Last month, Southwest Airlines challenged its S Employees to put their Heart in Action and help celebrate the official community partner of our 50th Anniversary, the Birthday Party Project, through a Toy Drive during the month of June.
To participate, Employees were asked to donate toys to the Birthday Party Project to be gifted to children experiencing homelessness around the country. And, WOW – did our Employees deliver!
More than 2,200 gifts sent via The Birthday Party Project Amazon wish list.
More than 1,500 Southwest Employees donated gifts.
In total, toys donated are valued at more than $50,000.
More than 50 Southwest locations participated.
We are thrilled to support The Birthday Party Project and our local communities! Our Employees were a huge part of helping bring joy to children experiencing homelessness through the magic of birthday parties.
Ready to join the celebration as well? You can make a donation via their website, or by shopping their Amazon wish list.
Be sure to let us know how you are showing your support by using #HeartinAction Be sure to check out ‘Celebrate The Birthday Party Project With Us!’ for more on the Southwest and The Birthday Party Project.
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At Southwest Airlines, our Heart doesn’t just give back—it gives forward and we are always looking for ways we can best support the communities around us. Today is Earth Day and in celebration of honoring the earth’s precious resources and our 50 th anniversary, we are working with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to plant 1,000 trees for each of our 50 years of service. That’s an incredible 50,000 trees that will be planted throughout California, Georgia, and Oregon in service of the Planet!
As the trees grow, the carbon they can sequester is equivalent to an estimated 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.* That is similar to emissions from a 737-800 flying 2,700 times between Dallas and Houston, or the emissions of approximately 45,000 passengers flying roundtrip between Oakland and Honolulu.** This reforestation effort will help support wildfire recovery, restore native ecosystems, improve water and air quality, mitigate climate change, and reduce soil erosion and heat island effect.
In honor of Earth Day, we encourage you to donate to NFF by visiting swa.is/treeplanting. For every dollar donated, one tree will be planted – supporting efforts to conserve our nation's forest, watersheds, wildlife, and recreation resources. Every donation will also count towards our one million Acts of Kindness challenge!
Protecting our Planet for future generations is important to Southwest and we’re excited to facilitate projects that help support our drive to be a good environmental steward. As a Company, it’s important we take meaningful steps to reduce our environmental footprint and preserve our Planet’s resources. In addition to working with like-minded organizations such as NFF, Southwest is also committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. We recognize conservation can be more impactful when we all work together for a more sustainable future.
*Per tree carbon estimates provided by the NFF. Carbon sequestration from this project will not be converted to carbon offsets.
** Estimated using fuel consumption data from The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Boeing 737-800 aircraft
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Southwest Airlines’ 50 th Anniversary celebration is in full swing and it’s been great sharing the different ways we are honoring this milestone with our Employees, Customers, and partners. Our one million Acts of Kindness Challenge is underway and we’ve loved hearing the stories of how Employees and Customers are putting their Hearts in action. There’s also been a lot of enthusiasm for the Southwest Kindness Pledge, with people committing to make the world a kinder place.
To continue championing Kindness, we are thrilled to announce The Birthday Party Project as the official community partner of our 50 th Anniversary! The Birthday Party Project is a Dallas-based organization that partners with more than 60 agencies across the country to bring joy to children experiencing homelessness through the magic of birthday parties. They believe every child deserves to feel special, especially on their birthday, and through our partnership, we will help thousands of children realize they’re worth celebrating.
To jumpstart this partnership, we are donating $50,000 to The Birthday Party Project from the Southwest Airlines Foundation, a corporate-advised fund within the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The donation will help nearly double The Birthday Party Project’s 2020 impact and be used to expand their reach by supporting growth to new markets and partnerships with new agencies.
Ready to join the celebration? You can make a donation via their website, or by shop their Amazon wish list. Be sure to let us know how you are showing your support by using #HeartinAction
At Southwest we believe community is more than a place – it’s at the heart of what brings us together. Through this partnership, we will help children feel loved, one birthday celebration at a time – stay tuned for additional engagement opportunities throughout the year!
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This post has been updated for Fall 2020 learning.
Southwest Airlines knows that t he Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought additional challenges for many, including two of the hardest working groups of people—teachers and parents. Virtual learning can be challenging for everyone involved, a nd we want to help you get away from the usual curriculum.
Our first lesson involves one of the four forces of flight: lift!
Teachers and Parents: Please scroll to the bottom for more Adopt-A-Pilot learning resources!
In 1997, Southwest Airlines launched our Adopt-A-Pilot program which gives classrooms an opportunity to “adopt” a Southwest Pilot. Since our award-winning program first launched, Southwest Pilots have visited thousands of classrooms around the country, teaching an aviation-themed curriculum and impacting the lives of more 632,000 students.
Since Pilots are unable to visit classrooms, we are bringing the Adopt-A-Pilot program to you through a series of videos and lessons , allowing t eachers and parents to supplement their virtual learning curriculum with STEM- cen tered content. These activities and experiments are taught by Pilots and designed to show teachers and parents various ways to engage the curiosity of fifth-grade students. Although, teachers and parents may be able to adjust this education programming to engage other age groups. Throughout the semester we plan to update this post with virtual lear ning ideas , so please bookmark it.
Teachers and Parents, no matter how your plans may have changed—we hope these Adopt-A-Pilot lessons will provide some fun and innovative content for your students, or at home!
Coloring Book & Experiments Packet (PDF Attached)
Teachers and parents, print out this Coloring Book & Experiment packet for some fun Adopt-A-Pilot activities you can do at home, or remotely!
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Championing communities is at the Heart of Southwest Airlines. We have a long history of giving back to the places where our Employees and Customers live, work, and play. In 2018 we launched the Southwest Airlines Charitable Grant, providing a total of $1 million to innovative national and local nonprofits making a difference in communities around the globe.
Last December, Southwest announced the 24 recipient organizations of our charitable grant program. The grants ranged from $25,000-$50,000 and focused on leadership development, STEM education, and workforce development. Supporting these types of organizations not only builds stronger communities but addresses a real business need—ensuring we have a strong Employee pipeline in the years to come.
These innovative nonprofit organizations have been hard at work making meaningful impacts with the funds they received. Take a look at the inspiring accomplishments each organization has achieved thus far!
Arnold Air Society -Silver Wings
Program expanded to include 10 scholarships for African American students that will be distributed during the academic year.
Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE)
Fifteen CAUSE Leadership Academy (CLA) college undergraduates in Los Angeles and Orange County were empowered to lead and represent the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. Students spent nine weeks placed in a variety of public, private, or nonprofit sector internships.
East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC)
Approximately 200 youth received professional development and leadership training.
Approximately 90 youth served as paid youth leader interns and participated in work-based learning at the EOYDC.
More than 95 percent of youth successfully transitioned to the next grade level after participating in the work-based learning internship.
More than 500 children and youth received support from EOYDC youth leaders through their involvement in EOYDCs programs.
Hispanics in Philanthropy
Staff developed and refined the curriculum of the Latinx Líderes Program, now in its fourth year, to create a program that advances the development of mid-career Latinx leaders.
The largest cohort to date, with 31 new program participants, has been announced. The cohort consists of emerging nonprofit and philanthropic leaders from across the U.S., including Puerto Rico, and one leader from Mexico.
Ocean Discovery Institute
A total of 150 students will be served through the Leaders Initiative, creating the next generation of science and conservation leaders. Seventy middle school and high school students have been served to date through this initiative.
One hundred percent of high school seniors involved with the program have graduated high school and moved into higher education.
National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders
Selected 20 fellows for the ninth cohort, the largest class to date.
MANA de San Diego
MANA reached 117 Latina youth and 32 Latina professionals through the 2018-2019 Hermanitas Youth Leadership Mentor Program (Hermanitas) and 2019 Latina Success Leadership Program (Latina Success). Participants in the program build leadership skills and take steps to improve their professional success.
Hermanitas empowered 67 Latina youth in middle and high school to explore various career paths, build essential life skills, and make progress achieving their educational goals. All 13 seniors graduated high school on time and will begin post-secondary education in the fall.
The Women's Foundation of California
In February, Women’s Policy Institute (WPI)-Local graduated 19 fellows who had successfully completed the year-long fellowship in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Monterey counties.
In August, WPI-State graduated its 15th class of 30 fellows.
100 Black Men of Atlanta
The program has reached more than 5,000 students through Robotics, Saturday School, Leadership and Community activities, and a Lecture Series.
Started a Code-A-Thon program for students in grades 9-12.
SciTech Institute (formerly Arizona Technology Council Foundation)
The 2018-2019 global cohort consisted of 720 CSOs (Chief Science Officers). Of that number, 556 CSOs were from six U.S. states and 164 CSOs from two countries.
