Boeing’s community commitment soars through Seafair sponsorship

Annual Seattle-area festival highlights company initiatives to support education and veteran employees

August 08, 2018 in Our Community

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) students pose with a robot they created to share with Seafair visitors in Seattle.

Craig Larsen

For the first time, the 737 MAX 7 joined F/A-18s, A-10s, and stunt planes above the skies of Seattle at the annual Seafair Festival last weekend, symbolizing the company’s soaring sponsorship of the Seattle-area event.

Boeing has been a partner of Seafair for nearly seven decades, sponsoring the Boeing Seafair Air Show, providing transportation services and other support for the event.

Boeing used some of its Seafair sponsorship assets to highlight the work of other community partners as well. For instance, middle- and high-school students in the FIRST organization used Boeing’s prominent Seafair tent space to demonstrate how a more than $1 million grant to their program from Boeing, announced in February 2018, is helping them pursue their passions for science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.

“This is a really cool program where you get to build things and create,” said Olivia Morningstar, a ninth-grader from Port Townsend, Wash. “Before FIRST, I wanted to go into engineering but I didn’t really have the tools. Now, FIRST can give college scholarships and give you this whole new opportunity.”

Darin Gee, a Boeing program manager and FIRST volunteer, echoed his appreciation.

“Without Boeing’s investment in this program, we wouldn’t be able to provide these exceptional students with tools for future success,” he said.

Boeing also highlighted the role military veterans play in the company by hosting a special respite area for veteran families to view the activities, sponsoring Seafair’s Fleet Week Maritime Celebration, and engaging members of the Boeing Employee Veterans Association in the Torchlight parade.

“Boeing is a company that honors and appreciates our veterans,” said Flo Groberg, chief of staff to Kevin McAllister, Commercial Airplanes president and CEO. “As a former captain in the U.S. Army and previous Director of Boeing’s Veterans Outreach Program, I am proud of this company’s commitment to veterans and their families.”

Additionally, employees on the 737 MAX 7 program were particularly excited to see their aircraft in action.

“Understanding the hard work our teams put in every day and then seeing the MAX 7 in the sky is such a phenomenal experience,” said Stephanie Deibell of the 737 MAX Business Operations team. “This is a huge payoff for all our hard work. Go Boeing!”

*In case of no approval from Flo, then the paragraph with his quote will instead read as follows:

“Boeing is a company that honors and appreciates our veterans,” said Gina Breukelman, senior manager for Boeing Global Engagement. “Boeing is proud to partner with Seafair to recognize active duty military, reservists, and veterans for their service to our community and country.”

By Cole Horton

Boeing volunteers honor the military during the Seafair Torchlight parade in downtown Seattle.

Paul Gordon