Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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American Airlines takes T&T girl on Magic Flight
The Something mAAgic Foundation and American Airlines joined together to grant 43 children with life-threatening medical conditions and their families a weeklong vacation in Orlando, Florida.
Among them was 13 Shakeila from T&T who set out on an adventure during the Something mAAgic Foundation’s 18th annual mAAgicsm flight event. Shakeila and her family were delivered by this year’s mAAgic flight to Kissimmee, Florida, to lodge at the incredible Give Kids The World Village®, a 70-acre “storybook” resort that neighbours popular Orlando attractions. The annual event is sponsored by Something mAAgic, with travel for children and their families generously provided by the American Airlines Kids In Need programme. To date, more than 400 children have participated in the event.
In all, 31 airports throughout the American Airlines and American Eagle network celebrated the children departing from their home cities, including Piarco International Airport. Something mAAgic volunteers made up of American Airlines, American Eagle and American Airlines Federal Credit Union employees worked together to create a themed send-off celebration for Shakeila. Rows of cheering onlookers, airport volunteers, and families met and greeted her as she departed for Orlando International Airport. Shakeila and her family travelled on American Airlines flight 2282, from Port-of-Spain to Miami, where they connected to Orlando. “All of us at American Airlines have a strong commitment to the communities we serve,” said Wellesley Joseph, American’s Country Director for Barbados and T&T. “We are extremely proud to have been a part of this year’s mAAgic flight and we hope that Shakeila and her family enjoy this one-in-a-lifetime vacation in Orlando.”
Support came from Republic Bank Ltd, Hadco Ltd./Zippers, Bewil & Company Ltd, Regent Star Hotel and the Just Because Foundation. During their stay at Give Kids The World Village, Shakeila and her family enjoyed accommodations in their own villa and meals onsite at the Gingerbread House Restaurant and Katie’s Kitchen. The Village includes a number of wonderful entertainment options for the children including a wheelchair-accessible splash park, an Ice Cream Palace, a wishing well that burps, a dinosaur miniature golf course and the world’s largest and only life-sized version of the beloved children’s game Candy Land. “Give Kids the World Village has a great relationship with the Something mAAgic Foundation,” said Something mAAgic Foundation executive director Todd Fairbanks. “The Village has a great entertainment value and we know the children will enjoy their weeklong stay. We’re so honoured to again sponsor such a great celebration for these children and their families and we look forward to providing them with an unforgettable flight and a great week in Orlando.”
Last year, more than 900 employees from around the world gave their time to support mAAgic flight. This year, mAAgic flight sponsored children from the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain and T&T. “Sharing this incredible experience with our people and all the volunteers is a truly rewarding experience,” said Jon Snook, American Airlines senior vice president —Customer Service. “The bravery of the participating families and the selfless commitment of all who make this event possible are humbling, and I’m both proud and grateful that American is once again a part of ‘mAAgic flight.’”
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