October 20, 2011(Incline Village, Nev.) – An anonymous donor who presented $25,000 to the Thunderbird Preservation Society (, has offered a second donation for the same amount on the condition the public can match it by Thanksgiving.

The Preservation Society, a non-profit corporation maintains the historic Thunderbird Lodge and Yacht – iconic Lake Tahoe landmarks since the 1930s. The importance of maintaining vintage Americana, specifically the lodge and yacht, was the subject of a recent Tahoe fundraising appearance by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the famous pilot who landed his plane and passengers safely on the Hudson River in January 2009.

Captain Sullenberger’s presentation on Labor Day Weekend inspired the initial $25,000 donation followed by the concept of a second $25,000 gift, if matched, for a total of $75,000.

The non-profit Thunderbird Preservation Society was organized to preserve and protect Lake Tahoe’s George Whittell Estate Thunderbird Lodge National Historic Site on Lake Tahoe’s east shore. The organization promotes public appreciation and education regarding the historical, maritime, architectural and cultural resources of the Lake Tahoe region through public tours, conferences, excursions, and forums. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, donations and charitable gifts to the Preservation Society are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Since retiring from US Airways in March 2010 after 30 years of service, Captain Sullenberger has become an international speaker on airline safety. Sullenberger is an Aviation Safety Expert with CBS News, and author of Highest Duty, a memoir of his life and the events surrounding Flight 1549. He was one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009. He is also co-chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles, a program that introduces young people to aviation.

For additional information on the Thanksgiving fundraising initiative for the Thunderbird Lodge and Yacht, please visit: or call Bill Watson, Chief Executive and Curator at 775-848-6216.