Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Today, Omaze, the charity fundraising platform that offers the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences and prizes, and Virgin Galactic, revealed that Keisha S. from Antigua and Barbuda is the exclusive winner of two seats on a Virgin Galactic commercial space flight. Born and raised in Antigua, Keisha is a health and energy coach who is passionate about empowering women to live their best lives. She has always had a lifelong dream of going to space, and hopes to bring her daughter, an astrophysics student, as her guest on this incredible journey.
Omaze CEO and co-founder Matt Pohlson, Sir Richard Branson, Omaze winner Keisha, and Space For Humanity Executive Director Rachel Lyons congratulate Keisha at her home in Antigua
Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson, Omaze CEO and co-founder Matt Pohlson, and Space For Humanity executive director Rachel Lyons surprised Keisha at her home in Antigua to share the news that she won.
See a video of the surprise here.
The sweepstakes kicked off in July following Virgin Galactic’s historic Unity 22 mission, and drew donations from 164,338 people around the world in eight weeks to raise a projected $1.7M in grants benefiting Space for Humanity and their Citizen Astronaut Program. These anticipated grants from
Charities Aid Foundation America (CAF America), will help Space for Humanity transform perspectives and train candidates to ensure an inclusive future in space.
“Being able to give people of all ages and backgrounds equal access to space, and in turn, the opportunity to lead and inspire others back on Earth, is what Virgin Galactic has been building towards for the past two decades,” said Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic Founder. “It was remarkable to be there for the beginning of Keisha’s journey to space; she is an extraordinary person who is already inspiring people with the work she does to support women in her home of Antigua and Barbuda. This experience will provide another platform for her to inspire many more people into the future. I couldn’t be happier to see the mission of Virgin Galactic come to life and to work with such amazing partners like Omaze and Space for Humanity in our continued commitment to make space accessible to all.”
Omaze offers people the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences to support charities around the world. Their unique model allows for people who dream big to experience truly out of this world opportunities.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce Keisha as the winner of our biggest experience offering to date,” said Matt Pohlson, CEO and Co-Founder of Omaze. “Omaze exists to dream the world better. Not only will a lifelong stargazer get to experience space, but this also helps Space for Humanity open up that opportunity to even more people. Because of that, the partnership with Virgin Galactic and Space for Humanity was a dream come true for Omaze too.”
Keisha will also join Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronaut community, as the first person from the Caribbean islands. The Future Astronaut community is an established and growing family of 700 individuals from over 60 countries, all united by a shared passion for adventure and the desire to push the boundaries of humankind. Through being a member of this community, Keisha and her fellow Future Astronauts will be invited to participate in extraordinary experiences to make new connections and prepare for their journey into space. Along with space anticipation and space readiness, the Future Astronaut community uses its collective power as a force for good by inspiring students to study STEM through their involvement with Galactic Unite.
“I’ve always had a lifelong love of flying and a fascination with space, and this is truly a dream come true for me,” said Keisha. “It means the world to me. I hope to share this experience with my daughter, so together we can inspire the next generation to follow their dreams.”
In addition to experiencing the wonder of space travel, Keisha will receive a guided tour of Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built Spaceport in New Mexico, from Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Galactic team. You can download all press materials including images and video from the Virgin Galactic Press Assets.
Omaze is an online fundraising platform that offers the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences and prizes to support nonprofits around the world. Through the Omaze platform, people from more than 180 countries have made donations that support over 400 charities, driving substantial levels of awareness for their work. Omaze has raised more than $150M for causes to date and was named to the 2020 list of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies.
This experience raises funds for Charities Aid Foundation America ("CAF America"), a US-registered, 501(c)(3) public charity. 100% of donations for this experience go to CAF America, which will then grant the donations, minus the experience fees and costs, to Space for Humanity. The grant figures provided are expected only, and the final amount to be granted to Space for Humanity from CAF America will be confirmed following the flight.
About Virgin Galactic Holdings
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. is a space travel company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers with its advanced air and space vehicles. It is developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers a unique and transformative experience. You can find more information at https://www.virgingalactic.
About Space for Humanity
Space for Humanity is expanding access to space for all of humanity. The nonprofit is organizing the planet’s first Sponsored Citizen Astronaut Program, where leaders, from any walk of life, can apply for an opportunity to go to space and experience the Overview Effect: the cognitive shift in awareness that occurs when a human being looks down on the Earth from space.
Through its citizen spaceflight program, leadership training, and collaborative efforts to educate the public, Space for Humanity is setting the stage to create the world we want, both here on Earth and throughout the cosmos. For more information, please visit www.spaceforhumanity.org
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