Community Events

When the name "Pillar" was chosen, we decided to focus on four pillars of strength: Culture, Communication, Consistency and Community. Our teams strive to exhibit these attributes on a daily basis. Community involvement is extremely important to us, both at our home office in Las Colinas, Texas and our hotels across the country.

Pillar Hotels & Resorts is a proud partner of Special Olympics of Texas. SOTX is a great fit for us because it offers many different avenues for us to be of assistance. Other organizations our home office and hotels support include: American Red Cross, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Please continue below to read about some of the great things our teams have been up to!


Pillar Home Office Team Volunteers at the Special Olympics of Texas 2014 Softball & Bocce Competition

Over 100 Pillar Hotels & Resorts team members, friends and family members volunteered at the Special Olympics of Texas 2014 Softball & Bocce Competition held at Oran Good Park in Farmers Branch, TX on Saturday, September 20. Our teams cooked and served over 1,000 hot dogs, and helped to cheer on the athletes. Everyone had a great time. Special thanks to Adam Tripp, Area Director of Revenue Management, for his leadership and commitment to making the event a success!

To learn more about Special Olympics of Texas and how you can get involved, please visit www.specialolympicstexas.org.

Pillar Hotels and Special Olympics of Texas Pillar Hotels and Special Olympics of Texas Pillar Hotels and Special Olympics of Texas Pillar Hotels and Special Olympics of Texas Pillar Hotels and Special Olympics of Texas Pillar Hotels and Special Olympics of Texas




The Hiltons of Branson hosted Bring Your Child to Work DayThe Hiltons of Branson hosted Bring Your Child to Work Day as part of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts Bright Blue Future Program.

PHR Summer Community Projects

This summer, our teams have been busy organizing various community events and contributing to great causes through volunteerism and donations! Here are some highlights from the past few months. For daily updates, be sure to connect with us on Facebook and follow @PillarHotels on Twitter.

Residence Inn Palmdale Held a Blood Drive to Support American Red CrossResidence Inn Palmdale Held a Blood Drive to Support American Red Cross.
SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids North hosted their second annual ArtNightSpringHill Suites Grand Rapids North hosted their second annual ArtNight.
Residence Inn Branson Participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for LifeResidence Inn Branson Participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Raised Over $2,200!
Hampton Inn & Homewood Suites Phoenix-Chandler teams up with United Food BankHampton Inn & Homewood Suites Phoenix-Chandler staff members joined other Hilton teams at United Food Bank to sort over 7,000 pounds of food that will provide 5,085 meals for families in need.
Pillar Hotels Las Vegas Sales Team teams up with Three SquareLas Vegas Sales Managers packed almost 3,500 lunches for children in need at Three Square.
Residence Inn North Houston school supply driveResidence Inn North Houston held a school supply drive to benefit Carroll Elementary in Aldine ISD.
Hampton Inn King of PrussiaHampton Inn King of Prussia sponsored a competitive edge sports tournament.
Hiltons Branson Convention Center volunteer at National Tiger SanctuaryHiltons Branson Convention Center team members volunteered at the National Tiger Sanctuary in Chestnutrdige, Missouri.

Marriott Spirit to Serve Awarded to Pillar Hotels and Resorts

Pillar Hotels & Resorts is proud to be recognized with the Marriott Spirit to Serve Award for Community Service.

The award was presented at the annual CFRST Owners and Franchisees Conference that took place at the JW Marriott Indianapolis May 18-21. The Marriott Spirit to Serve Award recognizes its recipients for demonstrating company values through employee volunteerism, in-kind and cash donations, and various community service initiatives. Read more

Pillar Teams Participate in Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®

A handful of our California hotel teams participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this May and raised over $1,900 for breast cancer research. Big thank you to: Courtyard Folsom, Courtyard Roseville, Hampton Inn Rancho Cordova, Residence Inn Vacaville and Fairfield Inn Vacaville. We greatly appreciate these teams for donating their time and efforts to such a great cause! To learn how you can get involved, visit www.komen.org. Pillar Hotels at Susan G KomenRace for the Cure Pillar Hotels and Susan G Komen Pillar Hotels at Susan G KomenRace for the Cure


Our Residence Inn by Marriott Deptford hotel recently partnered with One Love Animal Rescue to promote pet adoption.

Their pet fair and fundraiser, held at Residence Inn Deptford on Sunday, May 4 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, raised over $1,500!

"We are proud to partner with the Residence Inn Deptford," said Sherri Smith, Chairman of One Love Animal Rescue. "Support from local businesses is crucial for us to continue the important work of reducing pet overpopulation and saving homeless animals. With the help of the Residence Inn, we can really connect with the public and encourage them to join our mission."

The Paws for the Cause Pet Fair featured pet photos, DJ entertainment, chair massages, raffle prizes and more. Vendors in attendance included SEK Productions, Chicago Uno Grille, Taylors –Williamstown, Voorhees Animal Adoption, Camden County Animal Shelter, Alpha Dog Food, Furry Good, Camp Bow Wow, Tail Waggers, Fiona Hesk Massage Therapist, A & E Grooming, Majestic Images, DW Services, West Deptford Animal Hospital, Staf SHARE organization, Joa’s Ark Rescue and Polish Water Ice.

For more information about donating to One Love Animal Rescue, visit http://www.oneloveanimalrescue.org/



TownePlace Suites Lubbock making blanket for Local Children’s HospitalsTownePlace Suites Lubbock Making “Real Giving” Blankets to Donate to Local Children’s Hospitals

Spring Community Involvement

This spring, our hotels are strengthening their community partnerships and giving back at every opportunity.
Here are some recent highlights:

Shamrock Shuffle 3K to Benefit Habitat for HumanityLexington, KY Hotel Teams Participating in the Shamrock Shuffle 3K to Benefit Habitat for Humanity
Fairfield Inn Philadelphia Airport Teaming Up with MANNAFairfield Inn Philadelphia Airport Teaming Up with MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance)
SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids and Kent County Lodging Association Presenting a Check to Susan G. Komen


Residence Inn Chicago Bloomingdale - Community Appreciation Award

Residence Inn Chicago Bloomingdale Honored with Community Appreciation Award (April 2014)

Earlier this month, our Residence Inn Chicago Bloomingdale hotel was surprised with a Community Appreciation Award from the Fire Department Chief and Lt. Chief. Congratulations and thank you for all of your efforts to help families displaced from fire, flood and other severe weather events. We are proud and happy to have you as part of our Pillar family!



SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids Community Service Hotel of the Year

SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids North Named Community Service Hotel of the Year (March 2014)

Our SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids North hotel was selected as 2013 Community Service Hotel of the Year. Over the past year, Spring¬Hill Suites Grand Rapids North has been involved with numerous charitable organizations including the Ronald McDonald House, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and American Red Cross. This team is extremely passionate about community involve¬ment and always looking for ways to give back while providing a memorable experience for team members and guests alike. In addition to participating in community events, many of the hotel’s staff members serve local organizations on their own time and work to enhance tourism for Grand Rapids. Rachel Crowther, GM, is a local CVB-Experience Grand Rapids board member and actively involved in the Hotel Advisory Committee.



Holiday Mail for HeroesOver 700 Cards Collected for
Holiday Mail for Heroes

Winter Volunteer Efforts & Donations

This Winter, Pillar teams have been busy giving back to their communities and local charitable organizations. We are proud to support these causes and very grateful for the time, energy and commitment of our teams across the country.

