Priority Club Rewards and the IHG Owners Association have joined forces to achieve a goal of building a new two-home villa at the Give Kids The World Village in Orlando, Florida. By the time we attend the IHG Americas Conference in October 2012, we hope to raise the $250,000 needed to build the home. IHG hotels around the globe are stepping up to contribute to this challenge, and two hotels in particular, both owned and operated by Owners Association Past Chairman Jay Fishman, have more than risen to the challenge.
Crowne Plaza Hotel & Suites – MSP Int’l Airport
Reported by Anthony Spears, General Manager
“Our hotel employees have really rallied around this GKTW cause. In total we have raised more than $8,000, with around $3,000 coming from the night of our fundraiser (see image below). Just as important, however, is that the other $5,000 has come from our internal employees and managers. Money has come generously from all sorts of campaigns, from internal events including buying and sending candy grams to each other, $5 “jean days” participation, and believe it or not, even employees cashing in their vacation time and donating their money.
Jamie Kemp, one of our catering sales managers, had a niece diagnosed with a terminal illness. She and her family were able to experience the villa at GKTW, and she shared her experience with our team and it touched our hearts. Jackie, one of our long-time laundry attendants, went home talking about the story and her 10-year-old granddaughter overheard her. The little girl, inspired by the story, said all children should have a place to go and that she wanted to make a difference. She then took the time to decorate a container with GKTW logo, colors, etc. and went into her neighborhood collecting money for the cause. She raised $263.00.
Our hotel and everyone on the staff has made a true connection with GKTW.”
VIDEO about Jackie and her granddaughter: http://ahllcassociates.shutterfly.com/crowneplazamallofamerica/71
Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center
Reported by Jeffery L. Edwards, CHA, General Manager
“The GKTW event was held on June 15, 2012 and we had approximately 100 attendees. We raised a total of $13,039 on the event. The event was hosted by the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express in Urbana, Illinois. With the help of some great sponsors and with the support of the staff who donated their time to make the event a success, we were able to give a donation of $12,050 after expenses. We had 30 staff members who donated all of their time to set up, tear down and work the night of the event. We had family members who worked in many capacities on the night of the event - from babysitting for the employees working the event, waiting tables, and assisting with clean up - totaling about $2,000 in volunteer time that went into the event.
The event involved former athletes from the University of Illinois, some whom went on to professional careers. Each of the athletes paid their own way to attend, blogged about the event, and went above and beyond for our cause. The evening included a reception where the attendees met the athletes and had an opportunity for photos, dinner, silent auction, and a live auction. In addition, we had a family that had spent time at the GKTW village and they were gracious enough to share their story.
We have always supported GKTW each year with car washes, bake sales, etc. but this year we decided to really embrace it and raise as much money as we could and decided to think big. The idea for the event was presented to me by one of our sales managers, Tamala Griffin, who is a huge Illinois fan and knew many of the athletes that participated. With a total of six weeks preparation we were able to execute the event successfully and are still hearing from the community and the attendees about the event.
The reason that our hotel felt so strongly about the event was when we heard the story about the Village and all of the great things they do, we knew that it was important for our community to become aware as it could to help so many local families who were in need of the experience that they provide. Our hotel feels that it is important to give back to the community and is involved in several local organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Big Brothers Big Sisters, but the GKTW village really made an impact with everyone. Through this event we have been able to not only raise money but we have raised awareness about this great organization within the Champaign/Urbana community.
We look forward to next year’s event and have already started planning.”
News Article about the event: