Goodyear Blimp ‘Santa Claus Express’ Comes to Town for Toys for Tots

November 18, 2016

- Goodyear, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve team up to host 6th annual Toys for Tots events

- Toy drive events to be held in Ohio, California and Florida

AKRON, Ohio, November 18, 2016 – The Goodyear blimps and the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve will conduct their sixth joint maneuver next month benefitting the Toys for Tots Foundation at the company’s three U.S. blimp bases in Ohio, California and Florida. These events will provide the public with an opportunity to make a donation to Toys for Tots while enjoying an up-close and personal view of the airships.

On December 2, 3 and 4, from noon – 9 p.m., Ohio visitors can drive through The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s Wingfoot Lake blimp hangar and get a behind the scenes look at the recently christened Wingfoot Two airship. In Pompano Beach, Fla., Wingfoot One will be on display December 3-4 from noon – 6 p.m., and in Carson, Calif., the facility will be open for ground tours of Goodyear’s last remaining GZ-20A model blimp Spirit of Innovation December 10-11 from noon – 6 p.m. All three events are free and open to the public. Donations of brand new toys in the original packaging or cash are encouraged to support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation, but not required.

“We take great pride in our Goodyear blimp crews teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to support the Toys for Tots Foundation,” said Paul Fitzhenry, senior vice president, Global Communications. “Through this program, we open our doors to the community and encourage our blimp fans to share in the spirit of giving that defines and gives meaning to the holiday season.”

Goodyear and the Marines are building on the success of five previous events, which collectively delivered more than 57,000 toys and $75,000 to benefit Toys for Tots.

“The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve are grateful to Goodyear for returning as a national sponsor again this year,” said retired Marine Colonel, Ted Silvester, vice president of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “We know how successful their drive-through program has been in recent years, and we’re very excited about working together again this year. It should generate many additional toys to help us fulfill the Christmas dreams of less fortunate children who might otherwise be forgotten.”

Goodyear first nicknamed one of its blimps the “Santa Claus Express” in 1927 to spread holiday cheer across the skies of America. The company has a long history of community involvement and associate volunteerism within its corporate social responsibility platform, Goodyear Better Future. The Goodyear Better Future platform and Goodyear Airship Operations support collaborative programs, such as the Toys for Tots Foundation and community organizations to create positive outcomes for the community.

Founded in 1948, it is the mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December and distribute these toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

The Goodyear airship bases are located at 841 Wingfoot Lake Rd., Mogadore, Ohio 44260; 1500 NE 5th Ave., Pompano Beach, Fla. 33060; and 19200 South Main St., Gardena, Calif. 90248. All details are available online at www.goodyearblimp.com, by visiting the Goodyear Blimp Facebook page or by calling (800) 344-9859.

About Goodyear

Since 1917, Goodyear has built more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles for public relations and defense applications, many built at the Mogadore facility.

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. Goodyear employs approximately 66,000 people and manufactures its products in 49 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.