FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Airlines Sky Ball XV — a black tie gala that took place Saturday night, Nov. 11, in an American Airlines hangar at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport — set a new fundraising record, raising more than $3.1 million for the Airpower Foundation, a nationwide organization dedicated to supporting members of the military and their families.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

This year’s event, which took place on Veterans Day, proudly profiled veterans of the United States armed forces and closed with a special performance by the iconic music group The Beach Boys. More than 2,700 people were in attendance.

More than 1,500 American Airlines team members volunteered their time, talent and skills to make Sky Ball XV a success.

“American Airlines Sky Ball is an event unlike any other, and it’s an incredible thing to see so many people come together to celebrate, honor and remember those heroes and their families who have sacrificed to protect our nation and ensure our freedoms,” said American’s David Seymour, senior vice president – Integrated Operations, and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. “American team members always step up to support Sky Ball, and this year was no different as more than 1,500 volunteered to serve as waiters, ushers, hosts, set up crews and more to transform one of our maintenance hangars into a world-class event venue throughout the weekend.”

The funds raised from the event support the Airpower Foundation, whose mission directly supports our nation’s wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. The money raised this weekend will allow the Airpower Foundation to assist organizations such as:

  • Snowball Express, an annual gathering of nearly 2,000 children and spouses of fallen military members
  • Gary Sinise Foundation, working to help our nation’s catastrophically wounded, ill or injured service members transition to civilian life through donations of technologically advanced “smart” homes, enhancing their independence and mobility 
  • The Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, an organization dedicated to ensuring post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war

Also at this year’s Sky Ball:

  • Seventeen of our nation’s 73 living Medal of Honor recipients were in attendance and honored for their valor in combat
  • Myles Eckert, famous for his $20 gift to a solider, was named an honorary American Airlines Captain by Captain Kimball Stone, Vice President – Flight, in recognition of his service, care and compassion
  • Fourteen new recruits were administered the oath of enlistment into the armed services of the United States by Medal of Honor recipient Major General Patrick Brady (U.S. Army Retired)
  • Seven students from Grapevine Colleyville Independent School District in the DFW area were recognized for designing the Sky Ball XV Challenge Coins representing the attributes of the Medal of Honor Foundation’s Character Development Program.

Saturday night’s gala was the culmination of three days of events, including a Medal of Honor Bob Hope Award Gala recognizing legendary entertainer and veterans supporter Terry Fator, which raised $275,000 for the Medal of Honor’s Character Development Program, a veteran-focused career fair sponsored by American, educational outreach programs, and a Salute to the Heroes concert honoring members of the military and law enforcement community who helped with recent natural disasters. The concert featured Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band; Terry Fator; and America’s Tenor Steve Amerson. 

“The 2017 Sky Ball weekend was an incredible success in large part due to a record number of sponsors and organizations that donated to the cause, raising funds for our service men and women and their families,” said Captain Jim Palmersheim, event chair and senior manager, Military and Veterans Programs at American Airlines. “It was an honor to serve alongside more than 1,500 volunteers who freely gave of themselves this year and have donated countless hours over the past 15 years; their unwavering support continues to make Sky Ball such a remarkable success.”

For more information about Sky Ball, visit, and for more information about how American Airlines supports the military, veterans and their families please visit

About American Airlines Group
American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose members and members-elect serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at

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