Giving Spirit

John Fenech is a facility maintenance mechanic at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

He started working at American 23 years ago. On his commute from Long Island each day, Fenech’s mind is often on ensuring American’s Terminal 8 runs smoothly or on his other passions — supporting military veterans and children. His leadership and community involvement in these causes earned him one of American’s Spirit of Giving Volunteer of the Year awards for 2012. 

A U.S. Coast Guard veteran, Fenech feels passionately about military service and dedication. He volunteers for Snowball Express, an annual event for children of fallen military heroes who lost their lives while on active duty. The event is designed to provide hope and new memories for the kids. He contributes countless hours to the Medal of Honor events in Washington, D.C., and the Return to Normandy flights for veterans, all of which American sponsors.

As a member of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Something mAAgic Foundation®, Fenech raises funds for the annual mAAgic℠ flight that takes place in September, when children with life-threatening medical conditions and their families are treated to an unforgettable vacation experience in Orlando, Fla. Fenech also supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation® and takes part in the annual Long Beach Polar Bear Club Swim for Make-A-Wish. “On Super Bowl Sunday this year, more than 6,000 participants raised $3 million for Make-A-Wish by jumping into the cold water at Long Beach. You have to get completely wet to be an official Polar Bear,” he says with a grin.

Fenech says that participating in these important programs gives him something in return. “Regarding military support, it’s the right thing to do,” he says. “With Something mAAgic and Make-A-Wish, I’d do anything to make kids happy. Their smiles are my reward.”


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