FORT WORTH, Texas — Piles of donated toys and rows of shiny, new bicycles once again filled the corner of Hangar 11N at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport (KFTW) during American Aero FTW’s sixth annual Christmas toy drive.
The FBO’s annual holiday celebration benefits the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
Each year, Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys to distribute as Christmas gifts to children in the community. The program benefits about 150,000 children throughout Tarrant and surrounding North Texas counties.
Since opening its doors in 2013, American Aero FTW has purchased 550 bicycles and helped gather another 1,200 children’s gifts. This year, the FBO will deliver 50 bicycles and more than 200 toys and games to Toys for Tots.
“It is heart-warming to see the aviation community come together to make the holidays a little brighter for area children,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Smith, coordinator for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. “American Aero FTW has been a tremendous partner in our efforts, and we are truly grateful for its support each year.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to get together with our aviation friends and neighbors to give thanks and to give back,” said Robert M. Bass, founder of American Aero FTW. “It is gratifying to be part of such a generous group of men and women, and to know that our efforts will help lift the spirits of children in need this holiday season.”
In addition to supporting Toys for Tots, American Aero FTW has donated more than $100,000 to the Navy SEAL Foundation, with those funds earmarked to support scholarships for SEALs interested in earning a pilot certification.