At Southwest Airlines, we’re proud to provide great Hospitality to our Customers throughout their travel experiences—whether on the ground or in the sky. With our partnership with the City and County of Denver and the Downtown Denver Partnership, we’re able to extend that Hospitality into the Mile High community and provide a gathering space for residents and visitors. The Southwest Rink at Denver’s Skyline Park officially opened for the season today, so we’d invite you to lace up your skates and come take a spin on the ice!
Executive Director of Children’s Affairs for the City and County of Denver Erin Brown kicked off the event with help from Downtown Denver Partnership President Tami Door and Children’s Hospital Colorado Corporate Giving Senior Manager Kendall Cordova.
To celebrate the sixth anniversary of the Southwest Rink in Downtown Denver, Southwest welcomed families from the Children’s Hospital Colorado to the Southwest Rink to be among the first to take a turn on the freshly-frozen ice. Southwest Airlines is proud to partner with The Children’s Hospital Colorado year-round through the Medical Transportation Grant Program, and since 2010 the hospital has received more than $200,000 worth of tickets for patient travel. Southwest extended its giving Heart within the Community by encouraging Rink visitors to donate a new children/teen book for Children’s Hospital Colorado throughout the entire Rink season in exchange for free skate rentals. To foster the giving spirit, Southwest Representatives donated a Santa bag full of toys and books from the hospital’s holiday wish list.
To bring some extra cheer to families visiting the Downtown Denver area this holiday season, the Rink will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, hours, and programming, visit southwestrink.com. Even better, Denver students with the MY Denver card will receive free skate rentals at the Southwest Rink throughout the season!
We hope you’ll have a chance to take to this ice this winter season!
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Earlier this month, SWA volunteers set up at MCI Airport to support Camp Fire’s Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®, which honors our nation’s youth by asking adults to write letters of encouragement and inspiration to the incredible kids in their lives. The following is a blog post from the President & CEO of Camp Fire, Cathy Tisdale, that talks about how YOU can get involved.
On any number of Southwest Airlines flights, you may have had the opportunity to sit near a child. Maybe it was your own child, maybe it wasn’t. Either way, I’d like you to picture them in your mind and think about the times they were quiet. What was going on in their head? Were their thoughts positive or negative? Was it self-doubt or eager anticipation of landing in a new city?
We're here to make sure those thoughts are positive, hopeful, and focused on growth. On March 19, Camp Fire (www.campfire.org) and our partner organizations, such as Southwest Airlines, celebrated Absolutely Incredible Kid Day ® — and the celebration continues. The day is a reminder to honor our nation’s youth by asking adults and teens to write, post, tweet, and tag #AIKD notes of encouragement and inspiration to the special kids in their lives. It is a simple, meaningful way to let youth know how much they are appreciated. Lives are changed by this simple act of love and kindness.
Camp Fire has been a leader and innovator in youth development since 1910. Research shows that writing to a child is a powerful way to make a difference in his or her life. Your letter to a child can help that child feel more secure and loved and could provide the important, pivotal inspiration that will help them thrive.
It’s never too late to show a child you care. Take a moment and write a note of encouragement to a special child in your life. The right words of encouragement can come at just the time a child needs them most, helping them make better decisions, build self-esteem, and even be more compassionate and successful.
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Beginning October 13, Dallas Love Field is FREE! The restrictions of the Wright Amendment will be gone, ushering in nonstop destinations that span from coast to coast. Southwest has been counting down the years and weeks (literally—we have a billboard at the Love Field entrance and a countdown clock in our Headquarters lobby) until we can say, “Goodbye, Wright Amendment. Hello, America!"
We are excited to begin this new era by serving five new nonstop destinations on October 13, followed by ten additional new nonstop destinations on November 2. The addition of these 15 new nonstop destinations will bring Southwest to a total of 31 nonstop destinations from Love Field.
In anticipation of this momentous event, each week we will take a look at one of the cities that North Texas Customers will be able to soon visit nonstop on Southwest. Each post is written by a Southwest Employee who is affiliated with the city and can give an insider’s view of what to see and do while visiting. Enjoy!
