14 Mar Wally Park & Jacksonville USO
A Commitment to Excellence
“Without WallyPark’s help, it would be an expenditure that we simply couldn’t afford,” said Mike O’Brien, executive director of the Greater Jacksonville Area USO.
Indeed, over the last 3+ years, WallyPark Airport Parking and the USO have forged a relationship built on trust, mutual admiration, and collaboration. To be clear, the glue that binds them together is a continued and unflinching resolve to support programs for service members and their families. As you know, this is a never-ending effort, but it is sustained by the commitment to excellence demonstrated by the USO and its partners.
One of the unique things about USO is that it is almost entirely volunteer-based. This is a testament to the good will and dedication surrounding the USO and its members, but it’s also a salient, logistical challenge. Fortunately, this challenge is mitigated by the support proffered by WallyPark and the many USO supporters and partners.
As Mike says, “the airport welcome center at JIA is 99% volunteer-based. There are four, four-hour shifts, including eight volunteers a day, 365 days of the year. All of our volunteers need a place to park, and that’s where WallyPark has been very helpful. They’ve probably saved us tens of thousands of dollars in parking fees since 2013.”
In speaking with WallyPark’s COO Kevin Montgomery, he echoed the company’s continued commitment to supporting the USO and other service member initiatives: “WallyPark is honored to partner with the USO to continue to bring aid and support not only to the organization, but to the thousands of service members around the world. We look forward to growing together in the coming years and unlocking additional value in local communities.” In addition to this, WallyPark continues to offer a 15% active military discount, available year-round to all current service members.
Recently, WallyPark was on hand to receive the Chairman’s Award for its charitable contribution to USO’s employees and volunteers. This is an important milestone in the USO’s relationship with WallyPark, as it is only the 2nd time this distinction has been awarded in the last six years. General Manager of WallyPark Jacksonville, Sean Hays, was on hand to receive the distinction on behalf of the company.
As Sean relates, “this is only the beginning of our partnership. We are looking to expand our partnership with USO. As part of this effort, we are currently exploring providing the USO with additional donations, as well as getting involved in some of their annual events like their golf tournament and ‘Operation: That’s My Dress.’ Besides Jacksonville, there may be some opportunities to provide support in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Newark as well.”
No doubt the new year will continue to bear the fruits of this ongoing effort. With USO, WallyPark, and the countless supporters working together to bring smiles and relief to service members, the future presages brighter days.