments over the years, Southwest has raised more than $11 million for the various Ronald McDonald Houses across our system. We give the money directly to Houses in the cities that we serve; Houses where you often volunteer to cook meals and help. The Houses typically use the money for operational needs such as purchasing beds for the families or for capital campaigns for their expansions since these are the areas that it is harder to find interested donors. This year, proceeds from the Phoenix LUV Classic will go to Phoenix, Tucson, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. Proceeds from the Dallas event will benefit Dallas, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and St. Louis, which will be the 300th Ronald McDonald House. All of this started with the generosity of a man and his friends. Joe Miller was a popular Dallas club owner. When he was diagnosed with cancer, several Dallas businessmen (including Herb Kelleher) staged a charity golf tournament to raise money for him. Miller received more money than he needed and asked where to donate the excess. One of the friends was on the Ronald McDonald House Board and suggested this great organization that assisted families with seriously ill children by providing them a home away from home while their child is in the hospital. Wanting to keep the annual golf tournament and party, the group realized they needed help, but were not sure how to best organize it. They asked Colleen Barrett (currently our President Emeritus), who knew just what to do and volunteered one of our best event planners, Ann Hancock, to help. Thus, the LUV Classic was born. Through the years, the LUV Classic has become a beloved and fun tradition at Southwest Airlines. We look forward to sharing even more of the fun and behind the scenes with you on the LUV Classic, but for now, start making plans to join us in Phoenix or Dallas for this great event. For more information, go to www.southwest.com/luvclassic .
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