Fairfield Inn Suites Houma Volunteering for Special Olympics of LouisianaFairfield Inn & Suites Houma
Volunteering for
Special Olympics of Louisiana
Marriott Albany Teams Volunteering for Jezreel InternationalMarriott Albany Teams Volunteering
for Jezreel International
Fairfield Inn Atlanta Six Flags Providing Clothes, Toiletries and Food to the HomelessFairfield Inn Atlanta Six Flags Providing Clothes,
Toiletries and Food to the Homeless
Residence Inn McAllen Collecting Toys to Donate to Toys for SparksResidence Inn McAllen Collecting Toys
to Donate to Toys for Sparks
Homewood Suites Warwick Toys for Tots Event Complete with a Military EscortHomewood Suites Warwick Toys for Tots
Event Complete with a Military Escort
Homewood Suites Roseville Participating in a Book Reading at the Salvation ArmyHomewood Suites Roseville Participating in a Book Reading at the Salvation Army
Holiday Inn Express Milwaukee Volunteering at their local Ronald McDonald HouseHoliday Inn Express Milwaukee
Volunteering at their local Ronald McDonald House
Homewood Suites Hampton Inn Boston Peabody Delivering Food Collected for Haven from HungerHomewood Suites & Hampton Inn Boston / Peabody
Delivering Food Collected for Haven from Hunger


Pillar Hotels & Resorts Fairfield Inn & Suites Coon Rapids, Minnesota property staff volunteers for Habitat for HumanityFairfield Inn & Suites Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Pillar Hotels & Resorts Fairfield Inn property staff volunteers for Habitat for Humanity

Pillar Fairfield Inn Teams Across the Nation Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity

Pillar teams in Las Vegas, Coon Rapids, Philadelphia, Jeffersonville and other cities have recently served Habitat for Humanity with a variety of volunteer activities and fundraising efforts. Thank you to everyone for your time and devotion to these great causes.


Pillar Hotels & Resorts Fairfield Inn Jeffersonville, Indiana property staff volunteers for Habitat for HumanityFairfield Inn Jeffersonville, Indiana
Pillar Hotels & Resorts Fairfield Inn Philadelphia Airport, Pennsylvania property staff volunteers for Habitat for HumanityFairfield Inn Philadelphia Airport, Pennsylvania
Pillar Hotels & Resorts Fairfield Inn & Suites Las Vegas, Nevada property staff volunteers for Habitat for HumanityFairfield Inn & Suites Las Vegas, Nevada




Residence Inn Scranton Team Raises Funds for Breast Cancer ResearchPillar Hotels & Resorts team car was for Breast Cancer Research fundraiser

Residence Inn Scranton Team Raises Funds for Breast Cancer Research

Scranton, PA (October 21, 2013) - The Pillar Hotels & Resorts Residence Inn Scranton team held a car wash to benefit Breast Cancer Research on Monday, October 21. Hotel guests, employees and local shoppers stopped by to join the cause and the group raised $200 for donation.



Pillar Home Office Team Volunteers at Special Olympics of Texas' 2013 Softball / Bocce Competition

Pillar Hotels & Resorts team voluntteer at Special Olympics TexasIrving, TX (September 28, 2013) - Pillar Hotels & Resorts team voluntteer at Special Olympics TexasThe Pillar Home Office is excited to announce another successful volunteer experience with Special Olympics. Over 50 people volunteered at the Softball/Bocce Tournament on Saturday, September 28th. They assisted in score keeping, cheered for the teams as Fans in the Stands and provided lunch for over 500 people. The athletes appreciated the lunch and snow cones after a hard day on the Softball and Bocce fields. Both athletes and volunteers had a terrific time. Pillar continues to cultivate their partnership with Special Olympics and looks forward to future events.

To learn more about Special Olympics of Texas and how you can get involved, please visit www.specialolympicstexas.org.



Homewood Suites and Comfort Suites team up with Rochester Hotel Association annual golf tournament to raise money for Scholarships

Homewood Suites & Comfort Suites Rochester Tee Off for Education

Rochester, NY (August 16, 2013) - Management and staff from Homewood Suites and Comfort Suites Rochester participated in the Rochester Hotel Association annual golf tournament on August 16, helping to raise scholarship funds for students at Rochester Institute of Technology and Monroe Community College.



Pillar Hotels & Resorts Nominated "Charitable Organization of the Year"

Pillar Hotels & Resorts nominated Charitable Organization of the year by Special Olympics of TexasIrving, TX (August 2013) - Pillar Hotels and Resorts is pleased to be recognized as a nominee for Special Olympics of Texas' Charitable Organization of the Year. Pillar has been a devoted supporter of Special Olympics since the company's inception and will continue to partner for this great cause.

Community events Pillar has participated in include the 2013 Spring Games, Change Wars, and 2012 Softball and Bocce Competition. Pillar is proud to serve Special Olympics' athletes and involve our employees in events that benefit the organization.

Special Olympics Texas and Pillar Hotels & ResortsFor more information on how you can get involved, please visit SpecialOlympicsTexas.org.

About Special Olympics Texas

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 44,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Engage with SOTX: Like "SpecialOlympicsTX" on Facebook, follow @SOTexas on Twitter, and connect on YouTube: Youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.



Residence Inn SalemResidence Inn Fights Local Hunger

Salem, OR (August 7, 2013) - Representatives from Residence Inn by Marriott Salem delivered $500 to Marion-Polk Food Share to support local hunger-relief efforts. Posing with the "big check" are, from left: Lindsay Adamson, MPFS food drive coordinator; and Residence Inn staff, Kaitlyn Winokur, Alisha Leonard, Michael Spoerhase, Vanessa Hernandez and Christina Kelley. The funds were raised through cash donations, cake pop sales and special incentives made to frequentResidence Inn Salem hotel guests. This is the third year Residence Inn has held a food/funds drive to benefit MPFS.

About Marion-Polk Food Share

Marion-Polk Food Share is the regional food bank serving Marion and Polk counties through a network of nearly 100 hunger-relief partners. Since 1987, MPFS has been "leading the fight to end hunger...because no one should be hungry." As the second largest of 20 regional food banks in the Oregon Food Bank Network, MPFS collects and distributes nutritional foods to food pantries, meal sites, foster homes, low-income day care centers, shelters, and senior housing sites. In addition to providing emergency food, MPFS is engaged in initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of hunger. The non-profit's Community Gardens, Community Kitchen and Women's Work programs seek to build self-sufficiency skills. Women Ending Hunger, an MPFS auxiliary, serves to raise public awareness about local hunger. To learn more, visit MarionPolkFoodShare.org.



Hyatt Place Miami Airport WestHyatt Place Miami West
Guests Sing Praises of the Hyatt Place Miami Airport West Team

Miami, FL (Summer 2013) - The Hyatt Place Miami hosted a group of 50 singers on their way to perform a concert at a local venue. On the morning of their departure, the group's leader approached the general manager and raved about the exceptional service they received during their stay. He went on to ask if they could show their gratitude by performing a traditional African song for the Hyatt Place staff and guests.

All 50 singers came to the lobby at breakfast and serenaded the team and guests with a wonderful song. "With the acoustics in my small lobby, it felt like the whole building was shaking for a few minutes with their amazing voices," said the General Manager. The team members and guests were so amazed by the talent of the singers; some guests even cried.

Hyatt Place Miami team members embody the spirit of hospitality, moving guests to literally song and entertain their fellow guests. Thank you to the Hyatt Place Miami team for exceeding guests' expectations!