Children First Fund - The Chicago Public Schools Foundation
The Air Force Academy High School (AFAHS) is in the process of expanding STEM education with more meaningful aviation experiences.
AFAHS revamped its Flight Lab with cutting-edge supplies and equipment needed to support student learning in aviation. Grant funds enabled the school to purchase two new virtual reality simulators. The simulators allow a single student to fly with a headset, which perfectly simulates the views and sounds from the cockpit of any model plane taking off from any major airport in the world.
Code Nation (formerly ScriptEd)
Code Nation served a total of 1,420 students nationally in the 2018-2019 school year, consisting of 1,151 Intro to Web Development (formerly Foundations) students and 269 Fellowship (formerly Advanced & Studio) students, all supported by a team of 269 volunteers from the tech industry.
Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas
The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas partnered with Title 1 Dallas ISD Schools to make the STEM Center of Excellence a field trip destination to 1,027 girls from Dallas, Longview, and Tyler in grades first through ninth.
More than 446 girls participated in STEM-themed overnight and week-long camps; 925 girls attended STEM-themed day camps.
Greater Milwaukee Committee for Community Development
Nine students enrolled in two aviation courses for the fall semester.
Textbooks and tools were purchased for students in the aviation mechanics program. Students began their first college aviation course and have taken two field trips: one to General Mitchell International Airport to see the Southwest operations, and another to the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) Aviation Center.
St. Louis Science Center
During summer 2019, six discovery flights were completed with teens at a local flight training company. Additional flights are planned for teens this fall. Students spend time in the air practicing stalls, emergency landings, and being invited to take off/land.
During the 2018-2019 school year, 5,673 students were served through the A’STEAM program [Afterschool-Science, Technology, Engineering, Art (Design), and Mathematics] at 150 sites. Additionally, more than 800 students were served through YMCA Apartment Outreach efforts (Opportunity Centers) and YMCA Early Care preschool and toddler programs.
A new fellowship partnership with Ruthie's Rolling Café, now "Ruthie's Rolling Café Powered by Café Momentum," was established. Café Momentum will add a second food truck to the Ruthie's partnership, enabling more interns to transition to the next step after Café Momentum with a degree of support.
In Q1 and Q2 2019, 81 percent of orientation participants progressed to intern status.
One hundred percent of interns who successfully exited the program have found employment post-program.
Career Learning & Employment Center for Vets with Disabilities, Inc. (Operation: Job Ready Veterans)
Over 75 veterans and military family members attended the five-day VETS seminar. Participants were provided:
Career interest and work value assessments
Connections to Success
Eighty-one women have been served by programs, including a bi-weekly Connect group, monthly Professional Women’s Group, and Life Transformation Coaching. Of that number, 22 women have completed the full Personal and Professional Development (PPD) training.
Sixty-four percent of women that have gone through PPD are employed and earning a median wage of $12.79/hour.
Hallmark University Inc.
Hallmark University kicked off the Aeronautics College Head Start Institute (Aero CHI program) with a partnership with North East Independent School District. The program has since expanded its partnership with a second school district, San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD).
One cohort of the Aeronautics College Head Start Institute has graduated.
Bridges from School to Work (formerly Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities, Inc.)
Provided service to 14 high schools in Clayton County and Fulton County to identify, recruit, assess, and enroll 60 students receiving special education services.
Five high school students with disabilities have been enrolled and placed in jobs.
Sword to Plowshares Veterans Rights Organization
Served and stabilized nearly 200 veterans and enrolled 126 veterans in employment and training services in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Provided employment assistance integrated with wraparound supportive services to 196 homeless and low-income Bay Area veterans.
Women's Bean Project
Supported the hiring of 33 low-income women in the transitional employment program.
Sixty-one percent of program participants who completed the probationary period graduated the program with fundamental workplace competencies, and 100 percent of graduates were placed in career entry-level jobs.
In 2019, there has been a 25 percent increase in senior graduates from the prior senior cohort.
Two hundred and thirty-six rising seniors from 19 different public high schools started the school year having completed meaningful work experience via the YouthForce Internship program.
The impacts of the Southwest Airlines Charitable Grant funding will continue to be seen as these organizations share their hearts and bring people together. We are thrilled to support the efforts of these 24 extraordinary organizations and will continue to champion communities across the globe.
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In 1997, Southwest launched our Adopt-A-Pilot program which gives classrooms an opportunity to “adopt” a Southwest Pilot. Over the past 22 years, “adopted” Southwest Pilots have visited thousands of classrooms around the country, teaching an aviation-themed curriculum and impacting the lives of more 592,000 students.
First Officer Ricardo “Ricky” Gonzalez brought Adopt-A-Pilot to MAS Integrated School (MASIS) in Añasco, Puerto Rico for the first time during the 2018-2019 school year. Ricky grew up in Puerto Rico and he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share his love of aviation with the students at MASIS. This year, Ricky is sharing Adopt-A-Pilot with the students in the fourth and sixth-grade classes.
The Adopt-A-Pilot program uses lessons focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to inspire students to pursue careers in aviation. This year, Ricky not only spent several weeks in classrooms at MASIS, but he also organized a fun field trip for the sixth graders. With the help of Southwest Employees in San Juan, Ricky and 39 sixth graders toured the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan. The students learned all about the check-in process, boarding procedures, and steps taken to ready an aircraft for departure.
During the 2019-2020 school year, over 700 Pilots will be “adopted” by more than 41,000 students, no doubt helping students soar to new heights. To learn more about this program, please visit southwest.com/adoptapilot.
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Help Heal Veterans provides free therapeutic craft kits to military service members and veterans receiving medical care throughout the country. The craft kits support the healing process by providing physical benefits like restoring coordination and motor skills, improving concentration, and enhancing rehabilitation. Veterans also experience psychological benefits, such as relieving symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, when working with craft kits.
Southwest and Arise Veteran Foundation, a Repurpose with Purpose Partner, are proud to supply leather from repurposed aircraft seat covers to Help Heal Veterans for the kits. Through this creative outlet, more than 80,000 lbs. of leather from Southwest seat covers have been given a new life and a new purpose. Help Heal Veterans offers 11 different leather kit options, including kits to make wallets, belts, footballs, bracelets, and more. Craft kits are produced by veterans and military family members in Winchester, California, and are available to veterans at no cost.
Help Heal Veterans works closely with veterans and clinicians to provide the right kits to meet veterans’ needs. Often, kits become part of rehabilitation treatment plans. For 47 years, Help Heal Veterans has provided 31 million therapeutic arts and crafts kits to more than 18 million service men and women. Partnerships with medical centers, military hospitals, senior living facilities, and veteran’s transitional programs allows the organization to reach over 200,000 veterans each year.
We are excited to continue working with Arise and Help Heal Veterans to bring therapeutic craft kits to more veterans in need of healing. Our Heart is to take care of people because we are more than an airline—we are your neighbor.
To learn more about Help Heal Veterans visit healvets.org.
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Across the country, our Employees work hard to positively impact the environment at work and at home. Below, two Employees share the actions they take to improve their communities by putting their Heart in action. Small steps add up to make a big difference, and we encourage you to find ways to give back too.
The following testimonial is from Dallas-based Flight Attendant Lori Barnhill
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22, but to me, every day can be Earth Day! Doing small things over any period of time can lead to big rewards for our environment.
One way I strive to make a difference is through gardening. Often, when people think of gardening they assume a lot of acreage is required. While it’s nice to have land available, it’s not necessary.
You can plant a garden anywhere—use raised beds in a small yard or plant in small containers or in patio pots if a yard is unavailable. I’ve even seen indoor grow kits available for purchase for those without access to an outdoor space. Any of these options are a great way to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables.
I love gardening! Gardening is great not only for the benefits associated with garden to table foods, but also for the added convenience. I don’t have to make the trek to the grocery store to get my produce either—I can get what I need right from my garden. I’m also reducing my carbon footprint by driving to the store less, and when I do go, I make sure my trip is multipurpose and not just to run one errand.
Recycling is another way to improve your impact on the environment. As a Flight Attendant, I often talk to the Crews I fly with about their recycling habits. One of things I encourage them to do is collect any aluminum cans they use and donate them to animal shelters. Many animal shelters accept donations of aluminum cans and turn the cams into recycling centers where they are paid for their donation. The money paid for recycling the aluminum goes directly back into operating the shelters—it’s a simple way to make a difference.
The following testimonial is from Atlanta-based Material Specialist Jennifer Johns
Since 2018, I’ve been determined to live a zero waste lifestyle. My reasons for choosing to do this are unique to me, but the outcome is beneficial for the environment and to those in my community.
