IWC, the 135-year-old Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, has announced its first-ever corporate sponsorship in North America. The company is sponsoring Angel Flight North East, the largest regional chapter of the national non-profit organization.
Angel Flight provides free air transportation to patients who need critical medical treatment, as well as to their families. Volunteer pilots donate their time, aircraft, and flying skills. IWC’s contribution is the largest single corporate donation on record for the organization.
IWC’s sponsorship is a homage to its founder, American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones, who came from the northeastern part of the United States. It’s “a natural connection because of IWC’s American heritage,” says Eveline Jones, president of IWC USA, “and because our long history in aviation dates back to the 1930s with our original Pilot series of watches.”
The two organizations also have “shared values and culture,” she added. “Recognizing that many IWC consumers also are private pilots, we knew they would care about the mission of Angel Flight and want to participate in some way.” The goal of IWC’s support, said Jones, is to “help raise awareness [of Angel Flight’s work] in both our community of consumers and the general public.”
The IWC contribution is for 2003-2004, starting in November 2003. It will be officially announced at Angel Flight’s annual benefit gala that month in Boston. Larry Camerlin, president and founder of Angel Flight North East, said, “IWC’s generosity and support has given us a significant opportunity to continue to help children and adults receive free air transportation for life-saving medical treatment. IWC’s gift exemplifies humanity at its best.”