GMA’s Robin Roberts to christen Goodyear’s newest blimp

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SUFFIELD, Ohio — Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts will be the official christener of Goodyear’s newest airship, Wingfoot One.

According to a release issued Thursday, the official christening will take place Saturday, Aug. 23, in Suffield.

Roberts will be among several distinguished women who have christened previous blimps: astronaut Dr. Sally Ride in 2000 and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in 1929.

Roberts has a family legacy with both Goodyear and Akron.

“This is incredibly meaningful to my family,” Roberts said in the release. “My great grandfather moved his family from down south to Akron in 1918 to work for Goodyear. Never could he have imagined that one day one of his descendants would be asked to christen the blimp. I’m very honored.”

Roberts’ grandfather, William Tolliver, also worked at Goodyear. Her late mother, Lucimarian Roberts, was born in Akron and graduated from East High School, which is just a few blocks from Goodyear’s headquarters.

Roberts’ late father, Lawrence E. Roberts, served in the U.S. military for more than 30 years, was a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen and was a flight instructor at the Tuskegee Institute.

The christening ceremony will take place at the company’s Wingfoot Lake hangar near the global headquarters in Akron. Weather permitting, Roberts will be among the first passengers to fly on Wingfoot One.

A limited number of free tickets will be available to the public. Details on ticket distribution will be available on Goodyear Blimp’s social media, including on Twitter and Facebook.

The name Wingfoot One was chosen from nearly 15,000 submissions during a four-month Name the Blimp contest. The winner was Charlotte White, 76, of Akron. It was announced just this past Monday.

For more on Goodyear, click here.