Growing up, recycling wasn’t a priority for me. As time went on and recycling programs became more popular, my family began to adopt recycling efforts at home. We all know the basics of how to recycle—like for me growing up, we had a bin for all the glass, plastic, and cardboard that we placed on the curb for pick up. While those efforts are admirable, I really focused more on my recycling efforts in 2018 when I found myself watching YouTube videos about minimalism and living in tiny houses. One of the suggested videos that came up was about living a zero waste lifestyle.
A zero waste lifestyle is the idea and practice of refusing to produce trash and add any waste, like plastic, to our already overflowing landfills. Being conscious of this lifestyle means recycling, composting, and being more aware of what materials you are consuming. This discovery has made me vastly aware of the amount of plastic in my everyday life.
With this new concept, my habits began to change. One step at a time, I worked to improve my recycling habits. Small steps at first; bringing my own bags to the grocery store, attempting to compost food waste, and consuming less single-use plastic. A few months into this lifestyle change, I was thoroughly impressed with my efforts! That is, until I caught myself grabbing a straw and plastic lid, completely out of habit. I began to realize that this was just a single step in my thousand-mile journey.
Since this revelation, I began to bring my own silverware to work and reusable cup to the coffee shop. I’ve also made a more conscious effort to minimize plastic purchases and reduce my overall trash production through recycling.
The zero waste lifestyle is still very new to me but I hope with these changes—big or small—I can do my part in preserving the
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Repurpose with Purpose is one of many ways Southwest gives back to communities all over. Through this initiative, we upcycle, downcycle, and recycle thousands of pounds of discarded material into useful products with the help of Partner organizations. Earlier this year, we had a unique opportunity to partner with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos for Reyes Magos or Three Kings’ Day.
Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos is a Mexican orphanage located in Miacatlán, Morelos. In Mexico, Reyes Magos is a traditional Mexican holiday that is celebrated by giving gifts to children. Southwest was thrilled to participate in Reyes Magos at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos.
More than 600 children at the orphanage were surprised with a backpack and a pair of shoes made from upcycled Southwest leather seat covers. The backpacks and shoes were handmade by employees of Mexican fashion label Carla Fernández, a Repurpose with Purpose Partner. In 2017, Southwest partnered with Carla Fernández to create a line of clothing and upcycled fashion accessories using leather from Southwest airplane seat covers—we were excited to work together again on these gifts for Reyes Magos.
To celebrate Reyes Magos, the children enjoyed a breakfast with tamales, rosca de reyes (a round sweet bread), and hot chocolate. Then the kids each received their gifts that included the new Southwest leather shoes and backpacks. After opening their gifts, the kids enjoyed playing with one another and modeling their new shoes as they celebrated Reyes Magos.
It was day full of joy and cheer. Southwest Airlines is honored that our Repurpose with Purpose initiative could play a part in the celebration of Reyes Magos at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos this year.
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Sharing our Heart is a big part of Southwest Airlines and for years, we’ve been dedicated to living responsibly and respecting our resources. As you might have seen on Lifetime last night, we had the unique opportunity to celebrate this dedication by being featured in the fan-favorite, Unconventional Materials episode of Project Runway All Stars!
Designers from the show were challenged to create high-fashion air travel wear from recycled onboard and travel items including Southwest coffee cups, peanut packets, and seat belts. The designers were also tasked with crafting a leather accessory out of upcycled Southwest aircraft seat covers—all within 24 hours!
The purpose of this challenge was to show how everyday travel items can be transformed into something else, which aligns perfectly with our Repurpose with Purpose (RwP) initiative . The spirit of this initiative is to breathe new life into material that otherwise may have been discarded, which is exactly what these creative designers accomplished.
All of the designs were impressive, but (spoiler alert!) ultimately Irina Shabayeva won the challenge! Irinia’s design incorporated Southwest coffee cups into a miniskirt set and she used aircraft seat leather to create a clutch.
In addition to bragging rights as the challenge winner, Irina had the chance to work with Rethreaded, a RwP Partner since 2017, to design a line of limited edition accessories inspired by creations from the Unconventional Materials episode. Rethreaded creates and sells a line of upcycled leather jewelry and accessories that gives Southwest’s leather new life, while also creating opportunities for women who are survivors of human trafficking, exploitation, and trauma.
Employees of Rethreaded took inspiration from Irina’s winning design, plus other designers’ creations, to produce a line of new accessories including key chains, earrings, and bracelets. Purchasing these limited edition accessories brings renewal and hope to the women at Rethreaded.
Southwest is also offering the chance to win round trip air travel* for one winner and a guest to any Southwest destination, along with Project Runway All Stars-inspired travel accessories created by Rethreaded. These upcycled accessories are made with recycled leather from Southwest aircraft seat covers.
Head over to Southwest.com/rethreadedsweeps to read the Official Rules and enter! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
*International air travel does not include taxes and fees of at least $5.60 per one-way flight.
If you didn’t have a chance to watch the episode featuring Southwest, be sure to tune in next time you’re onboard a Southwest flight. Customers traveling on Southwest can enjoy the Project Runway All Stars TV Series Channel on the Inflight Entertainment Portal via the Southwest mobile app on their personal devices, or a laptop via Southwestwifi.com.
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The following blog post was written by GenHERation founder and CEO Katlyn Grasso
In February 2018, Southwest Airlines partnered with GenHERation to offer two young women from the GenHERation network the chance to attend the 2018 Southwest Airlines Rally in Las Vegas.
GenHERation is a network that brings young women and companies together for networking opportunities, so this was a great opportunity and event for GenHERation members to attend! After receiving more than 150 applications from GenHERation Members to attend the Rally, Melissa Hutchins, a senior at State University New York Oneonta, and Heidi Dart, a senior at Southwestern Adventist University, traveled across the country to learn what it means to Live and Work the Southwest Way.
“I remember that day so clearly, I was over the moon ecstatic to be one of the GenHERation members to attend the Southwest Rally in Las Vegas,” Melissa said. During the Rally, Melissa and Heidi heard from Southwest Airlines Senior Leaders on the main stage, connected with Southwest Employees to learn about their career journey, visited with different Teams during the Expo, and experienced the Southwest Culture firsthand. The Southwest Airlines Rally blends the experience of learning about upcoming Company initiatives while connecting with the Southwest Airlines Family throughout the fun-filled celebration. The Rallies started as a town hall type event that has since transformed into summit-like experience complete with a post event celebration. There are four Rallies each year in various locations across the Southwest network, and thousands of Employees participate, which requires every detail to be meticulously planned and analyzed for continuous improvement.
The day of the Rally in Las Vegas began with an interview with Culture Celebration Manager Leslie Shults and Culture Celebration Specialist and Rally Event Producer Natalie O’Donnell who plan and execute the Rally platform. Melissa and Heidi learned how the Southwest Rally Season has become an annual celebration where Employees can connect with each other and learn from Senior Leadership. When reflecting on her time at the Rally, Melissa shared, “There is a constant strive for improvement [at Southwest] and such a presence of relentlessness for success in all areas.”
During the Expo, Melissa and Heidi ventured through the Las Vegas Convention Center to meet members of different Southwest Teams, including Volunteerism Advisor Andrea Cavanagh, People Specialist Kelby Tansey, Captain Nancy Marin Belitz, and Communications & Outreach Specialist Carolyn McMenemon. No spectator could deny the excitement by both women as they smiled, clapped, and cheered alongside the Southwest Teams throughout the entire day.
“The Employees call themselves a Family and after talking with multiple Employees, I can see how much Southwest Airlines values its People,” Heidi said Heidi felt that Customer Support & Services Team Leader Paula Powell Darensbourg said it best when she shared, “We work hard, but we have fun.”
The opportunity to participate in the Rally was fun, educational, and inspiring. Energy was high, music was loud, and pride was strong. The passion, the People, and emphasis of upholding Company Values was evident in every corner of the venue.
“Coming into the Rally, I knew that Southwest Airlines cared for its Customers and truly treated them as Family, but after hearing Company executives address the audience, including CEO and Chairman of the Board Gary Kelly, President Tom Nealon, and Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven. I gained a whole new perspective of what the Company is all about” said Melissa.
As college seniors, Melissa and Heidi are preparing to embark on their careers and have intention of pursuing opportunities at Southwest. These two young ladies are Customers for life and will forever have a place in their hearts for the love they experienced at the Southwest Airlines Rally in Las Vegas.
Check out Melissa’s and Heidi’s GenHERation blog posts to learn more about their Rally experience.
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Have you ever been on the trip of a lifetime? In November, Southwest Airlines had the privilege of flying 50 families to Walt Disney World in Orlando for the 2017 Kidd’s Kids trip. I’m not a gambler, but I’d bet the Kidd’s Kids families will tell you they went on the trip of a lifetime!
