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Holidays at Hartsfield-Jackson event wraps a year of community projects
By Roishina C. Henderson

Hartsfield-Jackson’s year of community outreach and partnerships culminates in December with Holidays at Hartsfield-Jackson, an annual program to spread holiday cheer to about 650 first-grade students from Airport-area schools.

This year’s 13th annual event on December 18 is themed “Holidays Around the World” and also aims to educate the children about ways that people in other countries celebrate the holidays.

He won’t be in a Santa Claus suit, but Aviation General Manager Ben DeCosta will be at the AirTran Airways hangar to serve as master of ceremonies for Holidays at Hartsfield-Jackson. 

Activities include holiday music from DeAnn Wooldridge, entertainment by Clowning 4 You, a puppet show, visits from Disney mascot characters, class photos with Santa and gifts for the teachers. Students will receive gift bags filled with school supplies and goodies from Airport concessionaires as well as boxed lunches to go. 

“Hartsfield-Jackson’s community of employees and companies work tirelessly each year to provide the students with an event they will remember their entire lives,” said Tracy Gilbert, Aviation special programs manager. “We coordinate a spectacular program for the students. After all, it’s about spreading goodwill and cheer to deserving little kids.”

Participating elementary schools are Bethune, Cascade, Emma Hutchinson, Humphries, Love T. Nolan, S.L. Lewis and Stonewall Tell.

Holidays at Hartsfield-Jackson is just one of the Airport’s community-oriented activities, which also include:  

  • The Airport began the year with a program to enrich its own community of employees by encouraging health and wellness. The program, which continued through early spring, offered educational programs about topics such as healthy eating, fitness sessions with professional personal trainers, a weight-loss competition and a health fair.
  • The Airport’s Partners in Education program is a year-round outreach to partnering schools near Hartsfield-Jackson. The Airport developed the Distinguished Male Mentoring Group and held career days, during which representatives of the Department of Aviation and other agencies enlighten students about careers in aviation.
  • In the summer, the Airport organizes an annual blood drive to bolster the American Red Cross’ blood inventory during a time of critical need.
  • The Airport organizes student tours, meetings with aviation executives and essay contests for students in conjunction with Black History Month and Latino Heritage Month.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson this year raised more than $19,000 for the American Heart Association through participation in the Metro Atlanta Start! Heart Walk and other fund-raising activities.
  • The Airport collected 10 barrels of canned food and two barrels of coats in November for the Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry and Homeless campaign.

The Dalton Exhibit at HJAIA

Children enjoy the festive holiday atmosphere at the 2008 Holidays at Hartsfield-Jackson event. This year’s annual celebration will be December 18.

© 2009 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.


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