MIRAMAR, Fla., Aug. 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Temperatures may be rising, but this splash is not meant to cool off the heat. Spirit Airlines' (NASDAQ: SAVE) team members, local families and patients gathered today at the Fort Lauderdale Airport in Broward County to join the fight to find a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. This disease progressively paralyzes its victims, attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord. ALS has no known cause or cure, but the Spirit Airlines team is rallying others in the community to change that.
"We are honored to help launch this event in South Florida. ALS is an amazing cause," said Ben Baldanza, President and CEO of Spirit Airlines, "I challenge everyone to join the cause and take the challenge at your business or home!"
During the Ice Bucket Challenge Launch, ALS honored Spirit Airlines with its Corporate Hero Award for its support and compassion for the cause. Kim Hanna, President and CEO for The ALS Association Florida Chapter presented the award to Spirit's CEO Ben Baldanza.
"Spirit Airlines' support to ALS has been fundamental. Last year's generous donations from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the Walk to Defeat ALS helped the Florida Chapter to increase care services grants from $600 to $1,000 per patient a year," said Kim Hanna. "We are proud to have them on our team."
Baldanza, who lost his mother to ALS almost 30 years ago, is committed to raising awareness to both find a cure and for better patient care. He took the challenge along with the Spirit Airlines Team, the Airport Director Kent George and friends. People afflicted with ALS, their family members and caregivers gathered at Spirit's runway to watch the inaugural challenge.
"The Broward County Aviation Department is honored to be part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the awareness it brings to the community. The airport works together as a team; and in this case, we can have a little fun while supporting a worthy cause," said Kent George, Director of Aviation.
The dunk was followed by water cannon salute, the same way an inaugural flight is celebrated in the airline industry. A video of the event is available at https://vimeo.com/136656800.
All interested parties are welcome to make a donation online at http://web.alsa.org/goto/SpiritAirlines.
For more information go to www.als.com, or call 888-257-1717.
About Spirit Airlines:
Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ: SAVE) is committed to offering the lowest total price to the places we fly, on average much lower than other airlines, on average nearly 40% less* Our customers start with an unbundled, stripped-down Bare Fare™ and get Frill Control™ which allows them to pay only for the options they choose – like bags, seat assignments and refreshments – the things other airlines bake right into their ticket prices. We help people save money and travel more often, create new jobs and stimulate business growth in the communities we serve. With our modern and fuel-efficient all-Airbus fleet, we operate more than 350 daily flights to more than 57 destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Come save with us at www.spirit.com.
*U.S. Department of Transportation statistics
About The ALS Association Florida Chapter:
The ALS Association Florida Chapter offers care to ALS patients living in Florida and funds research to find the cause and cure for ALS. We are part of a nationwide network of local ALS Association chapters with the same vision – a world without ALS. Through care, advocacy, research, education and support, we work to empower those with ALS to live fuller lives. Every year, The ALS Association invests millions of dollars in research conducted by the best and brightest scientists in the world. As the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS, we give help and hope to those facing a devastating disease. For more information about the ALS Association Florida Chapter, go to www.ALSAFL.org
Photos accompanying this release are available at:
CONTACT: Irisaida Mendez Media Relations Manager C. 954-625-4200 firstname.lastname@example.orgSource:Spirit Airlines