Las Vegas Residence InnLas Vegas Residence Inn
An INNspiring Story at Residence Inn Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV (July 2013) - The Residence Inn Las Vegas recently submitted the following story to be featured on the Residence Inn's We Are INNspiring DVD, which is distributed to all Residence Inn properties to "share stories about great service and tales of perseverance and determination," Bill Marriott, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board Marriott International, Inc.
"Mr. Melaski just checked out of our hotel after staying 2,029 nights (51/2 years). Rather than being placed in an assisted care facility, Mr. Melaski checked into our hotel in 2007 having no close family or friends. Our Staff became his family and friends; housekeepers would bake for him and breakfast staff would run errands for him. One morning at breakfast he mentioned chest irritations and went back up to his room. A staff member went to check on him and realized there was a problem so he called emergency services. At the hospital, they determined that Mr. Melaski had a minor stroke and on the way to the hospital experienced a heart attack. If it hadn't been for our staff, he may have gone unnoticed in the room for 24 hours. While in the hospital it was noted by hospital staff that his only visitors were members of the hotel team; his true family and friends!"
This heartwarming story was accepted by the review committee and can now be seen on the We Are INNspiring DVD. Pillar Hotels is proud to have dedicated team members that care deeply about their guests and provide a true home away from home. Congratulations to the Residence Inn Las Vegas team!



Residence Inn McAllen Supports Local CommunityJoshua Rodriguez, General Manager, visits Adame Elementary Career Day
Residence Inn McAllen Supports Local Community

McAllen, TX (July 2013) - The Residence Inn McAllen has been quite involved in their community. General Manager, Joshua Rodriguez, recently visited and shared his insight with students at Adame Elementary School participating in Career Day.

Residence Inn McAllen also donated rooms to local families who lost their homes in a tragic fire. Their generous acts were recognized by the local news station!

Bravo to McAllen Residence Inn for their support of the local community.



Pillar Hotels' "The Big HERT" plays with a Big Heart

Competitive Spirit on and off the Field Pays off with League Championship

Irving, TX (June 2013) - What started out as a way to build camaraderie and relieve a little stress has turned in to a winning tradition for the Big HERT (Hotel Employees Really Trying), the Pillar Hotels & Resorts softball team.

"Playing for The Big HERT has definitely been one of my highlights during the past several years. Take a handful of guys, throw together a team and see what happens," says pitcher Chad Martin.

Magic happened in the 2013 Spring season with the Big HERT securing the League Championship. "This is the ninth trophy in five years that the Big HERT has brought home. This shows that our players are just as competitive and team oriented on the field as they are in the office," says outfielder Adam Tripp.

"We have had ups and downs in our league play over the past several years and have won several League Championships. This Spring was especially rewarding as we snuck into the playoffs and rebounded with two victories against teams that we had lost to during the regular season. The result was a total team effort to win the Flower Mound Thursday League Championship," continued Martin.

A big "Congratulations" to the Big HERT from the entire Pillar Hotels & Resorts team!...
The Big Hert League ChampionshipBack row(L to R)-Chris Russell(1B), Chad Martin(P), Brad McKinley(C), Dan Williams(C), Adam Tripp(OF), Bill Braem(2B), Jerry Walker(3B)
Middle Row(L to R)-Oscar Arras(2B), Lance Kobza(OF), Chris Brett(Coach/Utility), Brett Hornick(OF)
Front Row(L to R)-Keith Shorte(SS), Alonzo Alvarez(OF)


Rebuilding Oklahoma City Together

Fairfield Inn OKC and Residence Inn OKC
Irving, TX (June 2013) - On the afternoon of May 20, 2013, a devastating EF5 tornado, with peak winds estimated at 210 miles per hour, struck the city of Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado took the lives of 23 people, injured 377 others, and more than 12,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. Most areas in the path of the fatal storm suffered catastrophic damage and resulted in economic losses that will run into the billions of dollars. The recovery process has only just begun.

Before the physical rebuilding could begin, however, the exceptional staff at Pillar's Fairfield Inn Oklahoma City and the Residence Inn Oklahoma City was there to provide the first step in healing for many. Working to accommodate devastated and homeless guests in a building without water, they sought out local resources and were able to provide not simply the essentials of diapers, baby formula, and clothing but comfort for the victims with donations of toys. Donations that brought tears of relief for all. Fairfield Inn General Manager Larry Salazar recounted, "A mother came down to the desk and told me that her 2 year old daughter was scared by the red light on the smoke alarm all day because she thought it was an alarm for another tornado. They couldn't get her to stop looking at it and she'd been upset all day. When her grandmother walked in with a donated purple teddy bear, her face lit up and for first time all day, she was happy and able to play. They were so grateful that their daughter was able to forget what had happened if even for a moment."

"Every one of the staff at the Fairfield Inn and Residence Inn had done everything they could to help make a difference...allowing the families and rescue workers to go on with what they needed to do. This is a terrible thing that has happened and I am so grateful that we are able to make a difference in the lives of these families that stayed with us."

With gratitude and pride Pillar would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all for their thoughtful service in the time of need.


 
Pillar Employee honored with Hoosier Hospitality AwardLieutenant Governor Sue Ellpermann with Josh Yocum
Pillar Employee Honored with Hoosier Hospitality Award


Irving, TX (May 2013) -Josh Yocum, Front Desk Supervisor at Comfort Inn in Kokomo, Indiana received the 2013 Lieutenant Governor's Hoosier Hospitality Award on Wednesday, May 8th. "Josh's excellent service and dedication to ensuring customers are pleased with their experience in Kokomo made him an easy choice for this award," said Indiana State Representative Mike Karickhoff. "We need more people like him to show visiting Hoosiers and tourists what Kokomo has to offer."

Rep. Karickhoff along with Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellpermann and Indiana Office of Tourism Development Executive Director Mark Newman recognized top performers in the state's hospitality industry in the ceremony in Indianapolis. Twenty representatives of the tourism industry earned the 2013 Lieutenant Governor's Hoosier Hospitality Award for their high level of service in tourism-related jobs at hotels, restaurants, attractions and other destinations. The award ceremony was part of Visit Indiana Week, the official kickoff of the spring and summer travel season.



Team Pillar Shines at Komen Sacramento Valley Race for the Cure

Komen Sacramento Valley Race for the Cure
Irving, TX (May 2013) - Pillar associates from the Folsom, California area recently took part in the Komen Sacramento Valley Race for the Cure. Team Captain, Amy Del-Rosario Bechler, GM, Folsom Courtyard, led her team of 16 through a successful fundraising effort and the race event, raising an impressive $2,311 along the way. A last minute flurry of donations from hotel guests and Pillar employees helped the team surpass their original goal of $2,000. The Komen Race for the Cure is the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, with well over one million participants since 2005. The team participated in celebration of Maxine Dee, Regional Director of Operations, and in memory of Rosalie Montallana. Team Pillar would like to say "Thank you to everyone for their support in the Komen Sacramento Valley Race for the Cure. Your generous donations and commitment to the fight against breast cancer will enable the Sacramento Valley Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to fund vital research, outreach and awareness programs here in our community". For information, visit Komen Sacramento Valley Race for the Cure.

Pictured at left are: Liliana Mejia, Cecilia Mejia, Rhiannan Hamblin, Devon Lucas (Katherine's Son) Marites Hunt, Kristen Beeman (Maria's Daughter), Maria Taul, Kathy (Katherine's Friend), Sofia Bechler, (Amy's daughter), Team Captain Amy Bechler and Emelia Matias
Susan G. Komen race for the cure




Pillar Empolyees Earn Shining Star Awards

Pillar Employees Earn Shining Star Awards
Irving, TX (May 2013) - VISITHATTIESBURG recently held the annual Tourism Partners luncheon at the Historic Train Depot in downtown Hattiesburg, MS. Highlighting the luncheon was the presentation of Shining Star awards to 17 of Hattiesburg's greatest assets - employees within the local tourism industry. Created to applaud those who excel at providing Hattiesburg's hallmark hospitality to visitors, the Shining Star awards were presented by Mayor Johnny DuPree.

