Jim Thompson Wants You to "Get on the Bus"
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jim Thompson's team pictured top left to right: Adrianne Elise Bowden, Jim Thompson, Corine Rogers, Aron McFedries
Pictured bottom left to right: Sam Brotman, Jennifer Fowler, Stacy Goodman, Seth Figurido

Air traffic controller Jim Thompson has always been passionate about helping others, which is why this year he has taken on the task of achieving Man of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Although this may seem like an ego-trip, it’s actually an attempt to raise money for the LLS nonprofit. One dollar equals one vote, leading Thompson and LLS to successful fundraising for a great cause.

Thompson first joined the FAA in September 2003, starting at New Orleans TRACON. But after serving five years of active duty in the Air Force and working three years at the TRACON, Thompson decided it was time to head back to his Southern California roots.

A third generation Air Force member, Thompson first began his philanthropic interest by supporting Veterans Affairs’ charities. As a guest bartender at one of San Diego's downtown bars, The Fleetwood, he started matching his tips and anonymously donating them to various Veterans Affairs’ funds.

"It's weird being in the spotlight about the charity work I have decided to do," said Thompson. "I don't do it for a pat on the back. I do it because I want to."

Thompson’s new LLS campaign that he and his teammates developed is called “Get On the Bus,” and kicked off on March 5. But it wasn't until March 6 at the Fleetwood when Thompson received the most donations to date. Two-hundred people attended Thompson's first LLS event, including the Chargers Cheerleaders, a DJ to get the party started and a photographer. The turnout was much more than he had expected.

With all this fundraising comes a lot of commitment and responsibility, and Thompson said he couldn't have done it without his teammates Corine Rogers, Jennifer Fowler, Adrianne Bowden and Sam Brotman.

"I knew it would be a lot of work," said Thompson. "There's no way I could have done any of this without them. This is us, this is our team that's doing this, not just me."

The LLS is the world’s largest voluntary nonprofit health organization and has been dedicated to curing leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma since 1949. The Man & Woman of the Year is a ten-week campaign from March 5 until May 10, and raises money and awareness for the nonprofit.

Thompson's goal of $35,000 is nothing short of incredible, and we urge every NATCA brother and sister to contribute to his cause. Upcoming events will be held at Jolt'n Joe's in downtown San Diego on Thursday, April 5 from 7pm to close. There will be a live band, a raffle, food and drink specials. For a $20 cover which includes free pool, darts, Ping-Pong and beer-pong.

If you'd like to donate to Thompson's LLS Man of the Year fund, go to his Web site here.

Charger Cheerleader Courtney Rauch (left), Jim Thompson (middle) and friend Stacy Goodman (right)