During my 31-year-career with Southwest Airlines, I have lived in six different cities, and by far, Denver is my favorite! There are so many reasons why it ranks that way—a great climate; numerous museums, galleries, parks, hiking trails, golf courses; and fabulous restaurants. After living there for four years and continual visiting after moving away, I am always encouraging my family and friends to visit Denver. Even if it’s just a stop on the way to the mountains, Denver is a great place to start (or end) a vacation. I cannot wait for nonstop flights from Dallas, which will make visiting even easier!
In terms of daily departures, Denver is Southwest’s fifth busiest airport. Home to mild winters and 300 annual sunshine days, Denver is great yearround. It hosts the tenth largest downtown in America and the second largest performing arts center in the world. With so many choices to choose from, I’m happy to recommend some fun things to eat, do and see!
Your Denver to-do list:
Farmers’ Markets: Visiting one of the many local farmers’ markets is a no-brainer for a delicious experience. Checkout locally grown farm-fresh produce, artisan cheeses, unique local gourmet food, and Denver’s signature green-chili delights. You can also enjoy chef events and live music, as well. The Cherry Creek Fresh Market and the South Pearl Street Farmer’s Market are two great places to start.
Civic Center EATS: Providing a unique picnic experience, Civic Center EATS organizes a variety of food trucks and live music in a beautiful outdoor setting. Hosted at the Civic Center Conservancy, these summertime events occur on certain days, so be sure to check the schedule.
Hiking Trails and Local Parks: There are more than 200 city and mountain parks and eight state parks in the Denver area. Cheesman Park, City Park, and Washington Park are a few of my favorites. No matter what kind of trail or scenery you’re looking for, you’ll surely find it!
The Southwest Rink at Skyline Park: If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to check out the Southwest Rink in downtown Denver. Located in Skyline Park near the historic Daniels and Fisher Clock Tower, the rink is free and open during the holiday season, November through mid-February.
Red Rocks Amphitheater: This well-known, world-class concert venue and makeshift gym for fitness-minded visitors is open to the public on non-concert days. At 6,000 feet high in altitude, Red Rocks has two staircases, each with 380 steps, making it a great place to work out amidst the Rocky Mountains scenery. If you aren't in the fitness mood, catch a concert or stop by to enjoy the view.
The Denver Art Museum: The Denver Art Museum hosts a variety of spectacular exhibits and also has Free First Saturday visit days. King Tut, Becoming Van Gogh, and Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective are just a few of the past exhibits. Spend some time gazing at some (or all) of the 70,000 art pieces.
My City Secret:
Little Man Ice Cream: Take a trip back in time at Little Man Ice Cream, where employees dress in vintage uniforms and the ice cream tastes like the good ole’ days! Not only are you getting a delicious treat, but for every scoop you purchase, a scoop of rice is donated to an underdeveloped community abroad. Try just one scoop, and you’ll quickly find yourself asking for more!
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Southwest Airlines was recently honored with the Corporate Advocate of the Year Award given by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver. “Southwest has been a truly wonderful partner,” said Monica Rodriguez, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver’s Director of Business Development. “We cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for us and the Hispanic Community.”
Southwest Airlines is committed to building meaningful relationships throughout the communities we serve. Through our community partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver, we are supporting businesses throughout the city of Denver and, in turn, building a stronger community. At the awards ceremony in Denver, Guillermo (Bill) Vidal, Chamber President and former Denver mayor, said to the crowd, “You are all winners in our heart because of what you do for our community.”
We are proud to have community partnerships with more than 40 community organizations that focus on the Hispanic community throughout all the cities we serve. “Southwest Airlines was nominated because of their tireless effort to build strong, mutually beneficial grassroots partnerships and strategic relationships with the Hispanic community,” said Monica Rodriguez. We are thankful to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver for this great honor.
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In Denver, Colorado there is a unique night each year when people line the streets waiting for the doors to open to a very special meal. This evening, Denver citizens are enjoying the 28th Annual Dinner, For Those Who Hunger, hosted by Volunteers of America. This annual dinner is in commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King believed that we are all one family and that as a family we should come together in fellowship and eat from the same table.
