An eagle release, outreach, and grand openings added to a busy Fall 2016 schedule for AEF.
Challenger the Bald Eagle
Challenger wrapped up 2015 with a momentous and impressive flight on New Years Eve at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. After a month of rest, we embarked upon another busy travel season, flying and driving all over the country with Challenger and a couple other of our Bald Eagles to educate the public and inspire them to preserve this majestic species.
Millions of race fans from around the world got a very brief glimpse of the celebrity Bald Eagle “Challenger” as he soared over Turn One at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the singing of God Bless America (Indianapolis Children’s Choir) before the start of the Indy 500’s 100th Running race on Memorial Day Weekend.
2015 marks Challenger’s 20th Anniversary free-flying at various sporting events, conventions, and trade shows around the country! Check out what Challenger has been up to during the Fall of 2015!
On Sunday December 13th at 8 p.m., Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry will host an exclusive Holiday Benefit Show featuring American Idol’s Clark Beckham, singer/songwriter James Rogers, and the famous free-flying Bald Eagle Challenger. VIP Tickets are selling for $125 (100% of VIP ticket proceeds support the non-profit AEF and can be claimed as a tax-deductible donation).
Before Challenger soars around the stadium for his stirring portion of the pregame routine, the Bald Eagle takes the same trip upstairs as many fans heading to the upper deck. He rides the elevator.
The partnership between the American Eagle Foundation and Field & Stream began in the summer of 2013. Through the end of 2015, the AEF has participated in the Grand Openings of 17 Field & Stream stores, accompanied by Bald Eagles Challenger, Mr. Lincoln, and Spirit.
The famous educational ambassador Bald Eagle ‘Challenger’ revisited Ground Zero in NYC during 2015.
As June 18 approached, signaling another AEF Reunion combined with American Eagle Day, excitement built to over-the-top levels! Emails and Facebook posts lit up the Internet – filled with anticipation as to what these three days would bring. Finally, everyone participating in Reunion had arrived! Reservations for the Reunion topped out at 100, with more on the waiting list.
Before the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final began on April 6, 2015, the air was electric with excitement inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Duke Blue Devils vs Wisconsin Badgers – both teams poised to claim victory.
Bald Eagle Challenger was part of the pre-race show before the start of the Daytona 500 Sunday. Before every event, Challenger is given an opportunity to practice, so that he will be familiar with the space into which he is flying
Fall means Football for American Eagle Foundation (AEF) staff and Bald Eagle Challenger. Challenger is loaded into his custom-made carrier, carefully placed inside a Delta plane, and flown to a variety of stadiums across the nation. Hundreds of thousands of sports enthusiasts are inevitably captivated as they watch this famous non-releasable, free-flying Bald Eagle, the U.S.A’s living symbol of Freedom, soar majestically over their heads and into the stadium as the Star Spangled Banner is performed during pre-game festivities.
Challenger the Bald Eagle soared into an NFL stadium during the National Anthem—wearing a camera!
Following an AEF Memorial Day tradition that has been going on for several years, Al Cecere and AEF crew off to New York City and Chicago with the American Eagle Foundation’s Bald Eagle Challenger for two major events.
The American Eagle Foundation (AEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Contributions to the American Eagle Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
The AEF's tax identification number is 58-1652023.
Background photo ©Byron Jorjorian