Kidd’s Kids is on a mission to provide hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions. The Kraddick Foundation was founded in 1991 by morning show personality Kidd Kraddick, and his legacy is carried on by his daughter, Caroline Kraddick and her work with Kidd’s Kids. Thanks to donations made by listeners of The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show, the deserving Kidd’s Kids families left last week for an all-expense paid, five-day trip. Southwest is proud to have partnered with Kidd’s Kids for 11 years to help send the families to Orlando in Southwest style.
When it came time to begin the journey, Employees around the system made sure all of the families felt special by creating a sendoff celebration for each family before they boarded their flights. While 30 families flew out of Dallas on a charter flight, 20 families flew out of 11 other Southwest cities including Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Wichita, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Tulsa. The celebrations at each Station were all unique events—kids made announcements, enjoyed tea parties, took pictures with characters, and savored tasty treats. For many of the families traveling, this is the first time they have ever flown on an airplane and we know they loved the Southwest experience.
Thank you to all the participating Stations and Employees for starting each family's trip off on such high note! You truly showed them outstanding Southwest Hospitality.
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Southwest is honored to fly 50 families to Orlando for a magical 5-day all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World for the 2017 Kidd’s Kids trip. This is the 11 th year for Southwest to partner with Kidd’s Kids. The below is a guest blog post from Traci Liberto, the mother of two Kidd’s Kids participants.
I joined the Southwest Airlines Family in 1998 as an Employee in the finance department in Dallas and later transitioned to a job in Provisioning. I loved my job, made incredible friendships, and felt truly blessed by the Company. However, after nine years I left Southwest to pursue a new job that gave me the title of “stay at home mom.”
My oldest daughter, Melissa, was born with Cystic Fibrosis in 2007. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. My husband and I now have two daughters, and our youngest daughter, Makayla, was also born with Cystic Fibrosis. Melissa and Makayla never get a break from CF. Their mornings start early with hour-long breathing treatments, where they inhale medicines that help open airways or thin mucus. These medicines include antibiotics to fight lung infections and therapies to help keep the airways clear. Melissa and Makayla do at least three different inhaled medicines in the mornings along with airway cleaners. Their treatments start all over again in the evenings, but if they are sick they will do additional treatments throughout the day. With every meal and snack, Melissa and Makayla also have to take a handful of medications for CF.
My daughters are both active girls! They attend public school, love playing outside, and enjoy singing and dancing. While my daughters don’t let having CF stop them from doing the things they love, there are days where the girls get really sick and have to miss out on a lot of fun things.
I share this story with you to help you understand just how thrilled my family is to be a part of the 2017 Kidd’s Kids trip! When I learned that my family would be traveling to Walt Disney World because of Kidd’s Kids and Southwest Airlines, I was beyond excited and started crying tears of happiness. My family has been looking forward to the time we will spend together and the memories that we will make since we were told that we were selected for the trip. My girls look forward to meeting all the Disney characters, visiting the Haunted Mansion and getting princess makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
I can’t wait for them to have the chance to experience all of those things and more, and I can’t thank Southwest Airlines enough for all that you do for families like mine through your work with Kidd’s Kids.
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What do you get when you have a room full of telephones, laptops, and eager volunteers? The magic of Kidd’s Kids Day!
Today is very special day for Southwest Airlines and our partners at Kidd’s Kids. Nearly 100 Southwest Airlines volunteers will answer calls to accept donations to help fund the Kidd’s Kids Walt Disney World Trip. Today, we have the opportunity to help bring smiles to the faces of 50 children with a chronic or terminal illness who were selected to go on the Kidd’s Kids Trip in November.
If you call 888-SWA-KIDZ (888-792-5439) between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. today and make a donation, you’ll be supporting the trip of a lifetime for 50 deserving families. Today is the 11th year for Southwest Employees to answer donation phone calls on behalf of Kidd’s Kids.
Today, you can be a part of the magic of Kidd's Kids Day and a part of the beautiful memories that the Kidd's Kids families will make on their trip to Walt Disney World. Today is a very special day.
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Southwest Airlines partnered with GenHERation, a network where young women and companies connect, for Discovery Days 2017. A group of 50 young women from GenHERation, ages 14-22, visited Southwest headquarters in Dallas for an immersive Discovery Days event to learn about Southwest and hear career advice from Southwest Leaders.
In addition to the young women from GenHERation who participated in Discovery Days, we had another very special guest: Lilly Santiago. Earlier this year, Southwest shared Lilly’s story. You may recall that Lilly’s father, Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Will Santiago, reached out to his Cohearts on Facebook with a request to show Lilly that there are women working on the ramp at Southwest. Will’s post received an overwhelming response with dozens of Southwest women responding to Lilly’s question and encouraging her to follow her dreams. Shortly after, Lilly spent a day in the field at our Baltimore station to see and experience all the jobs women accomplish in our operation.
We invited Lilly to join in on the Discovery Days fun to show her even more of the work women are doing at Southwest Airlines. Lilly joined the girls from GenHERation for a scavenger hunt to learn about Southwest history and meet our Campus Reach Internship team. The group also heard career advice and lessons learned from Elizabeth Bryant, Vice President Southwest Airlines University; Leah Koontz, Vice President Controller; Linda Rutherford, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer; and Ellen Torbert, Vice President Diversity and Inclusion. Lilly joined a team of GenHERation girls to design a marketing campaign to encourage students to fly with Southwest.
The morning with GenHERation was packed full of fun events, but the day didn’t end there. Lilly and her family continued to meet incredible women at Southwest by visiting the Network Operations Center and meeting Dispatch Trainer Carla Caisee. With Carla’s help, Lilly was even able to help send Pilots messages during their flights. To show Lilly what it was like to work in Technical Operations, Katelyn Dittman, Technical Operations Staff Engineer, walked Lilly around the Dallas Hangar. Lilly also spent some time learning all about how Southwest Airlines Employees are trained to do their jobs.
At the end of her fun-filled day, Lilly shared that “women can do all the jobs and nothing can stop them." Lilly, we couldn’t agree more!
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Due to timing we are unable to consider support of your event/organization. We receive countless requests for assistance from organizations with worthy intentions and goals, so we want to evaluate and process each request with the time and attention it deserves. Please try again the next time your organization is in need of a donation.
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Since 1997, the award-winning Adopt-A-Pilot program has paired fifth grade classes with Southwest Airlines Pilots across the nation to help students discover their dreams.
Each Spring, Pilots volunteer their time visiting classrooms and mentoring students, while students track their "adopted" Pilot's journey during the time that he or she is "on the road." Not only does the program educate students on popular topics such as “how does an airplane fly?”, our Leaders also emphasize the importance of education and personal goal setting.
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Every year, in coordination with Project for Public Spaces, Southwest Airlines accepts grant applications from nonprofit organizations seeking to bring new life to underperforming public spaces within the heart of their communities. The 2017 Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant application has closed. Check the Heart of the Community page soon for more information surrounding the timing of our 2018 grant application and cycle.
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Yes. If awarded a ticket donation after applying on southwest.com/donations, the Southwest logo and guidelines will be emailed with your ticket award. The logo may only be used to represent sponsorship of an event and does not imply continued sponsorship of the organization.
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“Adopted” Southwest Airlines Pilots visit classrooms and support teachers in reinforcing the importance of school and how the power of hard work and commitment are essential to achieving dreams. Pilots lead activities in the Adopt-A-Pilot curriculum by making lessons in Science, Geography, and Math come alive, demonstrating to students how these subjects can be applied in “real life.” “Adopted" Pilots visit their assigned classroom once per week (on average) during the four-week long Adopt-A-Pilot program.
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At Southwest Airlines, we believe in empowering the next generation to achieve their career goals. One of the ways we do that is by passing along the lessons we’ve learned along the way. We are proud to partner with GenHERation, and next week we’ll welcome a group of talented young women to our Headquarters for Discovery Days. These young women will learn what some of our women Leaders throughout their careers.
Captain Nicole Alicea shares how studying hard in science and math can give you a view you can’t find in any other career!
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Last week, Southwest Airlines set off to achieve a very important task—to fly 52 children with life-altering conditions and their families to Orlando, Florida, for a five-day, all-expenses paid vacation to Disney World, courtesy of Kidd’s Kids. Flights with Kidd’s Kids departed from 11 different cities throughout the country.
