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Heroes of the Industry

Heroes of the Industry – A Commitment to Give Back to Communities in Need

ABA’s members care about the communities they live and work in. Every day our members are helping their fellow citizens and customers, whether it is food and clothing drives for those in need; giving free rides to veterans or raising money for cures – every day our members are showing they are heroes in the industry!

Are you a hero in the industry? Send your story and photos to Melanie Hinton, Vice President of Communications & Marketing.

Honoring the Brave

DC Trails Participates in Annual Patriot Cruise

For the last five years, ABA member Bill Torres of DC Trails has participated and assisted with the Patriot Cruise and Salute, a non-profit charitable organization formed to organize free recreational boating events to benefit wounded, injured and ill veterans and their families. Torres not only provides the motorcoach transportation for all the participants, he even offers his boat for the cruise.

In its 11th year, Patriot Cruise and Salute, typically held in early June, includes an afternoon of boating on the Potomac River, a cookout, music, activities for kids, and a coin ceremony. Each event promotes camaraderie and offers the community a chance to give back to these veterans for their service and sacrifice to our country. ​Since its inception, the Patriot Cruise and Salute has hosted more than 1,000 recuperating service members and their families and has expanded it event to Mt. Dora, Fla. For more information on this charity, click here.

Giving a Helping Hand

ABA Members Rally for Hurricane Victims

During September when the Caribbean, Texas and Florida were hit with hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the motorcoach and travel community banded together help those in need. More than 1,000 motorcoaches provided by companies across the United States, including ABA members Bailey Coach; Empire Coach Lines; Vandalia Bus Lines; Wright’s Charters; Roadrunner Charters; Hotard Coaches; Coach USA; Lewis Coaches; Kelton Tours Unlimited; Little Rock Tours; Newton Bus Service, Transportation Management Services; Autobuses Ejecutivos LLC dba Omnibus Express OK Tours LLC Star Shuttle and Bus Supply Charters, among others headed to devastated points across the south to evacuate citizens in need, as well as drop off needed basic supplies like clean water and food.

Also the industry came together and worked through Destination Recover to help their fellow attractions and cities that were damaged during the hurricanes. 

A Touch of Class Limousine Service Gives a Hand to the United Way

ABA member A Touch of Class Limousine Service in Valley City, Ohio, worked with their local United Way of Medina County to set up a Stuff the Bus event at the annual Peach Fest in Northeast Ohio.

The company advertised for people to come stuff one of our coaches with school supplies for under-privileged schools and students. This event led to the collection of 20 large boxes with school supplies and several hundred dollars in cash donations for the cause.  

Express Transportation Organizes Food Drive for Public Schools

ABA member Express Transportation Inc., in Orlando, Fla., organized a food drive for the Osceola County Public Schools food for Angels. With the rapid rising number of homeless students within the county (3,400) Osceola Food Angels makes sure that each student has food during the weekend and during the holiday season. 

Ford’s Theater a Christmas Carol Raises Funds for Local Charities

A favorite tradition for the company of A Christmas Carol at ABA member Ford’s Theater is the annual donation collection for a D.C.-based charitable organization. Over the past few years, the cast has raised more than $550,000 for different local charities. That tradition continues this year with a campaign for Food and Friends.

In advance of the rehearsals each year, the company receives information about several local charity organizations and is encouraged to research them on their own. At first rehearsal, the cast votes on which charity they will collect for, and then, Ford’s Theatre staff call the charity to share the news.

“Collecting donations is a highlight of the A Christmas Carol experience,” cast member Stephen F. Schmidt says. “Dickens has written a beautiful and enduring story about the importance of keeping our less-fortunate fellow humans in the forefront of our thoughts, especially at the holiday season. We give our audience an immediate opportunity to heed Mr. Dickens’s message of charity and hope.”

Short but Mighty Speedway Makes Big Impact on Community

NASCAR fans around the nation are aware and active with Speedway Children’s Charities. All eight Speedway Motorsports Inc. facilities are considered a “chapter” in the national program. Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the industry’s smallest markets, but that hasn’t stopped the team there from raising funds to help the Tri-Cities region it calls home.

Through hard work and several fundraising events throughout the year, the SCC-Bristol team was able to raise more than $800,000 that was distributed to 93 rural-area, child-focused agencies throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Throughout its history, SCC-Bristol has raised over $13 million for regional children in need as the charity branch of Bristol Motor Speedway.

To learn more about Speedway Children’s Charities-Bristol, click here.

Each Charter Helps Saves Lives

Arrow Stage Lines has a strong belief in giving back. The company has a program named the Hero Project, which is the company’s way of ensuring that the impact they make is a global one. Since 2015 the company has partnered with Charity Water, which is a global charity that supplies water and wells to small villages in Uganda. The company was able to donate more than $50,000 to the project by taking a portion of money from every single charter that Arrow Stage Lines runs.

In 2018, the company’s Hero Project will be another water building mission but this time in Burkina Faso Africa. The company is hoping to raise more than $10,000 before the end of 2018 to help the charity build a clean water well. You can read more about Charity Water here.

Customers Come Together to Help Missouri Foster Children

Dea Hoover and Declan Rutan from Are We There Yet? LLC have a “very deep space” in their hearts for foster children in St. Louis and seek ways to help them. One way the team has made an impact is through collecting new and gently used luggage, duffle bags, carry-ons and backpacks for the foster children at Family Forward. The project started when Dea heard about the need of bags for the organization to help children pack their belonging when they go to a foster home. Too often children show up at Family Forward with what little belongings they have in garbage bags.

She mentioned on one of her tours that they are collecting bags for foster children. She said on the next tour, people showed up with bags to donate and when new tour participants questioned what was happening and were told of the luggage drive, they too brought bags to the company’s headquarters. The first drive was such a success, the company now regularly talks to their customers about the mission of Family Forward and how these bags make a big impact on the foster children who have very little. To learn more about Family Forward, click here.

Working for a Cure

ABA Members Participate in 2017 Pink Zone

For more than 10 years, the Penn State University Lady Lions Pink Zone Basketball Game has raised more than $1 million for breast cancer research. The Pink Zone Game is a day with family and friends come together to honor breast cancer survivors and raise awareness for breast cancer research.

ABA member Fullington Trailways has provided the transportation for hundreds of survivors and their families and friends for the past nine years. They have also teamed up over the years with other ABA members Susquehanna Trailways, Bailey Coach, Bieber Transportation Group, Klein Transportation and Mlaker Trailways, as well as David Thompson Tours to help provide transportation. 

The American Bus Association serves a thriving industry that provides nearly 600 million passenger trips annually on charters, tours, scheduled service, and shuttles. Membership in ABA includes motorcoach operators, tour operators, tourism-related organizations, and products and service suppliers.

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