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).
Challenger the Bald Eagle
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.
For 20 years, Celebrity Fight Night has raised many millions of dollars for charities, including the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. Countless lives have been changed because of the generosity of those who support this event.
On April 4th, American Eagle Foundation President Al Cecere and staff members Laura Sterbens, Julia Cecere, Robert West, and Bald Eagle Challenger participated in the opening ceremonies of an award dinner honoring 106 scholarship recipients at the 2014 National Scholars Conference and Horatio Alger Awards Induction Ceremonies in Washington D.C.
During the summer of 2013, a film crew from Nat Geo Wild’s “We Move Animals” visited the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, TN.
We now have another stunning video to share with you! See the eagle Challenger soar at major events over the past five years, accompanied by a beautiful a cappella rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.
The Bald Eagle Challenger’s last flight of the 2013 NFL season took place on Jan. 4, 2014 at the Indianapolis Colts’ stadium during their NFL Wildcard Playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs. With artic temperatures and snow outside, Challenger and the AEF crew were grateful to be indoors at Lucas Field.
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