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Hospitality Heartline
Visit Orlando's 2010 Charitable Involvement Tops $515,000

Partners and Employees Contribute in a Variety of Ways

In 2010, Visit Orlando, through the generosity of its team members and partners, contributed more than $515,000 to Orlando’s local community through fundraising, marketing and in-kind support. The contributions ranged from clothing and holiday gift drives, educational initiatives, to cash contributions from events such as, Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, Visit Orlando’s Annual Golf Tournament and the Heart of Florida United Way Employee Drive. In total, Visit Orlando rendered marketing and in-kind support to Central Florida Arts and Cultural groups amounting to more than $374,000 and more than $141,000 in fundraising and donations to not-for-profits and community groups.

“Orlando’s Travel and Tourism industry has a big heart and Visit Orlando is committed to corporate social responsibility by supporting local organizations and developing programs that improve our community for the greater good of all residents. I am proud of our partners and our employee’s charitable efforts for giving back to Central Florida residents and living up to our global campaign ‘Orlando Makes Me Smile’,” said Gary Sain, president & CEO of Visit Orlando. For a second year, the Orlando Magical Dining Month included a charitable component to the program, almost doubling the amount of meals sold and helping Visit Orlando contribute more than $25,000 to the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida. One dollar from every meal sold during the month of September at participating Orlando Magical Dining Month restaurants was donated to the charity.

Visit Orlando’s team members gave back to the community in a variety of ways in 2010. Grand Avenue Public School in downtown Orlando has benefited from Visit Orlando’s team members donating their time to mentor children in the classroom, but that’s not where the generosity stops. Throughout the year, clothing drives, school supplies drives, and book drives were held to help the families of the children at the school. Additionally, a special focus on youth and the future leaders of the travel and tourism industry was implemented through Visit Orlando’s Discover Tourism Days educational initiative. This initiative provides support to the Central Florida National Academy Foundation Hospitality and Culinary Arts programs at public high schools. Other student and teen programs engaged by the Discover Tourism Days initiative included the Zora “Jump at the Sun” youth program, A Gift for Teaching, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida, and the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality.

Members of Visit Orlando’s Leads Group held fundraising events throughout the year that supported Central Florida’s Salvation Army Angel Tree program and Clean the World; a charity that targets the hospitality industry and recycles soap for children and families in third world countries. In addition, Visit Orlando’s member luncheon events held educational supply drives for A Gift for Teaching, and a holiday gift drive for Arnold Palmer’s Howard Phillips Center; the children and family outreach arm for Arnold Palmer Medical Center. In all, Visit Orlando’s membership and staff were involved in 50 different charitable events or organizations, and 11 different arts and cultural opportunities such as; United Arts of Central Florida, the ZORA! Festival, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Wells’ Built Museum, Global Peace Film Festival, Orlando Arts Getaways, etc.
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