Pillar Hotels & Resorts was well represented by the attendees and Shining Star award winners pictured at right (from the left): Parker Harvey, Assistant General Manager, Hampton Inn; Frank James, General Manager, Hampton Inn; Maggie Brawders, Shining Star recipient, Hampton Inn; Rynal Grant, Shining Star recipient-Hampton Inn; Mayor Johnnie Dupree, Mayor of Hattiesburg (back row); Yacannia Ray, Shining Star recipient, Hampton Inn; Cindy Warren, Sales Manager, Hampton Inn; Esther Longoria, Shining Star recipient, Fairfield Inn and Suites; Regina Walters, Shining Star recipient, Fairfield Inn and Suites; Beth Ballard, General Manager, Fairfield Inn and Suites. Congratulations to all!



Pillar Volunteers for the 2013 Special Olympics Spring Games

PHR volunteer, Lance Kobza, passing out medals at the Special Olympics' Spring Games. Pillar Hotels & Resorts' volunteer, Lance Kobza, passing out medals at the Special Olympics' Spring Games.
Arlington, TX (April 2013) - An enthusiastic and dedicated group of over 50 Pillar employees and their families generously volunteered to support Special Olympics athletes on Saturday April 20, 2013. Arlington's UTA Stadium hosted the two day event for the greater Fort Worth Area Special Olympics' Spring Games, featuring approximately 1,400 inspired athletes whose lives would be forever changed through the power of sport and community.

With an early morning start, Pillar employees eagerly provided the first volunteer shifts, assisting athletes and cheering them on as they participated in variuos competitions. In the spirit of giving and teamwork, Pillar volunteers continued throughout the day with the Softball Competition and wrapped up the day's empowering events with medal awards for the athletes. Undoubtedly, a rewarding experience for athletes and volunteers alike, we would proudly like to recognize the following Pillar volunteers: Leticia Marquez, Maria Jackson and family, Liz Uber and
Pillar volunteers at the Special Olympics' Spring Games 2013Pillar volunteers at the Special Olympics' Spring Games 2013
family, Lindzey Smith, Alan Krzesinski, Tony Battelle, Stephen Klassen, Scott Lindeman, Michelle Hutchinson, Amy Zandt and family, Adam Tripp and family, Ralph McCann, Giselle Kuykendall and family, Jolynda Ward and family, Jason Sicore, Katie Boone, John Houghton and family, Anita Evans and family, Angie Barrera and family, Chris Russell, Melissa Rickerd, Jessica Gall, Peri Weaks and family, Lance Kobza and family, Stephanie McClure and family, Corey Thacker.

Pillar Hotels & Resorts began their involvement with Special Olympics of Texas in 2010 and have since sincerely dedicated their community support to making a difference within this organization through volunteer efforts and direct donations. In addition to their hands-on service, Pillar Hotels has committed to continuously donating funds for all levels of competition for the Special Olympics of Texas. Together, the Special Olympics' Greater Dallas and Greater Fort Worth events serve more than 9,800 child and adult athletes. This year, Pillar Hotels is honored to have been recognized as a Circle of Champions Sponsor for the Special Olympics' of Texas at the Spring Games and the upcoming Summer Games.

The 2013 Summer Games will be held May 23-26 in Arlington, TX. It is the largest annual Special Olympics Texas state competition, embracing 3,000 athletes, 750 coaches, and 3,750 volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for Special Olympics Texas, please take a moment to review the information on their website. You may also contact them at 512.835.9873 or 800.876.JOIN (5646) or info@sotx.org.



Hyatt Place Columbus Supports Local Charity

Doodle by James wood"Doodle" by James Wood, Illustrated by Michele Quinn
Ashley and Matthew
Columbus, OH (April 30, 2013) - The Hyatt Place Columbus is reaching out to the local and national community to raise awareness and support of a local charity, Ashley's Army. Ashley's Army was created to assist a young girl in the community battling Aplastic Anemia, a rare form of blood cancer which causes the bone marrow to stop making enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets for the body. Ashley will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant in the very near future as her brave little brother, Matthew, is an excellent match.

To support the fundraising efforts, a local writer and illustrator team, James Wood and Michele Quinn, has authored a book entitled "Doodle," a spiritual children's book of rhyming poetry. Wood and Quinn's proceeds from book sales will go to Ashley's Army.

The Hyatt Place Columbus has donated several gift certificates for auction, are helping to raise awareness of the charity and employees have purchased the "Doodle" book. "Doodle" is available for purchase on CreateSpace, an independent publisher of Amazon, for $7. Wood and Quinn's share of the profit on CreateSpace is $1.95, which they donate to Ashley's Army for sales made through May 18, 2013. For information, visit doodledogbooks.com. Direct donations can also be made to Ashley's Army via Fundrazr.com.



Homewood Suites Lewisville delivers Lewis the Duck books to First Graders

Homewood Suites Lewisville Lewis the DuckLewis the Duck with Beverly Brantley and First Graders
Irving, TX (April 2013) - Homewood Suites Lewisville, TX associates Volkan Tekinkoc, General Manager, Beverly Brantley, Director of Sales, and Erica Barnes, Assistant General Manager, visited the first grade classes at College Street Elementary in Lewisville, TX on April 18th as part of the Homewood Suites "Books for Kids" program. The children were introduced to the Homewood Suites mascot, Lewis the Duck, and then enjoyed a reading from "Lewis Lends a Helping Wing". After the reading, each child was surprised with a gift of their own Lewis the Duck book.

The "Books for Kids" program reaches out to underprivileged schools in our communities and provides Lewis the Duck books to the children who participate. Homewood Suites is a sponsor of the "Books for Kids Foundation" which promotes reading by donating books and establishing libraries.  




 

Deptford Hosts Fundraiser for Relay for Life

Relay for Life LuncheonRe-Lei Luau Luncheon and Fundraiser
Rowan University Relay for Life EventIrving, TX (April 2013) - Fairfield Inn and Residence Inn Deptford, NJ joined forces to raise an amazing $1906 for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in March.

The Re-Lei Luau Luncheon, held March 27th, featured a raffle-style auction, with ticket sales generating a portion of the total donations. The team partnered with a local bakery, Tis So Sweet, who donated 50% of sale proceeds to the fundraising event. Ashley Constable, Regional Director of Sales, also donated 100% of commissions for her Premier Jewelry line sales at the event.
Deptford Fairfeild Inn and Residence Inn Relay for Life fundraiserPillar Relay for Life fundraisers: (from left) Ashley Constable, Latasha Perry, Anna Puglia, Jazmin Jones, Kellie Nice,and Brian Nocella.
A Kindle Fire, donated by Miles Technology, was raffled boosting the fundraising total. In addition to the luncheon, the team partnered with SJ Winery to offer a wine tour with a portion of ticket sales donated to the Deptford Relay for Life team. The properties also offered additional Marriott Rewards points to guests who made donations and accepted donations from other Pillar employees and corporate accounts.

The successful fundraising effort was capped off at the Relay for Life event held at Rowan University on April 12th-13th. Pillar Hotels & Resorts is committed to raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and applauds the Deptford Fairfield Inn and Residence Inn team for their generosity and efforts.





