SYR Receives Arc Achievement Award for Wings for All® Event
Syracuse, New York –The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) announced today that Arc of Onondaga has selected Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) as the recipient of this year’s Arc Achievement Award. SYR was honored for hosting the first ever Wings for All® event in Syracuse in November 2019. The award was announced at the Arc of Onondaga’s “A Celebration of Our Heroes” event on Thursday, October 15, 2020, which was held virtually this year.
“Every effort was made to make the families who participated feel welcomed and comfortable,” said Arc of Onondaga Director of Development Joanna Jewett. “The spirit of inclusion was palpable. The generosity of time, talent, resources, and spirit we received from the team from Syracuse Airport are what made our first Wings for All event not only possible – they made it unforgettable!”
Wings for All® – an airport rehearsal program for people with autism as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) – aims to alleviate some of the stress that individuals with autism and I/DD and their families experience when traveling by air. The rehearsal provides families the opportunity to experience and learn about how their loved ones will react to the wide-ranging stimuli found in the airport environment.
On Saturday, November 16, 2019, SYR partnered with United Airlines, The Arc US, and Arc of Onondaga to bring the first ever version of this program to Central New York. Throughout the event, individuals and their families were shown wonderful community support by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, as well as local celebrity mascots such as Scooch (Syracuse Mets) and Otto (Syracuse Orange), in addition to therapy dog teams from SYR’s PET Program.
“We were beyond excited and honored to host the first SYR Wings for All event with our partner United Airlines back in November. Our team is committed to providing a safe, efficient, and accessible air travel experience for people of all abilities; and to be recognized by the Arc of Onondaga is an incredible honor,” said SYR Executive Director Jason Terreri.