Robert Kraft and the Patriots are doing their part to help the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida following the deadly shooting just over a month ago.
Team spokesman Stacy James told The Boston Globe’s Steve Annear that Kraft decided to lend the team plane to the families of the 17 victims of the Valentines Day shooting at the Parkland high school along with some of the students who were injured. Per The Globe, the plane flew them to Washington D.C. on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s “March for Our Lives” rally against gun violence and will then take them back to Ft. Lauderdale once the march is done.
James told Annear that Kraft decided to donate the plane for the round trip after former Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, reached out to him with the request. Giffords was almost killed in a shooting back in 2011 and has since founded Giffords, a gun violence prevention group.. There was no word whether or not Kraft or any players would be in attendance for the trip/march.
Here’s are a few pictures of AirKraft docked in Florida ready to take the students and families to the Nation’s Capital for the march:
— Kali Clougherty #ShineMSD (@kali4change) March 23, 2018
“Thank you so much [Patriots] for your generosity!” ShineMSD tweeted to the team. “We are so grateful to have been lent your plane to fly up to Washington DC. See you at the march!!”
According to march organizers, thousands of people are projected to be at the march, which will protest gun violence and call for gun control reform. The main march will occur in Washington D.C., but there are many similar events happening on Saturday all across New England and the country.
Outside of him owning the Patriots, Kraft has always been known for his philanthropy. Through The Kraft Group, they have given out more than $400 million in donations to different charitable endeavors. Donating his plane for this cause, it just the latest in a long list of kind acts for the owner.
As for those planes, New England introduced them both earlier this past season, becoming the first team in the NFL to own their own private aircrafts. The Boeing 767s are fit to hold the entire team and game day crew comfortably with first class seats and extended leg room.
One serves as the primary form of transportation for the team and operates out of Rhode Island, while the other plane serves as the backup in case there are some issues with the first.