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National Harbor Welcomes Check-6 Foundation’s Pilots for a Day with a Proclamation Ceremony on Thursday, May 11
Two six-year-old classmates with serious illnesses will be honored at National Harbor and then enjoy being Pilots for a Day at Joint Base Andrews
WHO: Two six-year-old classmates, Thaddeus “Kieran” Barrett and Brian Grant McAllister will be honored at National Harbor on Thursday. They will each receive a special flight suit and a commendation before their police-escorted sendoff to Joint Base Andrews on Friday. Participants include Lt Gen Bruce “Orville” Wright, USAF (Ret) President Air Force Association, representatives from Check-6 Foundation including founder
Colonel Rob Balzano (VIP Airlift Pilot with the D.C. Air National Guard and former F-16 Pilot,) Vice President Major George Onyenyeonwu, USAF (Ret), Board Advisor Colonel Mike “Mo” Beale, USAF (Ret) former Lead Solo Air Force Thunderbird Pilot, representatives with National Harbor and the families of the two boys.
WHAT: Twice a year, the Check-6 Foundation honors a seriously ill child as Pilot for a Day. This year is particularly special as it involves two classmates. Their teacher, Lori Balzono’s husband Colonel Rob Balzano (USAF retired) founded the Check-6 Foundation in 2006. The organization’s mission is to provide aid, assistance, experiences, purpose, inspiration and hope to children battling serious medical conditions. The foundation has helped numerous children, families and veterans by providing direct financial aid to the wingmen they support.
About Kieran and Brian: The boys are classmates at Davidsonville Elementary School, Davidsonville, Md. Kieran was born with an atrial septal defect and suffered cardiac arrest at three-months old. Since then, he was diagnosed with multiple conditions and impairments including a genetic disorder of the central nervous
system. After numerous surgeries, he remains tube and oxygen dependent. He is a big fan of Fortnite, Marvel superheroes, Nerf guns and Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. His favorite team is the Baltimore Ravens. Brian was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer in 2020. The tumor was removed and Brian underwent intensive treatment that left him to lose function on his left side. While he can now walk again, he continues to have no movement in his left hand. He loves the Avengers, Minions and Star Wars as well as pizza and donuts. His favorite teams are the Nationals, Giants and UMD baseball.
WHEN: Thursday, May 11, 2023, 11-11:30 a.m. remarks and presentation of flight suits.
WHERE: National Harbor Waterfront Plaza, 150 National Plaza, National Harbor, Md.
Add’l: On Friday, May 12, the boys and families will be driven to Joint Base Andrews followed by a packed day.
For more information on National Harbor, visit www.NationalHarbor.com. For
more information on Check-6 Foundation, visit www.check6.org.
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About Check-6 Foundation
The Check-6 Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit, CFC Approved Charity and approved to operate on JB Andrews. It does not represent USAF or DoD and is an independent organization. The Foundation’s mission is to provide aid, assistance, experiences, purpose, inspiration and hope to children battling serious medical conditions and military veterans in need. The foundation has helped numerous children, families and veterans by providing direct financial aid to the wingmen they support. Check-6 continues to inspire others by working to make a difference in the lives of children and veterans. For more information, go to www.check6.org.
About National Harbor
Situated on the banks of the historic Potomac River and just minutes from the nation’s capital, National Harbor is a waterfront resort destination unlike any other. National Harbor is home to eight hotels including two of Maryland’s Four Diamond rated hotels—Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center and MGM National Harbor. Also within National Harbor is Tanger Outlets’ 85 designer brands. The vibrant Waterfront District at National Harbor features boutique shops, restaurants and entertainment options along picturesque promenades as well as the iconic Capital Wheel, a 180-ft observation wheel and the Guide by Cell outdoor art gallery tour. National Harbor typically welcomes more than 15.2 million visitors a year. For more information, visit www.NationalHarbor.com.