One excited family shared their story prior to takeoff:
Aaleyah was a happy, healthy girl until being hospitalized for a high fever at only nine-months old. While being treated for her fever, Aaleyah was intubated incorrectly, which caused her to suffer a stroke in the left side of her brain. The doctors swore Aaleyah would never speak, see, or move ever again. However, Aaleyah’s mother, Amber, had hope, and after years of therapy, Aaleyah finally began to respond. Gradually she has regained her speech, her sight, and finally her mobility. Today, she is one of the precious children joining Kidd’s Kids on their trip to Disney World. Today she enjoys singing, doing gymnastics, and playing with her family.
When asked if she liked to fly, she laughed and said, “I like the takeoff and the landing!” Aaleyah said she is so thankful for the opportunity Kidd’s Kids has given her. Her mother, Amber, said, “This would never have been possible without Southwest and Kidd’s Kids. I can’t find a word to describe how this opportunity makes us feel.” Aaleyah had just the word. “Special!”
Customer, Ben Helvin on Facebook put it best when he said, “Every child deserves the chance to just be a kid.” We couldn’t agree more!
Southwest Employees made sure the flights were unforgettable. Whether it was seeing the plush, purple carpet where they were cheered on as they boarded their red, blue, and yellow carriage or interacting with the Southwest Employees dressed in character, these little princes and princesses were thrilled to start their memorable journey.
We hope Aaleyah and all of the other Kidd’s Kids had the most magical, fun-filled experience as they traveled to a place of dreams, laughter, and imagination!
In the ten years we’ve partnered with Kidd’s Kids, we’ve had the privilege of flying more than 500 families to Orlando for this memorable trip. Thank you to all of the Southwest Warriors who made this an incredible experience for so many children and their families.
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For many of us, the fall season is the time to gather with other football fanatics, play some corn hole, stuff our faces with stadium hot dogs and nachos, and cheer on our teams on while they play some good ole’ fashioned college football. But we all know what the fall season is truly about—watching the opposing football team get crushed on game day. Here at Southwest, we thought we would get the ball—er, plane—rolling with the 15th annual Southwest Airlines Pigskin Plane Pull to celebrate the Red River Showdown!
Earlier today, 14 Southwest Employees displayed their passion for the University of Texas and Oklahoma University, by representing either the Texas Longhorns or Oklahoma Sooners, in a true test of strength—pulling an 83,000-pound Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft in a timed competition, down a 50-yard stretch of tarmac. Each Team came ready to win, and the mascots and cheer squads from UT and OU were on the sidelines to rally their team to the finish line as quickly as possible.
The Team who pulled the plane the fastest across the finish line won tickets to the Red River Showdown football game and, of course, bragging rights for the year! This year the Southwest Teams were joined by several special guests including former OU football player Travis Wilson, the hosts from sports radio 1310 The Ticket, and alumni from the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Exes and the OU Club of Dallas. While the OU and UT teams both pulled with all their might, there could be only one winner.
Congratulations to the UT Team, this year’s Pigskin Plane Pull victors, with a finishing time of 31.9 seconds. You all earned your tailgating rights!
Best of luck to both teams and their fans this weekend at the game!
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Southwest Airlines began with two friends, over drinks, with an idea sketched out on a cocktail napkin. That big idea created the nation’s largest domestic carrier and one of the world’s most honored companies. We’ve led the way in doing things a little differently at Southwest. In that same spirit, we are empowering and encouraging young minds to take their ideas from their dorm rooms, to pitching them to potential investors with the hope of attracting interest and support for their vision.
Through our new partnership with RECESS, a music and innovation festival, we witnessed some incredible stories and big ideas, such as ThirdEye. The challenges faced by a visually impaired relative inspired five students at the University of Pennsylvania to create ThirdEye during a hackathon three weeks into their freshman year. ThirdEye is a software program that recognizes and verbally identifies everyday items to assist the visually impaired. Through their entrepreneurship journey, the founders of ThirdEye not only strive to help the visually impaired live more independently, but to also make a positive impact on the world. As the winner of the RECESS Pitch contest at the University of Pennsylvania, ThirdEye will participate in the finals “Field Trip” scheduled to take place Jan 14-16, 2016.
ThirdEye being pitched at RECESS
Do you have a big idea of your own? If you’re a college student ready to make your big idea a reality, submit your Pitch to our friends at RECESS by Nov 15. You’ll have a chance to advance to the finals Field Trip in Los Angeles where you will embark on a three-day, all-expense paid excursion to Los Angeles to meet with mentors, industry leaders and investors. If your idea incorporates a way to revolutionize the customer experience in the travel industry, make sure to submit your idea in the exclusive Southwest Travel category for a chance to win roundtrip travel to New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to seek investors. The individual or team of two will also be invited to Southwest Airlines Headquarters in Dallas, TX to discuss their idea. For more details please visit recess.is.
From left to right: Chris Roan (Mother New York ), Jeff Bakalar (CNET), Luke Schantz (Softlayer), Rajat Bhageria (Founder, ThirdEye), Evan Sites-Clayton (Founder, TeeSpring)
RECESS 2015 PITCH COMPETITION
THIS CONTEST IS INTENDED FOR LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ONLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. DO NOT ENTER UNLESS YOU MEET THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA AND ARE LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. ENTRY IN THIS CONTEST CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
The RECESS 2015 Pitch Competition (the “Contest”) is a competition that identifies and recognizes the most innovative, impactful, and viable student-run businesses and is designed to encourage eligible U.S. college students (“Entrant(s)” or “You”) to pitch their business ideas. Judges will choose the winning entries, and prizes will be awarded in accordance with these Official Rules (the “Rules”).
SPONSOR. The Contest is sponsored and promoted by RECESS Digital LLC (“RECESS” or “Sponsor”), a Delaware limited liability company with principal place of business at 5 Rose Ave., Venice, CA 90291.
BINDING AGREEMENT. Please read these Rules carefully prior to entering the Contest as they form a binding legal agreement between you and RECESS with respect to the Contest. You may not enter the Contest, submit an entry to the Contest and are not eligible to receive the Prizes described in these Rules unless you agree to these Rules. By participating in the Contest, Entrants, or an Entrant’s parent or legal guardian if the Entrant is under the legal age of majority in his/her jurisdiction of residence (each, a “Minor”): (a) agree to be bound by these Rules, by the interpretation of these Rules by RECESS and by the decisions of RECESS; (b) acknowledge compliance with these Rules; (c) represent and warrant that entrant meets all of the eligibility criteria set forth in these Rules; (d) agree to comply with any and all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations; and (e) agree to release and hold harmless the RECESS from and against all claims, injury, or damages arising out of or relating to participation in the Contest and/or the use, misuse or redemption of a Prize, and for any claim including claims based on defamation, publicity rights, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, or any other intellectual property related cause of action. The parents or legal guardians of Minors further represent and warrant that the entrant is capable of agreeing to these Rules and giving the consent contained herein.
ELIGIBILITY. To be eligible to enter the Contest, an Entrant must: (a) Be 18 years or older at the time of entry, or have the parent’s or legal guardian’s permission to enter into the Contest. No entries will be accepted from Entrants under the age of 13; (b) Be a legal resident of the United States; (c) Be the founder and/or owner of an Eligible Student Business (defined below) or otherwise have the legal capacity to enter into contracts on behalf of the Eligible Student Business.
In order to qualify as an “Eligible Student Business”: (a) The business must be a student-run business and must have a minimum of one (1) founding member that is a currently enrolled U.S. college student currently attending one of the schools listed as a RECESS Spring 2015 Tour Date School (“RECESS Tour Schools”) (http://recess.is/2015-spring/application/)or the student-run business must have a minimum of one (1) founding member that is a currently enrolled U.S. college students that submit as a non-RECESS Tour School (“At-Large Bids”); (b) The proposed idea and/or business plan of the student-run business (the “Business Plan”) should be suitable for funding at some level; (c) The student-run business must not be in violation of any intellectual property rights of any third party; and (d) The Business Plan of the student-run business cannot be a franchise.
Contest is void in Puerto Rico, U.S. territories and possessions, outside of the U.S., and where prohibited by law. Employees, interns, contractors, and official office-holders of RECESS, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, and their respective directors, officers, employees, advertising and promotion agencies, representatives, and agents (“Contest Entities”), and members of the Contest Entities’ and their immediate families (parents, siblings, children, spouses, and life partners of each, regardless of where they live) and members of the households (whether related or not) of such employees, officers and directors are ineligible to participate in this Contest. Entrants are eligible to participate if they participated in previous competitions sponsored by RECESS as long as the Business Plan is different from the previous submissions in such competitions.
