More Good News from Philadelphia, Ohio and Las Vegas to Lift Your Spirits

April 20, 2020

To bring a smile to your face during challenging times, read on to learn about event organizations, venues and companies that are setting a positive example of human compassion and charitable giving in-action.

GPHA Launches Hospitality Workers Relief Fund 

The Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association is seeking donations to assist with purchasing gift cards for local grocery stores and pharmacies to distribute to Philadelphia hotel, Pennsylvania Convention Center and Independence Visitor’s Center hourly employees who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. 

The program’s goal is to raise a minimum of $500,000. According to Ed Grose, GPHA’s executive director, the association expects an estimated 5,400 employees will take advantage of this program, which has forged an agreement with ShopRite supermarkets to purchase store gift cards at a 5 percent discount. 

“This program is important because we are letting our front-line employees know that we care and that we are thinking of them,” Grose said. “Without their dedication, Philadelphia would not thrive as a hospitality city.”  

Donate to the GPHA workers relief fund here

Jacoby Expo & Events Making Masks 

face masks

With hospitals nationwide still facing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs), Toledo, Ohio-based Jacoby Expo & Events has been sewing N-95 fabric masks and donating them to local hospitals. According to owner Betsy Jacoby Greenleaf, the company began making masks from donated materials at the end of March and has donated 100 so far to Promedica hospitals in their efforts to fight the shortage.

“[We are] a small outfit; however, we feel that our contributions, even on a small scale, can truly make a difference in this fight against COVID-19,” Greenleaf said. “We have seen vendors and partners in our industry build hospitals inside convention centers – a contribution many of us do not have the resources to match, [but] we all have a talent or resource we can provide to help aid our community, our nation and our world.”

The company has also collaborated with Jupmode, a local T-shirt vendor, in its “Here for Good” project. For every purchase of Jacoby Expo & Event’s Free Virtual Hugs T-shirt, $10 will be donated to a company called Central Scenic, which is raising funds to produce plastic face shields that will be donated to hospitals, testing sites, primary care and skilled nursing home facilities.


Centerplate Continues Food Donation Efforts

At Las Vegas Convention Center, Centerplate recently donated more than 9,000 pounds of prepared food in the wake of canceled or rescheduled shows stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The catering company, which manages 31 permanent retail outlets and numerous mobile retail outlets at the LVCC, donated 500 boxed lunches, 400 sandwiches, 400 salads and 100 food platters to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, which provides shelter and services to homeless men, women and children in Las Vegas. Other donated items included pallets of chips, yogurt parfaits and cartons of milk.

In West Virginia, Centerplate chefs have been using Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center as a staging and distributing area for the Kanawha County Schools to house 12,000 boxed lunches in cooler trucks. It is also using the venue’s main kitchen walk-in to store milk and boxed lunches. 

On April 6, CCCC General Manager Todd Tinney and Executive Chef Todd Jones helped load boxed lunches onto approximately 80 school busses to be delivered to the local students, an effort that will continue each week through April.

Without its usual traffic flow at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, the facility’s Centerplate team, led by sustainability director Molly Crouch, has been busy making sure local children and their families don’t go hungry. 

Produce being grown at the OCCC’s on-site hydroponic gardens is being donated to local 4Rivers Smokehouse barbeque restaurant to help support its Feed the Need Florida initiative. This effort is in partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which works to ensure that students and their families have access to nutritious meals. 

To help provide meals for hungry parents in addition to their kids, 4Rivers is also working with Orange County Public Schools to conduct a parent meal in which OCCC’s fresh produce is being incorporated. In addition, the restaurant has set up a produce pick-up for families on Fridays. 

According to Centerplate officials, the OCCC Centerplate team is donating roughly 350 plants per week to 4Rivers’ main kitchen and will continue these efforts until business is back to normal. 

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