SALT LAKE CITY, April 17, 2007 – Delta Air Lines employees today will present more than 1,200 handmade quilts to the Primary Children’s Medical Center as part of an ongoing partnership between Salt Lake City’s hometown airline and the city’s leading children’s hospital. The handmade bedcovers, which will be on display in the Energy Solutions Arena as part of a formal presentation by Delta to hospital officials, will blanket the entire playing surface and approximately 30 percent of the facility’s seating area.
”I am proud of our employees’ overwhelming dedication to provide quilts for Primary Children's Medical Center,” said Sandy Gordon, vice president of In-Flight Service at Delta. “Their continued spirit and support shows that our commitment to the Salt Lake City community reaches well beyond the airport.”
The quilts will be presented to Sharon Goodrich, director of Primary Children’s Medical Center during today’s ceremony. The Medical Center has a long-standing tradition of providing quilts to children whose illnesses or injuries require extended hospital stays. As children grow attached to their quilts, they take them home to put on their own beds.
The project began seven years ago in the Salt Lake City Delta flight attendant lounge where employees converted their work area into a virtual quilt factory producing individual pieces in between flights. Their efforts were quickly supported by other employees and senior management. Today, Delta employees, their families and others throughout the country volunteer to produce quilts to be donated to the hospital.
As the quilt project coordinator, Cindy Atkinson, a Delta flight attendant, has overseen the growth of the project from its first year when Delta presented 335 quilts, to today, when the number has nearly quadrupled.
“I’ve been so encouraged by a project that started locally, but has grown to receive national attention,” said Atkinson. “This began as a grassroots effort to support the children of a great local hospital, and now we’ve got people and companies from across the country donating money and material to support the cause. Our goal to provide the children and their families with something that shows we care and love them – that’s what this is all about.”
Recently, Carpenter, a company which provides fiberfill for everyday items such as beds, floors and boxes, announced that it will provide all of the batting (padding) for next year’s quilts.
Salt Lake City is Delta’s fastest growing domestic hub in terms of destinations served. Since fall 2005, Delta has added or announced flights to nearly 30 new nonstop destinations from Salt Lake City, including the hub’s 100th Delta destination. Salt Lake City is Delta’s largest gateway to Hawaii, is the only Delta hub to offer customers year-round service to Alaska and is a growing gateway to Mexico with nonstop service to six Mexican destinations. Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer Salt Lake City customers 324 peak-day departures to 103 nonstop destinations.