Virgin America Named Official Domestic Airline of the Stand Up To Cancer InitiativeAirline Launches In-flight Digital Fundraising Drive with 100% of Funds Going to Accelerate Cancer Research
August 26, 2010 – Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing travel, today announce a unique partnership to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. As SU2C’s Official Domestic Airline partner, Virgin America (with Virgin Unite) has pledged to support SU2C’s mission through a multi-year in-kind travel partnership, Company fundraising and other joint efforts to drive awareness and funding for lifesaving cancer research. As of September 3, 2010, guests on Virgin America will be able to join the SU2C movement at 35,000 feet via the Red™ entertainment platform. Virgin America flight guests can visit the Shop “Make a Difference” section on the Red platform, choose a donation, swipe a credit card and join the fight to bring an end to cancer – right from their seatback touch-screen. 100% of the funds will go to cancer research and efforts designed to speed groundbreaking treatments to patients.
“Virgin America and Virgin Unite are delighted to join forces with Stand Up To Cancer to raise critical funding for cancer research. In addition to the commitment we’ve made, we hope that millions of travelers will join the fight – from the comfort of their seats at 35,000 feet,” said Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson.
The Virgin America-SU2C partnership kicks off just as SU2C returns to primetime television on September 10, 2010, at 8:00PM ET & PT / 7:00PM CT. The star-studded show combines entertainment with an appeal to build continuing public support for cutting-edge cancer research that translates from the laboratory to treatments and technologies that benefit patients. Guests traveling on Virgin America on September 10, 2010, will be able to tune into the show live via the airline’s live satellite television line-up. In addition to the unique donation platform on the Red in-flight entertainment system, Virgin America flyers will also be able to watch custom SU2C content on the Red platform throughout the rest of 2010 and in 2011.
“Ending cancer is going to require a true grassroots effort,” said Laura Ziskin, one of the Stand Up To Cancer co-founders. “We need for people all over the country to believe that curing cancer is do-able, and to give whatever they can to help the teams of scientists working 24/7 to make that happen. This type of support from a major airline, where guests can learn about our researchers’ work and easily donate, is a first for us. We are profoundly grateful to Richard Branson and everyone at Virgin America for standing up to cancer with us,” she said.
With Virgin Unite, the nonprofit foundation of the Virgin Group, Virgin America teammates are joining the fight as well. In September 2010, Virgin America in-flight and airport teammates will be wearing SU2C tee shirts on select days and competing to drive donations among their network of friends and family via the Virgin America team page on SU2C’s Web site. In addition to the multi-year in-kind travel partnership, Virgin America will be matching the initial teammate fundraising drive up to $10,000. Virgin America’s top teammate fundraiser as of September 6, 2010, will score a VIP seat at the live taping of the 2010 SU2C televised event.
“Cancer has touched all of us in some way and has deeply affected the Virgin America family. Our Company and our teammates are pleased to have the opportunity to help raise funds for the multidisciplinary research that is changing the equation and helping speed lifesaving treatments to patients,” said Frances Fiorillo, Senior Vice President of People and In-Flight Services at Virgin America.
ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and many cable networks are donating one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for this year’s SU2C nationally televised fundraising special. Similar to the landmark 2008 broadcast, this year’s telecast will feature legendary recording artists and stars from film, television and sports who will present content providing viewers with insights into cancer. This year’s show will also include a special appearance by a Virgin America aircraft. While the broadcast will honor the memory of those taken by the disease, it will focus on surviving cancer – on living a full life after being diagnosed with it. In the United States alone this year, 1.4 million people will be diagnosed with cancer.
Virgin America offers over 100 flights a day and flies to: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Orlando (starting October 6, 2010) and Dallas-Fort Worth (starting December 1, 2010).
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Media Contacts: Virgin America, Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Stand up to Cancer, Kristen Tarnol (213) 240.3962 /email@example.com
EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.
About Virgin America
Headquartered in California and launched in August 2007, Virgin America is one of the fastest growing new U.S. airlines of all time and currently employs over 1600 people. Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport’s International Terminal. The airline’s new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat for electronic gear. Virgin America offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red™ seatback platform. In addition to a 30-film library including Oscar winners, foreign language films and Hollywood blockbusters, Red features live TV, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, 3,000 MP3s, music videos, interactive Google maps and more. In just three years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 and 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards. For more: www.virginamerica.com
About the Stand Up To Cancer Initiative
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)—a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)3 charitable organization—raises funds to hasten the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. In the fall of 2007, a group of women whose lives have all been affected by cancer in profound ways began working together to marshal the resources of the media and entertainment industries in the fight against this disease. The SU2C founding members include Laura Ziskin, executive producer of the Sept. 5, 2008 broadcast and the upcoming one, who is a cancer survivor; Sherry Lansing, chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen; Katie Couric; EIF Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; nonprofit executive Ellen Ziffren; and Noreen Fraser, founder of the Noreen Fraser Foundation (NFF) and a cancer survivor. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Major League Baseball was the founding donor to contribute to Stand Up To Cancer. Other major SU2C supporters include Sidney Kimmel, the country’s largest individual supporter of cancer research; Amgen, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, The Gateway for Cancer Research Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Wallis Annenberg & The Annenberg Foundation, Alliance for Global Good, Milken Family Foundation, Philips Electronics, Steve Tisch, The Island Def Jam Music Group, and many others. In addition to ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, SU2C major media partners include AOL, Condé Nast Media Group, eBay Inc., Facebook, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Hearst Corporation, Los Angeles Times, Meredith Corporation, The New York Times Company, Time Inc and WebMD. For more: www.standup2cancer.org