05:15 AM

DFW International Airport Teams with American Red Cross to Assist Texans Impacted By Hurricane Ike At Founders Plaza Grand Reopening - Wednesday

Public invited to attend and give blood and monetary donations; Olympic gold medalist Carly Patterson to perform

DFW International Airport, (September 15, 2008) - DFW International Airport will team with the American Red Cross to assist Texans impacted by Hurricane Ike at the grand reopening of Founders Plaza on Wednesday, September 17. Red Cross staff will be on site to collect monetary donations and its mobile blood unit will set up for blood donors from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM. 

"Our hearts go out to our fellow Texans and everyone who has been affected by the hurricane," said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport. "We have many guests from the Texas Coast spread throughout the Dallas - Fort Worth area and this is an effective way for the airport and our employees to give them a helping hand." 

Last week, DFW served as a host for critical-care medical evacuees from South Texas as part of the National Disaster Medical System. DFW staff is also involved in the state recovery program in Houston and Beaumont. And DFW will be sending four of its firefighters to Galveston to relieve local fire-rescue crews this week. 

A community favorite and Airport landmark, Founders Plaza will offer tourists, school groups, families and aviation enthusiasts a larger site and more interactive experience to learn about the scientific wonder of flight.

The public celebration -- which coincides with the 35th anniversary of the dedication of DFW -- will feature a parade at 10:00 AM followed by a singing performance by Olympic gold medalist Carly Patterson. DFW employees will also be serving complimentary hot dogs and apple pie to attendees at 11:00 AM. 

The new Founders Plaza will overlook the northwest quadrant of the airfield from its elevated location at the south side of Texan Trail and North Airfield Drive just south of Highway 114 in Grapevine. The site will feature more parking, shaded pavilions and around-the-clock security. 

Founders Plaza opened in 1995 as a tribute to the founders of DFW, whose vision was to create not only a world-class airport, but also a major economic engine for the entire North Texas region. Founders Plaza was relocated so DFW could proceed with its innovative perimeter taxiway construction, aimed at cutting aircraft taxi time to terminals and increasing safety. 

The previous Plaza site on the Airport's southeast side played a key role in DFW history, including an employee memorial on September 12, 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It also hosted the Airport's 30th anniversary celebration in 2004. 

The event is free and open to the public. Parking will begin at 7:00 AM, and attendees are urged to get an early start and look for parking signs and instructions from DFW personnel as they get close to the site. 

Founders Plaza is located at 1700 N. Airfield Drive -- at the intersection of North Airfield Drive and Texan Trail, near the northern end of runway 36R/18L. For more details: http://www.dfwairport.com/founders