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First "Spirit of American" Awards Honor Top Corporate Partners

Since 1985, the American Airlines family has remained steadfast in its commitment to helping the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation find a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). In 1988, American Airlines was named Outstanding Corporate Partner of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. To recognize their outstanding dedication, and as a tribute to all that American Airlines has done to further the mission of the CF Foundation, The Spirit of American award was recently established.

The CF Foundation presented the first-ever Spirit of American award to its namesake on Friday, March 18 at its 2005  

 Spirit of American Award - AA

L to R: C. Richard Mattingly, executive vice president
and COO of the CF Foundation; Bernie Willett and Kathryn Neeligan
of American Airlines; and Cam C. Cooper, CF Foundation
Chair of the Board of Trustees.  Photo by Rodney Choice.

Leadership Conference in Bethesda, Md.  Bernie Willett, manager of advertising/marketing programs at American Airlines and Kathryn Nelligan, a local Washington, DC representative, accepted the award in front of more than 130 CF Foundation volunteer leaders who attended the conference.

“The American Airlines family has been a tremendous corporate partner and has done much to support our mission of finding a cure for CF,” said C. Richard Mattingly, CF Foundation executive vice president and COO.  “We wanted to recognize their outstanding devotion and--as a tribute to all that American Airlines has done--The Spirit of American award was born.”

For 20 years, American Airlines has hosted the American Airlines Celebrity Ski (AACS) to help raise funds and awareness for CF. Since its inception, the AACS has raised more than $20 million for the CF Foundation, as well as helped to bring new corporate partners and volunteers to the CF family. In addition, American Airlines donates hundreds of airline tickets each year that are used by local CF Foundation chapters across the country for various fund-raising events.

Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., was honored as the inaugural corporate recipient of The Spirit of American award at the conference. Royal Caribbean is a shining example of a company that has replicated the unwavering support of American Airlines. Jack L. Williams accepted the award on the company’s behalf.  While addressing the crowd, Williams announced his resignation from Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. as president and COO so that he could devote more of his time to charitable causes, in particular, to the CF Foundation.

 Jack Williams

Jack L. Williams addresses volunteers at the 2005 Leadership Conference and announces his resignation from Royal Caribbean so that he can focus his time to help the CF Foundation.
Photo by Rodney Choice.

 “Jack Williams and the wonderful people that are Royal Caribbean Cruises are partners in the truest sense of the word. They have raised many millions of dollars, opened many doors of opportunity, and always care deeply about our core mission,” said Mattingly.

To receive The Spirit of American award, a corporate sponsor must have a demonstrated and long-standing commitment to the CF Foundation and reflect the level of support of American Airlines. Corporations will be recognized for their fund-raising achievements through their involvement in various CF Foundation events.




Posted 03/21/05

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.