One of the reasons I enjoy working in Field Marketing for Southwest Airlines is the fact that I get the opportunity to interact with many of our Customers through their travels. I have the privilege to hear the stories behind why they fly, whether it is for business or pleasure. One early morning, I was working at Chicago Midway making luggage name tags for our Customers, and I had the distinct opportunity to hear a unique and heart warming story about a group of guys (big guys) headed to Vegas. The tale will appeal to anyone who has ever played team sports and knows the impact that any coach can have on his or her players. The following is one such story told by a man named Steve Sularski who made a promise one day as a young football player and got to honor that promise later in life through a Southwest Airlines flight. I asked him to send me his story:
"I played High School Football at LaPorteHigh School in LaPorte, Indiana. I was on the varsity team since my freshman year so this gave me an extra couple of years of bonding time with some of these coaches. We all had a great, respectful relationship with each other. One day during my career, we had won a big game and thought, wouldn't it be neat to go to Vegas to celebrate!!!!!! Well, being underage I couldn't go, and it was somewhat of a dream for the coaches. Sitting on the couch in the coaches’ office, I made a promise to them that I would take them to Vegas to celebrate one day in the future. Fast forward 14 years and we are at the LaPorte Slicer Football Hall of Fame Banquet. Coach Severs was being inducted into the Hall of Fame. During the night, the promise was brought up, and I told them I was ready to make it happen. I had received an invitation to play in a slot tournament at the Mirage and asked if all of us could get into it. They answered yes, so now I had my dates for the trip, plus we had something fun to do. Coach Severs ended up in fourth place and received $1,500 in Freeplay. As a group total we had made $4,000 so we shared with everyone. The trip was a blast."
(Left to Right Front Row-Robert Schellinger Jr. and Gregory Fruth. Left to Right Back Row-Robert Schellinger Sr., Bo Belden, Coach Robert Severs, David Stafford, Stephen Sularski, Robert Sularski)
Clearly these coaches were men of impact and also a bit lucky in Vegas! I am glad that Steve chose Southwest Airlines to fulfill a promise that he made as a young player and thank you for sharing your story!