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Goodyear’s Santa Claus Express is coming to town

Friday, November 28, 2014

Suffield, OH – The Goodyear blimp, nicknamed “Santa Claus Express” for the holidays, and the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve will conduct their fourth joint maneuver benefitting the Toys for Tots Foundation. The event will provide the public with an opportunity to make a donation to Toys for Tots while driving their cars through The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s Wingfoot Lake blimp hangar on Dec 5, 6 and 7. Drive-through hours are noon to 10 p.m. on Dec. 5 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 7. “In the spirit of the holiday season, we are delighted to be working with the Marines to open our doors to the community in support of the Toys for Tots program,” said Paul Fitzhenry, the company’s senior vice president, Global Communications. “We have seen a tremendous response to this event in recent years and look forward to a great turnout this year to give people the opportunity to see our newest airship, Wingfoot One, up close.” Goodyear and the Marines will build on the success of previous drive-through events at Goodyear’s airship bases. Over the past three years, those efforts delivered more than 20,000 toys and $30,000 directly benefitting the Toys for Tots program. This year, for the first time, Goodyear is offering 25 lucky entrants a chance to win a ride for two on Wingfoot One. An official entry form for the Goodyear Toys for Tots Blimp Ride Sweepstakes can be obtained either by visiting a participating Goodyear company-owned store in Ohio or by calling 800-344-9859. The form can be “The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve are grateful to Goodyear for making this event possible again,” said retired Marine Major Bill Grein, vice president of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “With the generous support of the community, there will be thousands of new toys fulfilling the Christmas dreams of less fortunate children who might not otherwise be remembered,” he added. Open only to drive-through vehicle traffic, the airship hangar will be filled with music of the season and decorated in the holiday spirit. The public will not be permitted to walk inside the hangar or on the base grounds. There is no charge and a donation is not required to drive through, enjoy the holiday scene and see the blimp. The Goodyear airship base is located at 841 Wingfoot Lake Rd., in Suffield, Ohio. All details are available online at, on the Goodyear Blimp Facebook page and by calling 800-344-9859 or (330) 796-8151. A similar event will be held at the company’s blimp base in Carson, California. Goodyear first nicknamed one of its blimps the “Santa Claus Express” in 1927 to spread holiday cheer across the skies of America. The company has a long history of charitable giving as well as community involvement and fundraising for worthy causes including United Way, Support Our Troops and hundreds of local and national charities through its airship program. Founded in 1948, it is the mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program to collect only new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December and to distribute these toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

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