Atlas employees came together last month at the 21st Annual Atlas Air Worldwide Charity Golf Tournament to support charities that provide critical services to those in need – an important part of Atlas’ promise to support the communities where we do business and help them to thrive.
The event, which included a highly competitive golf tournament, dinner and charity auction (and a well-timed rainbow!), was held at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to K9s For Warriors, the Liberty City Optimist Club, the Fairfield County Food Bank and other charities that align with the Company’s commitment to Supporting the U.S. Military Personnel and Their Families; Developing the Workforce of Tomorrow; and Providing Humanitarian Relief.
“This was a record-breaking year,” said Gary Wade, Senior Vice President, Security and host of the event. “The event was sold out within 48 hours of the invitations being sent and we raised more money than ever before for these very important organizations.”
As the largest provider of military passenger and cargo airlift to U.S. service members globally, Atlas takes great pride in the partnership we’ve established with K9s For Warriors, the nation’s largest provider of trained Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma.
“Successfully guiding a veteran through the K9s For Warriors program and providing them with a Service Dog doesn’t just change the Warrior’s life…it saves the Warrior’s life,” said Elizabeth Reeger, Development Manager, Major Gifts at K9s for Warriors.
“Seventy percent of the veterans who have come through our program have said that they were prepared
to die by suicide. Then they were paired with one of our service dogs and a new chapter began. Some have reunited with their families. Some have gone back to school. Most importantly, most learn to enjoy life again,” said Elizabeth during her remarks at the event. “Be proud that your golfing today has saved a life. And, on behalf of K9s for Warriors, thank you. We are so very grateful.”
Joining Elizabeth at the tournament were two very special guests – Warrior Zoe and her service dog, Atlas, the Company’s first sponsored dog.
Zoe took the podium after Elizabeth and spoke about how Atlas has given her life back to her.
“This dog has had such an impact on my life; she is giving me a real second chance at life,” she said. “Please know that your money is going to something very real and that it is having a lasting, positive impact.”
Like K9s for Warriors, The Liberty City Optimist Club of Florida, located just five miles from our Miami Training Center, is acutely focused on improving the lives of others. Dedicated to the underserved Miami community of Liberty City, the Club has been a safe haven for thousands of at-risk youth, providing after-school programming and academic tutoring, sports, meals and more. With Atlas’ backing, the Club has been able to offer free registration for participants in the sports program and reduced registration fees for the after-school program. Most recently, Atlas stepped up to fund the Club’s entire summer camp with the proceeds from previous golf tournaments.
Tameika Wiley, Program Manager, Liberty City Optimist Club of Florida, spoke of the Club’s commitment to the children and their work to reframe an area often associated with crime and high poverty rates.
“For most of our children, Liberty City Optimist Club is the only safe space they know,” she said. “It’s a team effort to drive change and make a positive difference here in Liberty City. Atlas is a big part of that team. We are humbled with gratitude for your kind and generous donations to our program, and we are grateful for your partnership.”
Gary echoed Tameika’s comments about what can be possible as the result of a team effort.
“Our 21st Annual Charity Golf Tournament was a success because of the extraordinary team here at Atlas,” he said. “From the support of our Atlas colleagues both in attendance and from a distance to the dedication of our event planning team: Kim Cerny, Senior Manager, Flight Operations; Julia Crupi, Senior Manager, Legal Administration; and Samantha Patterson. These three didn’t miss a beat – from staying on top of the requirements of their day jobs to ensuring yet another flawless execution of the event. It takes a team to deliver on our commitment to improving the lives in the communities where we live and work. The Atlas team is simply the best.”
Kim Cerny added, “The Tournament truly captures the generous spirit of the Atlas family. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this team.”