Country Inn & Suites Columbus Airport Celebrates Earth Day
Country Inn & Suites Columbus Airport Celebrates Earth Day

Irving, TX (April 2013) - Christina Kruse-Krupa, General Manager, Country Inn & Suites Columbus Airport shared how her staff celebrated Earth Day 2013. The team showed their dedication and support for Earth Day by signing a pledge poster displayed in the hotel lobby. The signatures represented the staff's goal to take action to lower their carbon footprint by taking measures such as purchasing recycled office supplies (toner, paper, etc.) and recycling cardboard boxes received during deliveries. The Earth Day celebration display also included a hand-painted flower pot filled with vegetable and plant seed packets for hotel guests to take home and plant with their family.




Pillar Hotels Join Forces to Help Second Harvest

Pillar Hotels and Resorts employeesNashville and Franklin TN and Hopkinsville KY volunteers
Irving, TX (April 2013) - The Fairfield Inn & Suites Nashville, Hampton Inn & Suites Franklin, Hyatt Place Franklin/Cool Springs, and Fairfield Inn & Suites Hopkinsville, KY hotels volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Drive in Nashville on Friday, April 12th. It was a perfect day for the volunteers to help sort food for the food bank. The team worked in a cooler than average temperature of 37 degrees for half a day and sorted through 10 pallets of food helping with 9,741 family meals. The staff had a lot of fun, and all agreed that they would want to do this again. Thanks goes to everyone involved.

Pictured at left are: (left to right) Tiffany Logsdon, Fairfield Inn Hopkinsville; Teresa MacLachlan SMERFE, Sales Manager, Franklin; Deanna Sphaler, GM, Fairfield Inn Hopkinsville; Gina Brooks, AGM, Hyatt Place Franklin; Tiffany Lewis, DOS, Hyatt and Hampton Franklin TN; Nathan Henry, Areas DOS; Jeff Glover, GM, Hampton Franklin; Jenn Haman, Sales Coordinator, Hampton Franklin; Amanda Sharp, Sales Manager, Fairfield Inn Nashville and Hopkinsville; Karla Baker, Front Office Supervisor, Fairfield Inn Hopkinsville; Stephanie Michaels, GM, Hyatt Place Franklin; and Brittany Tucker, AGM, Fairfield Inn Gulfport helping the Nashville Fairfield Inn team.

Pillar Hotel & Resort employees volunteeringA cool day in Nashville didn't slow this volunteer team one bit!




 
Generosity Abounds Through Pillar Employees

Irving, TX (April 2013) - The tax season might make a person feel like they couldn't possibly give any more, but that didn't stop our properties from continuing to be charitable! We would like to recognize the following properties for their community efforts:

SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids Puts on the PinkExperience Pink participants (left to right): Back Row: Courtney Page - Front Desk Supervisor; Dan Hunt - AGM; Brittany Scott - Room Attendant; Rachel Crowther - GM; Dorren Moreno - Room Attnedant; Whitney Regis - Room Attnedant; Front Row: Alicia Aguillon - Executive Housekeeper; Jenn Helder - Room Attendant
February was a generous month at the SpringHill Suites in Grand Rapids, MI. The staff participated in several charitable causes supporting both Breast Cancer Awareness and the "Ronald McDonald House".
SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids Ronald McDonaldRonald McDonald House participants (left to right): Dan Hunt - AGM; Cara Burzynski - Front Desk; Roy Hill - Chief Engineer; Megan Loew - Sales Coordinator



The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children by focusing on the critical needs of the children and their families. Ronald McDonald House Charities has been helping improve the lives of children and their families for 38 years.

Additionally in February, employees at the hotel bought pink uniforms and made donations in order to wear them throughout the month of February.
SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids Polar PlungeSarah Henderson, Front Desk supervisor, Anthony Truhe, Sales Manager, Scott Ringham, GM, and Judy Kirtley-Page, Bistro Attendant, fed the Polar Plungers!
By "thinking pink" the staff was able to raise $200 for Breast Cancer Awareness!


Employees at the Topeka, Kansas Courtyard volunteered to help feed the brave souls that took the "Polar Plunge"' diving into icy waters in February and then running a 5K! The Polar Plunge is an annual event held in seven Kansas locations and has become the largest and most popular fundraising event for Special Olympics Kansas. Nature smiled on this year's event with mild temperatures, helping the event raise over $24,000 to benefit Special Olympics.

Chris Nicholas Visits Courtyard BeaumontCyclist Chris Nicholas with Nathan Anderson, General Manager, Courtyard Beaumont
The Beaumont, Texas Courtyard was pleased to have Chris Nicholas, an advocate of the "Wounded Warrior Project", as their guest in mid-February.

Wounded Warrior Project® serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury - from the physical to the invisible wounds of war. Chris is trekking across the United States on his bicycle to raise money for this cause! Nicholas reached Beaumont 120 days after he began cycling from Portland, Maine on his 6,000 mile quest to reach Portland, Oregon.





Hampton Inn Oceanfront Jacksonville Beach Grants a Wish

Hampton Inn Jacksonville teams up with Experience GenieElisabeth Bowen and son Jayden
Hampton Inn Jacksonville pool and guest roomHampton Inn Oceanfront Jacksonville
Irving, TX (April 2013) - The Experience Genie teamed up with several Jacksonville, FL businesses including our own Hampton Inn Oceanfront Jacksonville Beach, to offer terminal cancer patient Elisabeth Bowen and her 4 year old son Jayden a week of unforgettable experiences. The Experience Genie's mission is to offer a few days of fun away from hospitals and doctors for terminally ill patients.

Elisabeth was not given very good odds from the beginning but her determination and love for her son, as well as the rest of the family, has kept her from giving up. She is definitely not a quitter! When contacted by the Experience Genie, Donna Lilly, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Hampton Inn did not hesitate to offer four nights at the beautifully renovated & newly reopened hotel. She teamed up with several other amazing community partners in an effort to change a life, if even for a short while, with a week of granted wishes. For Elisabeth, the week of March 4, 2013 included racing cars, meeting celebrities, and everything in between...all while staying and dining at the Hampton Inn Oceanfront Jacksonville Beach.





Lisa Malago Wins Athena Leadership Award

Pillar's Lisa Malago Athena Leadership AwardLisa Malago honored with Athena Leadership Award
Irving, TX (April 10, 2013) - Congratulations to Lisa Malago, one of our Regional Revenue Analysts who was honored by her local community on February 26, 2013 by winning the ATHENA Leadership Award! The ATHENA Award is an International Award inspired by the goddess of Greek Mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment.

The Athena Award is presented to the woman or man who is honored for professional excellence, community service and assisting women in their accomplishment of professional superiority and leadership skills.

Lisa was recognized for her leadership efforts in the community including the following: Volunteer Manager for Special Olympics Pennsylvania - Fayette County for 15 year, Current President of Connellsville Business and Professional Women's Club at the local level, Second Assistant District Director for District 12 Pennsylvania Business and Professional Women's Club, Scrapbook Chair at the State level for Pennsylvania Business and Professional Women's Club service, Board Member for the Fayette County Chamber of Business and Industry, Board member for Soroptimist International of Fayette County, Coordinator and promoter for local scrapbooking club held at the local Carnegie Free Library to promote usage of and to financially benefit said library, and Member of the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority Festivals Promotion Committee.

Since the program started in 1982, nearly 6,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have been recognized by receiving the prestigious ATHENA Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, Unite Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Thank you, Lisa for supporting and inspiring others to achieve excellence!



Pillar Hotels & Resorts Change Wars - Making Cents for Special Olympics Texas

Pillar Change Wars 2013 Benefiting Special OlympicsIrving, TX (March 27, 2012) - In a friendly and highly spirited Change Wars competition benefiting Special Olympics Texas, Pillar Hotels & Resorts employee teams proved to be hungry for battle!

