One of the best things about the hotel industry is its willingness to give back to the community. Throughout the year, there are countless acts of selflessness throughout the industry. During the holiday season, these generous deeds are amplified. Here are a few recent examples of how hotel-industry organizations have stepped up for good causes (this is only a small representation; please use the comments section below to let everyone know other good deeds being done in our industry):
The Atlanta Hospitality Alliance, a virtual who’s who of top-notch people involved in the hotel industry in Atlanta, at its ninth quarterly meeting in early December provided a US$10,000 scholarship for the 2012 school year to benefit students at the Georgia State University Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality.
The Atlanta Hospitality Alliance cut a big check for scholarships at Georgia State University’s hospitality school. Front row (from left): Paul Breslin, Panther Hospitality; Mary Beth Cutshall, HVMG; Debra Cannon, Director, Georgia State University Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality; and Monty Levy, HREC Investment Advisors. Back row: Carlos Torres, Hardin Construction Company; Tom Woodward, Hodges Ward Elliott; Michael Murphy of Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates; and Dan Weede of Carlton Fields.
The busy executives comprising the AHA deserve a round of applause for taking time to provide a foundation of support for future hoteliers to gain much-valued education. Bravo!
A different kind of gown
A few hundred people gathered at Cicada restaurant in downtown Los Angeles on 10 December for the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality Los Angeles founding chapter’s holiday soiree and scholarship presentation. The event raised about US$30,000 for scholarships, bringing the total scholarship money raised by the organization in its 25-year history to more than US$400,000. Eleven students pursuing higher education in the hospitality industry were awarded scholarships from this year’s event.
According to a news release, the highlight of the gala was an unconventional fashion show that challenged six hospitality design firms to create garments made from decorating materials commonly used in their design projects. Judging from Beverly Hills-based SR3 Design’s creation, the event was a smashing success. The firm came up with a 1930s-inspired evening gown that incorporates Italian silks by Brochier, and Indian cotton/poly blends by Soleil Blue. Glass-beaded wall coverings by Innovations Wallcoverings embellish the overskirt, and acrylic rings by Envel Design, colored glass discs by Preciosa, and metal adorn a hat that completes the ensemble. All the materials were donated to SR3 Design by the manufacturers, and the gown fetched US$1,500 at auction. Congratulations to everyone who participated in such a worthwhile and fun event!.
NEWH is a nonprofit networking organization for the hospitality industry. SR3 Design, which launched in May 2011, specializes in hospitality and leisure architectural design.
“The mission statement of NEWH is to create scholarships for those in need who are going to get a degree in hospitality industry,” said Fernando Diaz, president of the chapter. “Students are very important because they are the future of the hospitality industry.”
Diaz said one of the biggest thrills for the organization is when students who received scholarships graduate, get jobs in the industry, then come back to join the chapter.
Elaine McCorkle-Castro, SR3 designer and NEWH board member, said the group is proud of its ability to help students because it’s important to educate and be visible in the community.
SR3 Design junior designer, Laurel Marlantes, models a 1930s-inspired ensemble made from materials commonly used by the Beverly Hills-based interior architecture firm in its hospitality work.
SR3 has 15 people on staff, including student Laurel Marlantes, who modeled the gown. About 25% of its work is hotel related. She said it took the firm’s designers about 30 hours to design the gown—and a seamstress another 30 hours to assemble it.
“The biggest challenge was how to incorporate hard surfaces,” she said. “It was a fun way to be challenged and raise funds for an event with such a worthy mission.”
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A cuddly endeavor
Motel 6 locations throughout United States and Canada collected more than 5,400 teddy bears as part of the chain’s fourth-annual Great Teddy Bear Roundup. The teddy bears have been donated to law enforcement agencies, fire departments, hospitals and local Ronald McDonald Houses to provide comfort to children in stressful or traumatic situations.
“We are grateful to the guests and community members who generously donated and helped us collect the teddy bears,” said Jim Amorosia, CEO of Motel 6 and Studio 6, in a news release. “Police, fire departments and social services are such an integral part of the local community, and we are proud to help them offer comfort to children in need.”
A heart-warming program
TownePlace Suites by Marriott donated more than 2,000 fleece blankets to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; providing a sense of security, love, and comfort to young patients this holiday season.
“Our team members are the reason for the success of the real giving program,” said Loren Nalewanski, VP of brand management for TownePlace Suites and Marriott Executive Apartments, in a statement. “This program builds positive relationships with Children's Hospitals nearest our hotels ... and it's a great way for our brand to give back to the community. The spirit of giving is part of who we are at TownePlace Suites, and we understand the importance of comfort when you’re away from home.”
A couple of property-level examples are particularly heartwarming:
• Dallas DeSoto made over 500 blankets. The entire Dallas/DeSoto community came together to help make blankets this year. What a great program to pull locals, guests and service team members together.
• Las Vegas Henderson made 342 blankets. It was through the efforts of the Campbell Lodging team, family and friends at TPS, and its sister property SpringHill Suites, which made this initiative so successful.
• Albuquerque made 191 blankets.
• Sage Hospitality and Denver hotels made 151 blankets. More than 20 volunteers from the TownePlace Suites portfolio, Residence Inn Denver City Center, Holiday Inn Stapleton, the JW Marriott, the Global Office and the Oxford Hotel joined forces to make 151 no-sew fleece blankets in support of the real giving national campaign of TownePlace Suites.
Each of these organizations stepped up during a time that is noted for giving. Please use the comments section below to tell us how your organization answered the call.
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