4. CONTEST PERIOD. The Contest entry period begins on September 9, 2015 at 12pm Eastern Time (EST) in the United States and ends on the following dates (the “Contest Period”):
(i) September 27th at 11:59pm EST for those Entrants of University of Miami;
(ii) October 1st, 11:59pm EST for those Entrants of University of North Carolina Charlotte;
(iii) Octoboer 3rd, 11:59pm EST for those Entrants of University of Pennsylvania;
(iv) October 6th,11:59pm EST for those Entrants of Babson College;
(v) October 7th, 11:59pm EST for those Entrants of Harvard University;
(vi) October 12th, 6:00pm EST for those Entrants of University of Southern California;
(vii) October 13th, 6:00pm EST for those Entrants of University of California Los Angeles;
(viii) October 18th, 11:59pm EST for this entrants of Southern Methodist University;
(ix) October 18th,11:59pm EST for this entrants of Rice University;
(x) October 18th, 11:59pm EST for those entrants of University Texas at Austin; and
(xi) November 15th,11:59pm EST for all At Large Bids
5. HOW TO ENTER: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. To enter the Contest, visit http://recess.is/2015-fall/application/ (the “Contest Website”) during the Contest Period and follow the instructions. You will be required to complete the entry form in its entirety (the “Entry Form”). Each Entry Form must adhere the Entry Requirements below.
LIMIT ONE (1) ENTRY PER ENTRANT. Subsequent entries will be disqualified.
To be considered for the Contest, Entry Forms must be: (i) complete (as determined by RECESS); (ii) received by applicable cut off date during the Contest Period; and (iii) in English (unless otherwise specified).
Machine or computer-generated mass entries will be disqualified. Any submission not meeting the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified. RECESS accepts no responsibility for submissions lost, delayed, damaged, defaced, or mislaid, howsoever caused. All entries will be deemed made by the Entrant submitted at the time of entry. Entries received without a completed Entry Form or without a parent’s or legal guardian’s signature (if required) will be disqualified.
6. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. The information and statements in your completed Entry Form must meet the following criteria (the “Entry Requirements”): (a)They must not be derogatory, offensive, threatening, defamatory, disparaging, libellous or contain any content that is inappropriate, indecent, sexual, profane, torturous, slanderous, discriminatory in any way, or that promotes hatred or harm against any group or person, or otherwise does not comply with the theme and spirit of the Contest; (b) They must not contain content, material or any element that is unlawful, or otherwise in violation of or contrary to all applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulation including the laws or regulations in any state where the Entrant resides; (c) They must not contain any content, material or element that displays any third party advertising, slogan, logo, trademark or otherwise indicates a sponsorship or endorsement by a third party, commercial entity or that is not within the spirit of the Contest, as determined by RECESS, in its sole discretion; (d) They must be original, and not contain, incorporate or otherwise use any content, material or element that is owned by a third party or entity; (e) They cannot contain any content, element, or material that violates a third party’s publicity, privacy or intellectual property rights; (f) The Eligible Student Business must not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim; and (g) They must not include any disparaging remarks relating to RECESS or a third party.
7. JUDGING. Each entry will be evaluated and scored based on the following “Criteria”: (i) overall pitch; (ii) clear exploitation of product/service and the problem that it solves; (iii) how the Eligible Student Business is unique and differentiated; (iv) market size opportunity and ability to penetrate and capture market share; (v) clear explanation and viability of the Business Plan; and (vi) adherence to the Entry Requirements and these Rules.
Using the above Criteria, there will be three (3) levels to the judging process that will result in finalists at each of the following levels: “Regional Finalists”, “National Semifinalists”, and “Finalists” as described in further detail below. All interpretations of these Rules and determinations made by RECESS, the Selection Committee and/or the Judges relating to the Contest are final and binding. At Large Bids will have no semi-finals round and will be notified by November 12th, 2015 if they have advanced.
ROUND 1: On Campus
Number of finalists at this level: 50 (5 per school from each of the RECESS Tour Schools) Using the above Criteria, a selection committee, consisting of qualified representatives selected by RECESS, (the “Selection Committee”) will make a holistic evaluation of all eligible entries received from each RECESS Tour School. The Selection Committee will then select five (5) teams from each RECESS Tour School to participate in on-campus pitch competitions which will be held at their respective schools based on the following schedule:
(i.) University of Miami, October 1, 2015 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm
(ii.) University of North Carolina at Charlotte, October 6, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:00pm
(iii.) University of Pennsylvania, October 7, 2015 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm
(iv.) Babson College, October 9, 2015 from 7:00pm - 8:00pm
(v.) Harvard University, October 12, 2015 from 6:30pm -7:30pm
(vi.) University of Southern California, October 14, 2015 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm
(vii.) University of California, Los Angeles, October 15, 2015 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm
(viii.) Southern Methodist University, October 21, 2015 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm
(ix.) Rice University, October 22, 2015 6 to 7:00pm - 8:00pm
(x.) University of Texas at Austin, October 23, 2015, 7:30pm to 8:30pm
Of the five (5) teams participating in the pitch competitions at each RECESS Tour School, the one (1) winning team from each RECESS Tour School will advance to the Regional Finalist round (the “Regionals”). Winning teams will be notified the night of the competition.
ROUND 2: Regional Finalists and At Large Bid Finalists
Number of finalists at this level: 15
At the Regional Finalist level, ten (10) regional school finalists (1 finalist from each RECESS Tour School) (the “Regional Finalists”), as well as five (5) At Large Bids finalists (the “At Large Bid Finalists”) will be selected to advance forward in the Contest.
RECESS will notify each Regional Finalist selected for an At Large Bid within twenty four hours (24) of the submission deadline via the email address provided. At Large Bid Finalists will be notified on or around November 18th, 2015 via the email address provided. A Regional Finalist or At Large Bid Finalist selected that does not respond within forty eighty (48) hours of notification of selection and/or does not meet the eligibility requirements may be disqualified and an alternate will be selected by the Selection Committee based on the Criteria and notified by e-mail.
ROUND 3: National Finalists
Number of finalists at this level: 5
From among the Regional Finalists and At Large Bid Finalists, a total of five (5) national finalists (the “National Finalists”) will be selected to advance forward as Finalists in the Contest as follows: A minimum of one (1) member from each team of Regional Finalists and the At Large Bid Finalists will be flown to Los Angeles from January 14 - 17, 2016 to participate in the RECESS Field Trip where they will compete in the Startup Playground booth demo to attract audience votes. The Regional Finalists and/or At Large Bid Finalists with the highest score will be selected based on a combination of audience vote and Selection Committee vote. The audience vote will comprise 20% of the scoring for National Finalists selection and the Selection Committee’s vote will comprise 80% of the scoring.
ROUND 3: NATIONAL WINNER
Number of Winners selected: 1
From the five (5) National Finalists, one (1) National Winner will be selected as follows: The National Finalists will participate in the Final Four Showdown at the RECESS Field Trip where they will pitch to a panel of leading investors (the “Judges”). Using the Criteria, the Judges will vote to determine the Winner.
Notification of Winner: The National Winner will be notified in person after the Final Pitch immediately following the final count of Judges votes.
All Judges participating in the Contest, and members of the Selection Committee, will be prohibited from (i) judging any Entrant they are employed by or affiliated with, or (ii) judging any Entrant that they identify being unable to objectively evaluate according to the Criteria determined by RECESS.
Tie-breaker: In the event of a tie at any level of judging, the Selection Committee or Judges will re-evaluate the tied entries according to the Criteria until the tie is broken. The tied entries will be put up for a re-vote amongst the Selection Committee or Judges at the respective level until the tie is broken.
8. ADDITIONAL WINNERS. In addition to participating in the RECESS Pitch Competition, If your Business Plan is related to Technology, Mobile Accessories or Live Entertainment (each a “Special Category”), you may elect to participate in any of the Special Category competitions sponsored by various companies RECESS has partnered with (the “Special Category Competitions”) by indicating that you wish to enter into the Special Category Competitions on your Entry Form. Special Category Competitions offer an opportunity to win additional prizes, and all Entrants are eligible to win (winning a Special Category Competition does not guarantee placement as a Regional Finalist or an At Large Bid Finalist, only the prize associated with the Special Category). You can still win a Special Category Competition regardless of if you are chosen as a Regional Finalist or an At Large Bid Finalist. Special Category Competition winners will be selected by the company sponsoring such category (the “Sponsoring Company”). You can find a list of companies sponsoring Special Category Competitions HERE (http://recess.is/2015-fall/pitch/).
9. ODDS. The odds of winning the Contest or a Special Category Competition will depend upon the strength of an Entrant’s preliminary application as determined by the Selection Committee, Judges, or the Sponsoring Company, as applicable, and the total number of eligible entries received during the Contest Period. The total number of entries varies but is anticipated to be between 100 – 500 entries. The percentage of the contestants that advance to the National Finals is fifteen (15) divided by the total pool of applicants.