Pillars' corporate employees drew their battle lines carefully and divided into four teams: Making a Change for Special Olympics, the Change Gang, Mustache Your Cash, and Revenue. Rules of engagement declared each team collect as much change (pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters) as possible during the week-long campaign while simultaneously sabotaging the other teams with paper money donations. Pillar Circle of Champions Donor 2013Strategy was critical as transparent change collection boxes allowed all team members to gauge the opposing teams' position at all times.

Following a week of calculating assault, team Revenue was victorious in the end with a $2,331.67 collected total. However, even the losing teams proved to be champions with Making a Change for Pillar Change WarsSpecial Olympics raising $178.29, the Change Gang $341.89 and Mustache your Cash $1,716.96! Pillar employees also contributed $2,631 in paper "sabatoge" money for a grand total of $7,200 raised.

This cash, paired with generous donations from Simplex and Nestle, as well as vendor contributions from All Things Hospitality, Travel Click, Valet Interactive, CVent, and Emax, allowed Pillar to become a Circle of Champions sponsor for the spring and summer Special Olympics Games at the $25,000 level! Congratulations Pillar Hotels & Resorts and Special Olympics on a victorious contribution where truly everyone is a winner!Mustache Your Cash
About Special Olympics Texas1:

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 44,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas

1About SOTX. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012.


Fairfield Inn & Suites Associates Rally to Build Homes

Pillar's Jackson Fairfield Inn & Suites Teams Up with Habitat for HumanityPillar's Jackson Fairfield Inn & Suites Teams Up with Habitat for Humanity
Irving, TX (March 2013) - This past fall, more than 1,250 Fairfield Inn & Suites associates across the U.S. and Canada went out into their local communities and built homes for those in need. All 52 Pillar Hotels and Resort Fairfield Inn properties participated; they rolled up their sleeves and joined to help build more than 75 homes in 40 states nationwide.
LaChanze Culpepper, Michael England, Cyreio GreeneLeft to Right: LaChanze Culpepper, Michael England, and Cyreio Greene


Shruti Buckley, Vice President or Fairfield Inn & Suites, Marriott International, Inc. said, "With the help of individual properties and associates like these, we are able to extend the hospitality and service we're known for into our local communities to provide these families with a brighter future."

Hats off to our Jackson Mississippi Fairfield Inn & Suites, whose employees built a house in Jackson Mississippi for a family in need. These volunteers displayed dedication to the community and helped to support Habitat for Humanity; an organization that provides decent, affordable housing for families.

In addition to building homes, Pillar Fairfield Employees donated materials, food and their time to support Habit for Humanity. It is wonderful to see the time and effort that all of the Fairfield properties put into volunteering. Their work will continue to have a positive impact on the community.



Pillar Employees Are Always Ready to Lend a Hand

Irving, TX (March 2013) - As one of our pillars of strength, Community is very important. Pillar Employees all over the country have volunteered to lend a hand to organizations and people in need. From Topeka to Boston, everyone seems to have a big heart and is ready to step up and help.

Esther Silverman and Daniel Howard, Boston Homewood SuitesEsther Silverman and Daniel Howard, Boston Homewood Suites
Chelsea Kroll and David Weston, Homewood Suites Corpus ChristiChelsea Kroll and David Weston, Homewood Suites Corpus Christi
Team Members and guests from the Boston Homewood Suites delivered food to their local food shelter, Haven From Hunger, which supplies food to approximately 200 people per week.

The Homewood Suites Corpus Christi's Chelsea Kroll, Director of Sales, and David Weston, General Manager volunteered to read to a group of children at Head Start.


Sedona Hampton InnSedona Hampton Inn Team Members
Employees of the Sedona Hampton Inn participated in the annual Mitzvah "Good Deed" Day, volunteering various services from lawn care for the elderly to making blankets for children at a local shelter.


Topeka Courtyard Volunteers at Harvesters Food Bank
Staff at the Topeka Courtyard and other volunteers assisted Harvesters Food Bank by packaging over 1000 boxes of food for underprivileged families.
Volunteers (Left to right) Kyle Tullis- fellow volunteer; Sarah Henderson, Bonnie Zentz, Anthony Truhe, Scott Ringham, and Jasper Ringham

Davenport Country Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, and Moline Fairfield Inn all worked together to collect food and money for the Quad City Food Bank. Together, they provided one and a half tons of food and $400 cash.

Food drive Pillar Hotels and Resorts



Hampton Inn Meadowlands - Fighting Hunger and Serving the Community

The Hampton Inn Meadowlands Teams Up With Jersey CaresTeam members from the Hampton Inn Meadowlands
Irving, TX (November 25, 2012) - Teaming up with the organization Jersey Cares, the Hampton Inn Meadowlands is a taking an active role in making sure that their community is well taken care of. Inspired by their sales director, Celeste Smiley, who has been involved with Jersey Cares for over a year, the staff decided that it would be a great idea to get everyone involved and have since committed to participating in three different area events throughout the month of November. According to Uriel Baker, the Hampton Inn's Assistant GM, "this is a great way to continue building the already great rapport we have with our team, while assisting with a much needed and appreciated cause – volunteering in our community."

Throughout the month they will divide into teams and shuttle volunteers from their hotel staff to participate on two separate occasions with Hunger Helpers, a program whose goal is to feed men, women, and children who are living in poverty. Their efforts will help between 300 and 500 individuals within the area who otherwise would have gone hungry. In addition to their work with Hunger Helpers, the hotel staff will also be volunteering at an event in Liberty State Park where they will assist with cleaning the park grounds and planting flowers within the park's gardens.

Stacie Mcdonald, the RDO for Hampton Inn Meadowlands, is proud of the work her team will be involved in: "It is extremely humbling to see how this team has pulled together and embraced not only Community, but Teamwork! Every action they approach they do so united as a team and there is nothing more refreshing as a leader than to see their efforts in action!"

Pillar Hotels & Resorts would like to thank everyone at Hampton Inn Meadowlands for taking the time to volunteer and helping us realize our commitment to Community!



Fairfield Inns Lend a Helping Hand

Fairfield Inn Philadelphia employeesFairfield Inn Philadelphia, PA volunteers
Irving, TX - (November 23, 2012) Four Pillar managed Fairfield Inns participated in Marriott's 3rd Annual "Rally To Serve" Service initiative. Each of the four Fairfield's partnered with Habitat for Humanity to make a difference in their community.

The Fairfield Inn in Tulsa team insulated a three bedroom house, installed roof intake vents, and hung cabinet mounts.

The Fairfield Inn Vacaville team restored a house that was built in 1906. The Vacaville team framed doorways throughout the house, solidified the structure of the front porch, and installed a wheelchair ramp for the home-owner.

The Fairfield Inn Las Vegas team lent a helping hand by cutting and installing wood for the roof and framing of the garage door. The team also plastered areas where open wires were exposed.

The Fairfield Inn Philadelphia team volunteered at Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which sells new, used, or leftover building materials. The store also sells furniture and décor. The team contributed by stocking, cleaning, and pricing items, while also assisting customers as they entered the warehouse to make their donations.

Thank you to the Pillar employees who took the time to volunteer. Your dedication and hard work is always appreciated.

Pillar Hotels & Resorts Fairfield Inn Lend a Helping Hand

Pillar Hotels & Resorts Volunteers for the 2012 Annual Special Olympics' Softball and Bocce Competition

Carrollton, TX - (September 22, 2012) Pillar Hotels began their involvement with Special Olympics Texas in 2010 at the annual Softball and Bocce Competition. Two years later the companies' dedication to serve Special Olympics' athletes has never been stronger.

