Camp HASC’s annual Fort Lauderdale marathon is a crucial fundraising event for the special needs children camp based in upstate New York. However this year’s event faced a unique challenge due to the massive blizzard that struck the area over the weekend. The entire team of 109 runners and staff members were on the verge of being snowed in, effectively costing the organization a tremendous amount of money in lost charitable donations. In stepped the dynamic duo of Eli Rowe, President & CEO of LionCage Shredding, and JetBlue Airlines, who together went above and beyond the call of duty and made sure that Team HASC would not have to cancel their marathon event this past Sunday, February 16, 2014. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Mr. Rowe and JetBlue, Team HASC was able to acquire a private flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale at the eleventh hour.
Late Thursday night, Team HASC received a call from Eli Rowe informing them that their chartered flight for Friday morning had been cancelled due to the weather. Not to be deterred, Eli Rowe along with Penina Zlata Wolff contacted various airlines, searching for any opportunity to help Team HASC get another flight for Sunday’s marathon. JetBlue Airlines answered the call and gladly stepped up to the plate. Mr. Rowe created a line of communication with JetBlue and a multitude of high ranking officials from both John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration. As midnight arrived, Team HASC began calling their runners to alert them to a private flight leaving JFK early Friday morning.
In true charitable fashion Eli Rowe and JetBlue Airlines spared no expense in making sure the entirety of Team HASC was accounted for, as nine runners had only three hours notice to make a separate flight. As an extra bonus, Team HASC faced no extra costs in chartering this private flight, again courtesy of JetBlue. With the money that was reimbursed from their canceled flights, Team HASC was not only able to cover the cost of the flight, but also generated a significant amount of funds that will be used towards the campers of Camp HASC.
“I see it as something anyone would have done. When given the chance to help children in my community, how could I turn my back? I am just glad that my efforts have helped Team HASC and the community achieve their goal,” stated Eli Rowe. “I have to also thank JetBlue for their tremendous help in making it all possible.”
Team HASC was equally excited about the contributions of JetBlue and Mr. Rowe. A company spokesperson stated, “We cannot begin to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to Eli Rowe, JetBlue… for the outpouring of love and support to make Team HASC’s dream a reality.”
Camp HASC is the award-winning summer program of the Hebrew Academy for Special Children. Located in the scenic Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, Camp HASC provides over 300 children and adults with mental and/or physical challenges the opportunity to enjoy a seven-week sleep-away camp experience, just like many of their siblings and friends.