10. GRANT OF RIGHTS.As between RECESS and the Entrant, the Entrant retains ownership of all intellectual and industrial property rights (including moral rights) in and to the Business Plan. As a condition of entry, Entrant hereby grants RECESS the right to reproduce and distribute Entry Forms for the purpose of sharing with business partners and companies sponsoring the Special Category Competitions, to administer the Contest and/or for other uses in connection with the Contest. Entry Forms will not be returned. RECESS retains all rights in the RECESS products and services and entry into this Contest will in no case serve to transfer any RECESS intellectual property rights to the Entrant.
The following prizes will be available to be awarded (each, a “Prize”):
All Entrants will receive: (i) Admission into Softlayer's Catalyst program, through which they will be extended up to $1,000/month in hosting credits for 12 months (up to $12,000 value), subject to Catalyst terms and conditions.(ii) Free credit card processing from Stripe up to $10,000, (iii) 20% off discount on Moo.com (value varies based on purchase size), (iv) Salesforce for startups including, APP DEVELOPMENT: Force Developer Edition + Heroku development environment resources, CUSTOMER SERVICE: (2) free 1-year licenses of Desk.com Standard Edition, CRM: 30-day free trial of a startup-optimized version of Sales Cloud Professional Edition OR 15-day trial of an out-of-the-box solution from RelateIQ, MARKETING AUTOMATION: 30% discount on Pardot Standard or Pro Edition; first year only, PLEDGE 1%: Access to resources to enable adoption of 1-1-1 philanthropic model, (estimated value $840), and (v) 2 Months Free Shopify (estimated value $358). Exclusions and restrictions may apply.
All National Finalists and At Large Bid Finalists will receive: (i) Moo.com business cards (estimated $119.99 value), (ii) six (6) month license of FounderSuite, (iii) Two (2) complimentary round-trip Southwest Airlines plane tickets to Los Angeles, CA (approximate retail value is $800), (iv) two (2) night stay in a hotel (approximate retail value $400), (v) $100 in ground transportation, (vi) $100 food, and (vii) admission into Softlayer's Catalyst program, through which they will be receiving hosting credits of up to $10,000/month for 12 months (up to $120,000 value), subject to Catalyst terms and conditions. The member representing each team as a National Finalist must be a currently enrolled college student and be in compliance with all rules stated herein. National Finalists will be required to pay for their own transportation to and from the airport at their own expense. Total estimated cost to be between $50 - $200 for round trip transportation.
Grand Prize will be a plaque engraved with the winning team’s names.
Special Category Prizes:
Social Entrepreneurship sponsored by Pivot: One (1) winning team will win the opportunity to meet and pitch a Pivot executive along with members of the Leadership Team. Meeting will be in person or via Skype, and the date, time and location of such meeting will be subject to availability.
Travel sponsored by Southwest Airlines. Two (2) members from one (1) winning team will be flown to New York City, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Los Angeles, CA for a fundraising road show. (Estimated value is $2400)
Prize Conditions and Restrictions:
The date for fulfillment of Entry Prizes will be as soon as an entry is submitted, but is subject to change in Sponsor’s sole discretion. The date for fulfillment of National Finalists and At Large Bid Finalists will be on or around November 18th, but is subject to change at Sponsor’s sole discretion. If for any reason any Prize is unavailable or any Prize or related event is delayed, cancelled or postponed, or for any other reason, Sponsor reserves the right to modify the Contest in its sole discretion and award a substitute Prize, or portion of a Prize, of comparable or greater value as set forth in these Rules. The Prizes are not transferable, assignable or redeemable for cash except in the Sponsor’s sole discretion. The Contest Entities shall have no responsibility or obligation to an Entrant who is unable or unavailable to, or who does not for any reason, accept or utilize the Prize. All costs and expenses not specifically listed above as part of the Prize are solely the responsibility of the Entrant.
PRIZES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITH ALL FAULTS AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. ENTRANTS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE CONTEST ENTITIES HAVE NEITHER MADE NOR ARE IN ANY MANNER RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY WARRANTY, REPRESENTATION OR GUARANTEE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN FACT OR IN LAW, RELATIVE TO THE PRIZES.
If selected as a National Finalist, the member of each team that will be traveling to Los Angeles (a “Traveling Finalist”), or his/her guest or parent or legal guardian if a minor, may be required to sign a travel release prior to traveling. All travel arrangements must be made through RECESS. The trip portion of the Prizes will consist of economy-class airfare for one member of each Entrant team from a major airport that is the closest to the Traveling Finalist’s residence to a Los Angeles area airport; three (3) meals a day for three (3) days; hotel accommodations for a minimum of two (2) nights in the Los Angeles area at RECESS’s discretion; and transport to and from the airport, and from the hotel to the event in the Los Angeles area in January 2016. Airfare, hotel accommodations, and transport will be arranged at RECESS’ discretion – certain blackout dates and travel restrictions may apply. Traveling Finalists are responsible for transport from his or her home to and from the airport and any other incidentals or expenses. Once trip dates have been booked, no change, extension or substitution of trip dates is permitted, except at Sponsor's sole discretion and/or with Sponsor’s approval. Any additional costs incurred from such a change, extension or substitution will be Traveling Finalist’s sole responsibility. No extension or change of trip dates permitted. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen tickets, travel vouchers, certificates or similar items once they are in winner's possession, or in the possession of winner's guest. If the winner lives within 100 miles of prize destination city, the air transportation portion of the prize will not be awarded and ground transportation will be substituted and no additional compensation will be provided. The Traveling Finalists are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary and required travel documents (passport, etc.) in order to travel. Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitution or any act or omissions whatsoever by the air carriers, hotels or other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same. Contest Entities shall not be liable for any loss or damage to baggage.
No transfer, substitution or cash equivalent for prizes is allowed, except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a Prize, in whole or in part, of equal or greater monetary value if a Prize cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, as described for any reason. Value is subject to market conditions, which can fluctuate and any difference between actual market value and actual retail value will not be awarded. The Prize(s) may be subject to restrictions and/or licenses and may require additional hardware, software, service, or maintenance to use. Prize winners shall bear all responsibility for use of the Prize(s) in compliance with any conditions imposed by such manufacturer(s), and any additional costs associated with its use, service, or maintenance. Sponsor has not made and is not responsible in any manner for any warranties, representations, or guarantees, express or implied, in fact or law, relating to the Prize(s), regarding the use, value or enjoyment of the Prize(s), including, without limitation, its quality, mechanical condition, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose, with the exception of any standard manufacturer's warranty that may apply to the Prize or any components thereto.
To be eligible to be selected as a winner and to receive a Prize, the potential winner may be required to sign and return to RECESS, within two (2) days of issuance of such documentation from RECESS, an Affidavit of Eligibility and Release that: (a) releases Contest Entities from any and all liability, loss, claims, demands, and causes of action for personal injuries or death and/or damage to personal or real property, theft, loss, or any other harm suffered directly or indirectly from a potential winner’s participation in the Contest, including, but not limited to, traveling to, preparing for and/or participating in any Prize-related activity, or the acceptance, possession, or use or misuse of any Prize; and (b) except where prohibited by law, grants the Contest Entities the right to use such potential winner’s name, picture and/or likeness, or biographical information or voice for trade, advertising and publicity purposes, in any media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the world, in perpetuity, without additional compensation or consideration or notification. Entry into the Contest constitutes an agreement to sign such Affidavit of Eligibility and Release. If a potential winner does not sign this release and return it within the time frame specified, the potential winner may be disqualified, at RECESS’ sole discretion, and the Prize forfeited. By participating in Contest, each Entrant acknowledges that the Contest Entities have not and will not obtain or provide insurance of any kind relating to the Prizes and that each Entrant will be responsible for obtaining and paying for any form of insurance relating to the Prizes that each Entrant deems appropriate.
10. TAXES. AWARDS OF PRIZES ARE SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS REQUIREMENT THAT THEY SUBMIT TO RECESS ALL DOCUMENTATION REQUESTED BY RECESS TO PERMIT IT TO COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL TAX REPORTING ALL PRIZES WILL BE NET OF ANY TAXES RECESS IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO WITHHOLD. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, ALL TAXES IMPOSED ON PRIZES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE THEM. The Entrants, and if the Entrant is a minor, their parents or legal guardians, are responsible for ensuring that they comply with all the applicable tax laws and filing requirements. If a potential winner fails to provide such documentation or comply with such laws, the prize may be forfeited and RECESS may, in its sole discretion, select an alternate potential winner.