The 2012 Special Olympics' Softball and Bocce Competition was held at Oran Good Park on September 22nd, and 50 Pillar volunteers traveled to the park to cook and serve hot dogs, chips, and drinks to competitors, coaches, volunteers, and families. "It is a great honor to be involved with the Special Olympics," said Melissa Rickerd, Employee Services Coordinator from Pillar Hotels & Resorts.

In addition to bringing lunch, Pillar employees actively participated in supporting athletes by partaking in the numerous activities. Activities included, softball skills training, score keeping for the bocce and softball competitions, and presenting awards to athletes.

Alice Brimelow, Development Director of Events at Special Olympics' Texas stated, "Pillar Hotels & Resorts' associates generously donated much of their Saturday to provide lunch. They are some of the most wonderful people in Texas. The participants were tremendously benefited by their generosity and sense of giving and respect for each person served."

A special thanks to all of the Pillar employees who participated at this event. If you would like to partner with Special Olympics Texas, please visit www.specialolympicstexas.org.



About Special Olympics Texas1:

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 44,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas

1About SOTX. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012.


Baseball team photo Pillar Hotels and ResortsPillar Hotels & Resorts: Softball - The Big HERT Challenges the Lewisville Tidal Waves

Carrollton, TX - (September 8, 2012) On September 8, 2012, Pillar's softball team, the Big HERT, took to the field to play the Special Olympic State Champion Lewisville Tidal Waves. The hour long game was a pre-season warm up for the Tidal Waves who were preparing for their competitive softball tournament on September 29th.

The Tidal Waves' talent was undeniable as they earned the 11-8 victory over the Big HERT. Afterwards, both teams re-energized with boxed sandwiches, chips, and cold drinks provided by Pillar Hotels & Resorts.

Baseball team photo Pillar Hotels and Resorts"Playing against the Lewisville Tidal Waves was a great experience," said Big HERT teammate Dan Williams. "We were honored to be the team who helped them prepare for their upcoming season and the competition on the 29th."

"We played our best, but the Tidal Waves played better," said Big HERT coach Chris Russell. "We're looking forward to a rematch after the Tidal Waves complete the season."

Special thanks to the team members and coaches of the Lewisville Tidal Waves and The Big HERT. Pillar Hotels & Resorts wishes the Tidal Waves the best of luck as they compete to defend their title as State Champions.

Texas Special OlympicsAbout Special Olympics Texas1:

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 44,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas

1About SOTX. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. .


Pillar Participates in the Special Olympics of Texas Jimmy Mac Invitational Golf Tournament

Pillar Hotels golf teamTeam 2 - Left to right: Mike Uber, Dan Williams, Lance Kobza, and Chris Russell
Frisco, TX - (August 20, 2012) Two Pillar teams took to the tee box for the Special Olympics' Texas (SOTX) 4th annual Jimmy Mac Golf Tournament on August 20, 2012.

The tournament was held at Stonebriar Country Club on their two world renowned 18-hole golf courses. Over 180 golfers attended the 4-person scramble tournament. Ten Special Olympics' athletes, who take part in the year round sports training and competitions provided by SOTX, participated in the tournament. Other Special Olympics' athletes volunteered to meet golfers at the tee boxes and throughout the country club as well. The tournament raised $72,000, and all proceeds went to support Special Olympics Texas athletes.

Texas Jimmy Mac Invitational Golf TournamentTeam 1 - Back row: Arne Hoeppner and Arjun Demla Front row: Chris Duke and Edward Chang
Many companies donated gifts for the silent auction and participated in supporting this event for Special Olympics Texas. Breakfast was provided by Chik-fil-A, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and Carl's Jr. Cloud Nation analyzed the golfer's swings and provided helpful tips for improving, and Ultra Clean Clubs cleaned the golfer's clubs after they completed the course. Additionally, each participant had the opportunity to enjoy the Long Drive Show with Brian Pavlet.

Thanks to everyone from Pillar that attended the golf tournament: Chris Russell, Lance Kobza, Mike Uber, Dan Williams, Arjun Demla, Arne Hoeppner, Chris Duke, and Edward Chang.

About Special Olympics Texas1:

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 44,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.

An upcoming event for Special Olympics Texas is "Over the Edge," which will take place at the Bank Tower on Oak Cliff in Dallas, TX on November 10, 2012. This unique fund raising event provides for extreme adventure and extreme community impact. Individual participants who raise a minimum of $1,000 will have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of rappelling down the 16 story Bank Tower at Oak Cliff with the assistance of the Dallas SWAT team officer volunteers. Register on-line at www.SOTX.org where you will get your own website to use while raising your fund through contacting your associates, friends and family.

1Jones, Ramonica. "Leap Down Tall Buildings in San Antonio!" Leap Down Tall Buildings in San Antonio! Special Olympics Texas, 1 Sept. 2012. Web. 05 Sept. 2012. http://www.sotx.org/news-events/news/2012/leap-down-tall-buildings-for-2.html.




SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids Wishes Cayden a Happy Birthday

SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids, MI - Cayden's Birthday PartyAssistant General Manager, Dan Hunt, and Cayden high-fiving after opening his gift from Dan.
Grand Rapids, MI - (July 25, 2012) After a devastating fire destroyed the home of a family of four, a mother and her three sons were forced to become temporary residents of the SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids. Once the hotel staff discovered it was the youngest child's birthday, they wouldn't let anything stand in the way of an enthusiastic 5-year-old's celebration. The employees at the Grand Rapids SpringHill Suites devised a plan to bring a special moment to a family who truly needed support.

Monday night a "Toy Story" themed birthday celebration was held with the family and employees of the SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids.

Cayden's Party Favors - SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids, MIToy Story party favors and cupcake tower from General Manager Rachel Crowther.
Rachel Crowther, the General Manager of the SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids, set out to purchase a cupcake tower for the celebration as well as party favor bags for the kids. Balloons and "Toy Story" decorations were bought by front desk employee Cara Burzynski. Assistant General Manager Dan Hunt purchased a remote control car and coloring books as a gift for the birthday boy, and for an additional gift, the hotel purchased coloring books and pool toys for all three children to enjoy.

Marketing executives from a top account were guests at the SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids when they over-heard the story of Cayden and his family. Within one day, they were able to donate three large boxes of toys to the children. The boys excitedly pulled out the toys as the staff of the hotel watched with delight.

Crowther stated, "The most amazing thing was how quickly the staff responded to helping this family. We truly hope they will have a positive memory of this birthday party despite the tragedy surrounding them at the moment."



May 24-27th, 2012 - Special Olympics' Summer Games: Pillar is recognized as a Torchbearer Sponsor

Torchbearer Sponsor Special Olympics Summer GamesArlington, TX - (May 2012) The 2012 greater Dallas area Special Olympics' Summer Games were held at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the surrounding community venues. More than 3,000 Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) athletes from across the state arrived in Arlington for the Summer Games which took place May 24-27th. In addition to the athletes, hundreds of volunteers arrived to assist with the athletic events and to support the contestants as they competed.

A VIP Reception was held May 25 at Maverick Stadium where Pillar Hotels & Resorts was recognized as being a Torchbearer Sponsor. Companies who have given at least $10,000 are honored with this recognition and are "[appreciated for their] continued support and involvement to improve the quality of life for over 44,000 athletes and their families." After the reception, the Opening Ceremonies ensued and athletes displayed their skills as they competed in athletics (track and field), basketball, cycling, gymnastics, soccer and tennis.

Texas Special OlympicsPillar Hotels & Resorts began their volunteer work with Special Olympics Texas in 2010, and in the subsequent years, the commitment to engage employees in the events of SOTX has continued to grow within the Pillar family. Over 50 Pillar employees and their families volunteered Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to aid and encourage athletes while they participated in basketball, tennis, and track. Sharon Hammer, Treasury Manager at Pillar, explained the volunteer experience best. "For those of you who have volunteered with Special Olympics in the past you know what a fulfilling and rewarding experience it is; it is a great way to give your time to a community of dedicated athletes while enjoying a fabulous day with your co-workers and their families."

