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Bell Helicopter Names American Red Cross as Charity Partner

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the American Red Cross have partnered together for the 2012 postseason bowl game. The American Red Cross will serve as one of the official charity partners for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, an NCAA bowl game dedicated to paying tribute to the men and women of the U.S. armed forces.

“We are very excited to bring the American Red Cross on board this year as one of our official charity partners,” said Brant Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “The Red Cross does phenomenal things not only for the men and women of our armed forces, but for people all over the country, and we look forward to working with them in a more official capacity.”

Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the Red Cross relays urgent messages to service members stationed anywhere in the world, including on ships at sea and at embassies and remote locations. An urgent message could be notification of the death or serious illness of a loved one or the birth of a child.

T.D. Smyers, regional chief executive officer for the American Red Cross North Texas Region, knows better than most how the Red Cross supports the U.S. military. “I spent 31 years of my life in the United States Navy. I was the guy who delivered the Red Cross emergency message to a sailor so I know it matters. We knew that if the message came from the Red Cross, it was trusted and accurate which allowed us to focus on getting that sailor off the ship and back home to his family.”

Smyers goes on to say how honored the Red Cross is to be part of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “Our organizations share the same passion and the same mission to provide services to our men and women in uniform, so to be able to partner up and do that together is powerful.”

The American Red Cross will kick off its 2012 partnership with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at a celebrity bartending event on Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 5-7 p.m. (CT) hosted by the bowl at downtown Fort Worth’s Grace, a modern American restaurant and bar. The event is open to the public and will feature the bowl’s executive director, Brant Ringler, and Captain Robert Bennett, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, serving as bartenders. All proceeds raised during the happy hour will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; the awarding of custom homes to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; and the awarding of the annual "Great American Patriot Award" presented by Armed Forces Insurance. For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit, or

The 10th anniversary Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be played on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at 10:45 a.m. (CT) at the newly-renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. The game will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

Ticket information for the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be released in the coming weeks and can be obtained at Armed forces veterans and active-duty personnel receive free admittance via the bowl’s corporate armed forces ticket underwriting program, while supplies are available.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at