With good news in short supply, two powerhouses in the aviation industry joined forces to bring some joy to children in need this holiday season. Aerion, the developer of the world’s first supersonic business jet, purchased 100 bicycles and donated $1,000 to support American Aero FTW’s annual toy drive benefiting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
American Aero, a fixed-base operator (FBO) at Meacham International Airport (KFTW) ranked the best FBO in the world in the 2020 Aviation International News FBO Reader Survey, collected another 220 bikes and toys and more than $15,000 in financial contributions from its airport partners and friends. The Fort Worth FBO presented the gifts and checks totalling $16,850 to the Toys for Tots program this year.
Robert M. Bass, founder of Aerion and American Aero, said the two companies are committed to giving back to the community, particularly at a time when many families are struggling with job loss and other pandemic-related challenges.
“As leaders in private aviation, Aerion and American Aero are coming together to make a difference in a year that has been tough on a lot of families,” Bass said in a news release. “Our friends and partners in aviation at Meacham have also been extremely generous, which means a lot of children will have a brighter Christmas this year.”
In addition to Toys for Tots, American Aero is also making a $10,000 donation to the Tarrant Area Food Bank. This is the FBO’s second contribution to the food bank this year. In August, the company matched employee contributions to make a more than $2,500 donation.
“Like many areas of the country, we have seen a dramatic increase in families in desperate need of help, and we are trying to ease that burden in ways that fit our mission of service to both our customers and the community,” said Angela Thurmond, general manager of American Aero. “We are grateful for the support of our friends at Aerion and the incredible generosity of our partners and customers at Meacham.”
Since opening its doors in 2012, American Aero has donated more than 800 bicycles and 1,600 children’s gifts for Toys for Tots, which benefits about 150,000 children throughout Tarrant and surrounding North Texas counties by delivering new, unwrapped toys each Christmas.
“Our team is truly service-oriented, and that goes well beyond the doors of our FBO,” Thurmond said. “We are committed to giving back and doing our part to strengthen our community.”