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It's been three short months since Delta employees came together for two of the airline's biggest fundraising events of the year, Jet Drag and Relay For Life. In that time, they rallied and raised more money than ever before, breaking Delta's fundraising record for the campaign and raising more than $2.26 million.

The employee-led fundraising effort supports the American Cancer Society's life-saving research, education and patient programs. Delta has partnered with the nonprofit for 15 years and raised more than $12 million through a number of grassroots employee initiatives.

"Fighting cancer is a cause that touches everyone's life one way or another, whether you've experienced the battle firsthand or had friends or loved ones go through it,  said Gareth Joyce, Delta's Senior Vice President – Airport Customer Service & President – Delta Cargo. "Fifteen years and more than $12 million later, I'm proud to say Delta people have remained committed to this cause, and am particularly proud of their record-breaking fundraising this year."

Recently, the airline wrapped up its American Cancer Society fundraising efforts for the year with the second annual Hope Ball. The event raised more than $867,000 and honored key supporters for their continued commitment to the cause, including former Delta CEO Richard Anderson. Paula Abdul and musical guest Nikka Costa also made special appearances at the event.

Delta's support of the American Cancer Society started with local Relay For Life events and has grown into a company-wide, international fundraising campaign. This year, more than 100 airports around the globe celebrated the American Cancer Society's progress in fighting cancer during Delta Day of Hope, where employees host Relay For Life-inspired walks inside airport facilities Delta serves.

And, Delta's main corporate Relay For Life event, held at the General Offices in Atlanta, was the campaign's biggest yet. The event was held in combination with the its annual Jet Drag, a separate American Cancer Society fundraiser in which 100 teams from across Delta compete to pull a 167,000-pound jet 20 feet in the fastest time. Corporate partners including Atlanta Fire and Rescue, the American Cancer Society, Strom Aviation, Delta Community Credit Union, Lands' End, and a group of Delta's most loyal customers each fielded teams in event.

To top off the day, Grammy Award-winning musician Kenny G made a surprise appearance at the event to support flight attendant Jane Mitchell, who he met onboard the month before, and played Amazing Grace during a moment of remembrance and silent reflection.

The American Cancer Society's Chief Executive Officer Gary Reedy said the airline's tremendous efforts over the years have made a real difference in the lives of millions.

"Delta is a shining example of how our corporate partners – along with their employees and the communities in which they do business, both nationally and globally – are joining our mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer," Reedy said.

2017 American Cancer Society events