Members of both the homeless and senior citizen community in Denver will enjoy a meal of ribs, green beans, cheese potatoes, peaches, and dessert. There will also be free health screenings available for any of the more than 1200 guests expected to attend. Of course, all are welcome at this special event and there is no cost to attend. Live jazz, blues, and gospel music will be provided by Sheryl Rene and her Band with guest performances by Hazel Miller and Lisa Bell. Afterwards, guests will have the opportunity to visit the side yard where ARC Thrift Stores and Big-O Tires will set up camp. Each guest will be given a bag to fill with warm coats and free clothing. Southwest Airlines Employees are, once again, volunteering at the event this year. Our dedicated Denver Employees enjoy giving back from the heart to their community, and sharing their LUV with those in need on this special day.
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For the second consecutive year, artists from the Larimer Arts Association and the Denver Chalk Art Festival invaded Denver International Airport with chalk in hand! More than 15 artists from Larimer Arts Association and the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design created a colorful masterpiece of chalk art on the Southwest Airlines ramp area. The artists (with a little help from our Ramp Employees) completed the masterpiece in record time – just over three hours. The motivation for “speed” was encouraged by the weather forecast. A thunderstorm was rolling in! Just minutes after the piece was completed the rain came down and washed the masterpiece away. The artists merely shrugged and stated “our art is always temporary.” Meanwhile, our Southwest Employees and Customers were feeling a deep sense of loss and ageed - it takes much more than artistic ability to be a chalk artist!
Southwest Airlines, is the official airline sponsor of the Denver Chalk Art Festival. Southwest Airlines and the Larimer Arts Association worked with DIA’s Public Art Program to plan the live art demonstration as part of the airport’s ongoing effort to promote and collaborate on public art initiatives.
The event gives the public a sneak peek of the talent and art that is set to descend upon Larimer Square during the ninth annual Denver Chalk Art Festival set for June 4-5.
“A special thank you goes to DIA and Southwest Airlines for providing us this great platform for art,” said Radhika Black, Denver Chalk Art Festival director. “As funding for art programs in schools and the community continues to erode, promoting arts awareness and education in Denver become that much more important, and every public outreach opportunity becomes more valuable.”
More info at http://www.denverchalkart.org/index.php
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Hundreds of pajama-clad party-goers celebrated success at the Fifth Annual PJ Party on January 28th, to benefit Denver’s Road Home - Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s ten-year-plan to end homelessness. PJ Day is the annual, major fundraiser for Denver’s Road Home. PJ Day benefits the homeless in the Denver community and reminds all of us that not everyone has a place to put on their pajamas and go to bed at night. Mayor Hickenlooper donned his signature red nightshirt at the PJ Party, hosted by the Residence Inn in Downtown Denver. He thanked the growing number of corporate and individual donors who made the 5th Annual PJ Party a resounding success. More than $860,000 was raised throughout the week leading up to the PJ Party! That’s a new record and something to toast about! In conjunction with the PJ Party, Molly Hagen was the winner of two Southwest Airlines tickets. The tickets were awarded in a random drawing from an online entry contest. We could have not found a more deserving recipient! Molly is the Program Manager for Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Denver. Their mission is to enable an interfaith and community response to families who become homeless by providing shelter, meals and comprehensive assistance and encouragement toward self-reliance in an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality. For as long as Molly can remember, her parents stressed the importance of community service and volunteerism. Molly stated “I began volunteering before I was able to really understand what it was, probably by the age of five. We were a very active family in our community.” Molly and her boyfriend plan to use the tickets for a trip to Virginia this fall to meet her new niece or nephew. Her sister is expecting a baby in September. Molly, congratulations from all of us here at Southwest Airlines! Thanks for all you do to help others! Cheers! (left to right) Dr. Jamie Van Leeuwen Executive Director, Denver's Road Home, Jennifer Hallam, Chair of PJ Day Party Committee, Molly Hagen, Winner!, Jane, and Mike Mitchell General Manager, Residence Inn
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Beautifully written...from the heart.
I am so grateful you and your family were able to join us in St. Louis for the Parade and the Center for Citizen Leadership event. Your presence made the day extra special.
In the short amount of time I spent with you - I gained a new hero in my life! You are an amazing person.
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