Goodyear Blimp ‘Santa Claus Express’ Returns to Florida for Toys for Tots

November 20, 2017

- Goodyear, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve team up to host 7th annual Toys for Tots events

- Toy drive events to be held in Ohio and Florida, building on $200,000 already raised

AKRON, Ohio, November 20, 2017 – The Goodyear Blimps and the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve will conduct their seventh joint maneuver next month benefitting the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation at the company’s airship base in Florida. The event will provide the public with an opportunity to donate to Toys for Tots while enjoying an up-close and personal view of Wingfoot One inside the hangar in Pompano Beach, Florida.

On December 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Florida visitors can walk through the blimp hangar to drop off their donation to a U.S. Marine representing Toys for Tots. The event is free and open to the public. New toys in the original packaging or cash donations are encouraged to support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, but not required.

“We take great pride in our Goodyear Blimp crews teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to support Toys for Tots,” 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 six previous events, which collectively delivered more than 80,000 toys and nearly $200,000 to benefit Toys for Tots.

“Toys for Tots distributes toys and books to millions of less fortunate children each year. We wouldn’t be able to reach so many children if not for the support of our corporate partners such as Goodyear,” said retired Marine Colonel, Ted Silvester, vice president of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “Through generous cash donations, media exposure, and toys donated, Toys for Tots is able to make Christmas holiday dreams come true for millions of children in need who otherwise may have been 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 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 Program to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December and distribute these toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

The Goodyear airship base is located at 1500 NE Fifth Avenue, Pompano Beach, Florida 33060. 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 Suffield, Ohio Wingfoot Lake facility.

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs about 65,000 people and manufactures its products in 48 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.