A special thanks to the following participants: Dale Turner, Melissa Rickerd, Helen Regalado, Leticia Marquez, Ralph McCann, Sharliece Johnson, Scott Lindeman, Adam Untch, Jolynda Ward, Jay Reed, Natasha, Mara Deacon, Alex Lindamood, Ashley Brice, Kavitha Pindi, Sharon Hammer and family, David Altshuler and family, Alisha Trevino and family,Texas Special Olympics Anthony Hernandez and family, Julie Ma and family, Karie Henry and family, Michele Hutchinson and family, Sagar Malvankar and family, Liz Uber and family, Stephanie McClure and family, Scott Warner and family, Adam Tripp and family, Dan Williams and family, Kevin Corprew and family, Anita Evans and family, Chris Russell and family, Valerie Bolton and family.

About Special Olympics Texas

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 44,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.



May 18, 2012 - Pillar Employees Head to the Park

Carrollton, TX - (May 2012) The 2nd Annual Sandy Lake Picnic was hosted at the spacious Sandy Lake Amusement Park in Carrollton, TX. Employees were able to escape the office to relish a day outside and take part in a team-building relay competition. "We chose this park for the impressive outdoor area, and because everyone enjoyed themselves last year. We want to continue this tradition to show our employees how much we appreciate them," said Jolynda Ward, Human Resource Dept. Pillar Hotels and Resorts Company Picnic 2012 Earlier that week, in preparation for the competition, employees were divided into groups and each group was assigned a color. Team members integrated their group color into their wardrobe on the day of the competition to encourage team unity and cohesiveness.

Pillar provided a BBQ buffet under the pavilion, and after their meal, teams created "Spirit Chants" to commence the competition. The Purple Team incorporated the most enthusiasm and originality in their chant, so they were awarded an additional 25 points to their total score.

Following the chants, the relay games began and the competition started to heat up. Groups had to complete the following relay races; a potato sack race, two water balloon competitions, an egg toss, an egg and spoon relay, a hula-hoop relay, "face the cookie," and "take the tissue."

Acting as referees and score-keepers, Pillar's Leadership Team allocated points to the winner of each event, and with a total of 55 points, the Green Team was named the winner for the afternoon.

"I think it's important to see the relaxed and fun-loving personality of your co-workers," said Chris Brett, Strategic Planning Dept. "Events like this allow the departments to intermingle, and that was what this picnic was really about, bringing everyone together to enjoy one another's company outside of the office."

Pillar Hotels and Resorts company picnic - Carollton, Texas



April 28, 2012 - 2012 Special Olympics' Spring Games: Pillar wins Community Leader Award

Chris Russel accepting awardCEO of Pillar Hotels & Resorts, Chris Russell, accepting the "2012 Community Leader/Outreach of the Year Award" at the Special Olympics' Spring Games Opening Ceremony.
Cedar Hill, TX - (April 2012)

The greater Dallas area Special Olympics' Spring Games were held at Cedar Hill High School April 27-28, 2012. The events began Friday evening with nearly 1,000 athletes competing. Many Pillar employees and their families volunteered to support athletes in tennis and track and field on Saturday.

Opening Ceremonies were held on Saturday morning prior to the start of competition where Pillar Hotels & Resorts won the 2012 Community Leader/Outreach of the Year Award. "Pillar is dedicated to serving and volunteering at Special Olympics Texas," said CEO Chris Russell. "It gives our employees and their families a chance to be actively involved, meet the athletes they support, and not be restricted to only donate monetarily. We want to be physically invested and connected with our community."

Special Olympics Texas
Pillar Hotels began their involvement with Special Olympics Texas during the Softball & Bocce Competitions in 2010 by providing and serving lunch to athletes and volunteers. In addition to this service, Pillar Hotels has donated approximately $14,000 to Special Olympics. Cyndi Murchison, a Program Director for SOTX stated, "We are very excited to have the support of Pillar Hotels, we look forward to their continued service with Special Olympics Texas."

Many thanks to the following participants: Jason Sicore, Angie Barrera, Chris Duke, Alma Hamilton, Debbie Hardaway, Giselle and Lance Kuykendall, LeCreshia Phillips, Mona Rigdon, Chris and Carlie Russell, TJ Barron & family, Randal Timms & family.

Summer Games will be held May 25-27 at UT Arlington.

If you are interested in volunteering for Special Olympics Texas, please take a moment to review the information on their website. Contact information is also listed below.

512.835.9873 or 800.876.JOIN (5646)
info@sotx.org

1st Annual Dallas Special Oympics Be a Fan 5k and Fun RunApril 1, 2012 - Pillar Runs the Distance for Special Olympics 5k

Dallas, TX – Twenty-seven Pillar employees and employee family members, eighteen runners and nine volunteers, came together to show their support for the 1st Annual Dallas Special Olympics Be a Fan 5k & Fun Run.

The event took place at Katy Trail Park, and raised money for the local Dallas Special Olympics Chapter. All funds raised go to supporting local area athletes.

Pillar's volunteer services ranged from helping at the registration desk, passing out water, and cheering for the runners.

Pillar Runs the Distance for Special Olympics Pillar is proud to be a Silver Medal Corporate Sponsor of the Special Olympics.

Many Thanks to the following participants: LeCreshia Phillips; Courtney Wright; Sharon Ames; Aixsa Tuya; Christina Tuya; Helen Regalado; Denise Clark; Adam Tripp; Cleopatra Benjamin; David Altshuler; Chris Duke; Joey Hutchinson; Michele Hutchinson; Julia Hutchinson; Elysia Hutchinson; Lance Kobza; Ashley Kobza; Chris Brett; Stephanie Lee; Jolynda Ward; Joanne Schierling; Jay Reed & Family; Tony Battelle & Family



2012 Special Olympics Polar PlungeTeam Brrrrrridal Party from left: Sasha Smith (Friend) Jessica Thoron (Friend) Valerie Cowen (GM Fairfield Inn) Megan McCarthy (GSA Fairfield Inn) and Amelia Juilfs (GSA Fairfield Inn)
March 3, 2012 - Springfield, Missouri

Saturday, March 3, 2012 was a day to remember for the Special Olympics and the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Springfield, IL. Supporters across the country participated in the Polar Plunge 2012 to benefit over 10,000 athletes and raised $1.12 million total for the charity.

General Manager of the Fairfield Inn, Valerie Cowen, along with her team, "The Brrrridal Party", jumped into Lake Springfield in full wedding attire. Despite the 40 degree Fahrenheit water temperatures, the team was determined to benefit this great cause. They proudly raised $570 for their local Springfield, IL Special Olympics chapter. An additional 250 participants were inspired by the event, and jumped into the lake, as well.

The Special Olympics hosts many year-round athletic events for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes are able to participate in the competitions thanks to the generosity of the 20,000 network volunteers. With this year marking the best in a 20-year history, their goal to "open hearts and change minds about people with intellectual disabilities" has been achieved.

Related Articles

Read the State Journal-Register's coverage of the 2012 Polar Plunge

Read more about Special Olympics and Polar Plunge



September 24, 2011 - Special Olympics Softball/Bocce Competition

Our first collaboration with Special Olympics on September 24, 2011 at the Softball/Bocce competition was a complete success. Our volunteers assisted with a variety of tasks from cooking hot dogs to keeping score. Click here to see our team in action and stay tuned for more exciting events.