12. PUBLICITY. By participating in the Contest, each Regional Finalist and At Large Bid Finalist grants the right to RECESS, and its representatives, affiliates, licensees and assigns, to record, film, videotape and photograph such Regional Finalist or At Large Bid Finalist (the “Images”). These Images will be owned by RECESS. RECESS and each of its designees shall have the right to use, re-use, reproduce, publish, display, exhibit, distribute, edit, adapt, post, stream, copy and exploit the Images, and all elements embodied therein, including any names, likenesses, address, voice, conversation, biographical and Prize information and any other attributes of such Entrants, individually or with others, in whole or in part, in conjunction with other material, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, for the purpose of trade, advertising, publicity, promotion, or any other lawful purpose whatsoever, in perpetuity, throughout the world, without additional compensation, consideration, notification or permission, except where prohibited by law. Additionally, RECESS reserves the right to publish the name and likeness of the Entrants who are selected as Regional Finalists, At Large Finalists and the winners of the Contest or any Special Category Competition on the Contest Site or through other media for publicity purposes.
By entering the Contest, Entrants agree to participate in any media or promotional activity resulting from the Contest as reasonably requested by RECESS at RECESS’s expense and agree and consent to use of their name and/or likeness by RECESS. RECESS will contact Entrants in advance of any RECESS-sponsored media request for interviews.
13. REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES. By entering, each Entrant warrants and represents the following with respect to its Entry Form: (a) the contents of the Entry Form and the Business Plan are 100% original and, as such, Entrant is the sole and exclusive owner and rights holder of the submitted Business Plan and all other information provided in the Entry Form and that Entrant has the right to submit the Business Plan in the Contest and grant all required licenses; (b) the contents of the Entry Form and the Business Plan will not infringe on any rights of any third parties; and (c) Entrant has not and will not take any action that interferes with the rights granted to RECESS under these Rules.
14. ELIMINATION/ DISQUALIFICATION. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. RECESS reserves the right to disqualify any Entrant from the Contest if, in RECESS’s sole discretion, it reasonably believes that the Entrant has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, deception, or other unfair playing practices or annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other Entrant(s), RECESS, the Selection Committee or Judges. Any false information provided within the context of the Contest by Entrant concerning identity, mailing address, telephone number, email address, ownership of right or non-compliance with these Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the Entrant from the Contest. RECESS further reserves the right to disqualify any Entrant who tampers with the submission process or any other part of the Contest or who is found to be ineligibly to enter or are found to be in violation of these Rules or of the of the below Prohibited Conduct. If an Entrant is disqualified, RECESS reserves the right to terminate that Entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Contest.
15. ENTRANT CODE OF CONDUCT. Each Entrant is responsible for complying fully with both the letter and spirit of these Rules. On pain of disqualification, all Entrants are strictly prohibited from, in any degree, and in connection with any portion of Contest engaging in the following conduct (the “Prohibited Conduct”): (a) Interfering, in any way, with the legitimate administration of the Competition; (b) Employing any technological device in order to neutralize or evade security measures put in place by RECESS to protect the integrity of the Contest; (c) Including false or misleading information in a submission or any other materials submitted in connection with the Contest; (d) Violating any third party’s rights, including rights protected by the United States Copyright Laws, in connection with a submission or participation in the Contest; (e) Engaging in conduct which raises material questions about the entrant’s honesty, integrity, or character or which may subject the RECESS to disrepute by association; (f) Engaging in, or encouraging others to engage in, conduct that violates the law or another party’s legal rights; (g) Making false or materially misleading statements, or omissions, when asked to respond to a complaint or other inquiry from RECESS; (h) Engaging in any act, course of conduct, or omission that RECESS reasonably believes to be inconsistent with the spirit of the Contest, or its fair administration; (i) Using any aspect of the Contest as a platform for political advocacy or advancing a partisan agenda; (j) Discriminating against, disparaging or denigrating anyone on account of race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, political orientation, national origin, ancestry, marital status, veteran status or mental or physical disability; (k) Disparaging or denigrating a product, service, person, company or organization including, but not limited to, RECESS and its partners; (l) Promoting or advocating for a religion or any particular religious point of view in connection with the Contest, or engaging in proselytizing, which includes but is not limited to, acts meant to advance a religious denomination or expand its membership or encourage conversion; or (m) Making statements that contain profanity, are overtly sexual or violent, that suggest an intent to abuse or harm others, or that are otherwise gratuitous or offensive. RECESS will, in its sole discretion, determine whether or not an entrant has violated any of the forgoing Prohibited Conduct or any other provision of these Rules.
16. NOT AN OFFER OR CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT. Under no circumstances shall the submission of an entry to the Contest, the awarding of a Prize, or anything in these Rules be construed as an offer or contract of employment with RECESS or any third party. Entrants acknowledge that no confidential, fiduciary, agency or other relationship or implied-in-fact contract now exists between Entrant and RECESS and that no such relationship is established by Entrant’s entry into the Contest.
17. GOVERNING LAW; DISPUTES. As a condition of entering the Contest, Entrant agrees that: (i) under no circumstance will Entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and Entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential or any other damages, other than for out-of-pocket expenses; (ii) all causes of action arising out of or connected with the Contest, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually -- without resort to any form of class action -- by BINDING arbitration (by a single neutral arbitrator) in accordance with the expidited rules of the American Arbitration Association; (iii) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, but in no event SHALL SUCH CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS OR AWARDS INCLUDE attorneys’ fees. The Contest and these Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of California exclusive of any Conflict or choice of law rules; and (iv) the parties consent to exclusive personal jurisdiction in California.
18. WINNER’S LIST. You may view a list of the names of the Regional Finalists, At Large Bid Finalists, National Finalists and the winner at http://recess.is/2015-spring/pitch/ after May 15, 2016 until removed by RECESS at it’s sole discretion.
19. ADDITIONAL TERMS. RECESS reserves the right, throughout all phases of the Contest, to take any additional steps it deems reasonably necessary to ensure that each Entrant meets the qualification standards set forth herein, has otherwise complied with these Rules, and is not engaged in any morally suspect activity. Entrants agree to comply with all such measures and understand that their continuing eligibility to participate in the Contest (including the right to receive any Prizes in connection therewith) is expressly conditioned on such compliance.
The Contest Entities are not responsible if the Contest cannot take place, or if any Prize cannot be awarded due to delayed, interruptions or failures due to acts of God, war, natural disasters, weather, acts or threats of terrorism, strikes, lockouts, labor disputes, work stoppages, fire, acts of government, or other events outside of the reasonable control of the Contest Entities. If, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including (but not limited to) because of: computer virus, bugs, tampering, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause, RECESS reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, modify, or suspend the Contest without liability of any kind to the Entrants. RECESS reserves the right to modify and amend these Rules from time to time during Contest for clarification purposes. Failure by RECESS to enforce any term of these Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.
By participating in the Contest, all entrants agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Contest Entities from any and all damages, claims, and liability (including attorney’s fees and costs) arising out of or relating in any way to Entrants breach of the representations and warranties made herein, Entrant’s participation in the Contest and acceptance or use of any Prize and to release all rights to bring any claim, action or proceeding against the Contest Entities. This includes, but is not limited to, any and all claims, demands, and causes of action for personal injuries or death and/or damage to personal or real property, theft, loss, or damage of any kind, or any other harm suffered directly or indirectly arising from or in connection with any Entrants participation in and/or entry into the Contest or acceptance or use of any Prize or, including, but not limited to, traveling to, preparing for and/or participating in any Contest Prize related activity and for any claims based on publicity rights, defamation, invasion of privacy and merchandise delivery.
To the extent that any provision of these Rules or any paragraph, term, sentence, phrase, clause or word of these Rules shall be found to be void, illegal or unenforceable for any reason (and not subject to further appeal), (i) the remaining terms and provisions hereof shall be unimpaired and shall remain in full force and effect, and (ii) the illegal, invalid or unenforceable provision or term shall be replaced by a term or provision that is valid and enforceable and that comes closest to expressing the intention of such invalid or unenforceable term or provision.
The Contest Entities assume no responsibility for and will disqualify entries that are: stolen, late, lost, illegible, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, altered, tampered with, unauthorized, fraudulent, damaged, destroyed, delayed, misdirected, not received, or that have incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest, or by any human, mechanical or electronic error which may occur in the processing of the entries in the Contest, or other errors appearing within these Rules or in any Contest related advertisements. The Contest Entities assume no responsibility for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the Contest, errors in processing entries, identifying the finalist and/or winners, in the announcement of the Prizes and finalists and/or winners, and the delivery of the Prizes, any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, mobile phone, computer systems, online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or on any web site, or any combination thereof, including, without limitation, any injury or damage to Entrant’s or any other person’s computer system/software or mobile phone or other portable electronic device related to or resulting from downloading any materials in connection with the Contest.
ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
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