2012 is only a few days old, but already our Pilots are showing their Servant's Hearts in a big way. At a news conference in front of Southwest Headquarters earlier this week, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association handed over the keys to three, shiny new vans to the Ronald McDonald House. Last year, SWAPA held fundraising events across the system, raising more than $104,000 for the Ronald McDonald House charity.
SWAPA had originally pledged to raise money to purchase a new van for the Ronald McDonald house of Dallas to honor Southwest Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Herb Kelleher. This effort was to recognize his induction into the Entrepreneurs for North Texas “Ring of Entrepreneurs” hall of fame. Their fundraising campaign was a great success! SWAPA was able to purchase three vans—one van will stay in Dallas, the other two are headed to the Ronald McDonald Houses in Las Vegas and Orlando.
During the delivery of vans, Herb expressed his profound gratitude to the Pilots of Southwest for their fundraising efforts. “This is one of the most moving moments that I’ve ever had, and I’m just very grateful to SWAPA and to the Pilot cadre, not only for this occasion but also for the tremendous Leadership, wisdom, and foresight that you have provided Southwest Airlines for many decades as the greatest generation of Pilots in the history of the American airline Industry. I thank you with profound gratitude, and I salute you.”
Herb also expressed his appreciation to the staff at the Ronald McDonald House for the work they do to keep families together as their child endures a serious medical crisis. “Their staff and their patients have been an inspiration to all of us and have gratified our Servant’s Hearts with joy and respect for a long, long time.”
But that’s not all—SWAPA is also sending $3,000 to the Ronald McDonald Houses in each Pilot Base not receiving a van. Thanks to our hard-working Pilots for delivering the LUV for those who need it most.