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Southwest Airlines Tees Up To Donate $675,000 For Children's Charities From 30th Annual LUV Classic Golf Tournament Proceeds

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Southwest Airlines donates money 'fore' Ronald McDonald House Charities, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Children's Medical Center of Dallas
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Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today announced it will donate $675,000 to children's charities benefiting children in local and international destinations.  At this year's 30th Annual LUV Classic Golf Tournament, the airline added two donation recipients in addition to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to include St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Children's Medical Center of Dallas.

Ginger Hardage, Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications at Southwest Airlines, sits on the International Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which is based in Chicago.

"Southwest Airlines has proudly taken to the golf course every year for 30 years to raise money for children's charities at our Annual LUV Classic Golf Tournament," Hardage said.  "We have given proceeds from the LUV Classic to a Ronald McDonald House in every U.S. city Southwest Airlines serves, and proceeds from this year's tournament will benefit children in four houses in our international destinations.  This provided us a great opportunity to expand the recipients this year to include St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Children's Medical Center of Dallas.   We're thrilled to expand the reach of the LUV Classic to benefit children and their families beyond our traditional borders."

"It takes $80 per day to help keep a family close to a sick child when they are getting treatment and healing," said Gabe Ottolini of Ronald McDonald House Charities.  "Over the last 30 years of the Southwest LUV Classic partnership, Southwest has helped RMHC serve more than 185,000 children and their families—providing more than just a room or roof over their head, they helped RMHC provide warm meals, spaces for children to play together, and a community of support and resources to help them through a very difficult journey."

Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D., president of Children's Medical Center Foundation said, "Funding received through the 2015 LUV Classic will enhance vital Family Support Services programs such as social work, pastoral care, and special therapies like pet therapy, music therapy, clown therapy, art therapy, and other programs that are not covered by insurance, yet are proven to produce superior patient outcomes when combined with exceptional medical care."

Bonne Whittaker, regional events liaison at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital shared that, "The funds received at the LUV Classic will be used to support the life-saving research and treatment being done at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases."

The LUV Classic was founded in 1985 by Southwest Airlines President Emeritus Colleen Barrett. The event has since grown to be ranked as one of Dallas' top charity golf tournaments by the Dallas Business Journal, donating more than $15 million since its inception, and benefitting a total of 113 Ronald McDonald Houses. See for details.


In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 47,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually.  Southwest operates more than 3,600 flights a day, serving 95 destinations across the United States and six additional countries.  Southwest service to Belize City, Belize, is scheduled to begin Oct. 15, 2015.  Subject to foreign government approval, service to Liberia, Costa Rica, is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, 2015.

Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity while over the United States.  That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to access streaming music provided by Apple Music or to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free®  to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look:  Heart.  The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets.  With 42 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2014 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at

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SOURCE Southwest Airlines