Fundraiser for ill child surpasses goal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
SALISBURY — When staff at Salisbury’s Holiday Inn announced a fundraiser for Give Kids The World, employees, friends and residents made it a success.
Organizer Suzanne Jones, the hotel’s director of sales, said Saturday’s event exceeded the goal of $1,000 early in the day.
“It’s been very successful,” Jones said.
Outside the hotel, volunteers stood along Jake Alexander Boulevard holding signs.
In the parking lot, staff members washed cars for donations.
Face-painting and an inflatable “bounce house” drew children’s attention.
Inside, staff sold hot dogs and refreshments while visitors shopped for bargains at an indoor yard sale.
All proceeds from the fundraiser benefit Give Kids The World Village, a 70-acre, nonprofit resort in Florida.
Children with life-threatening illnesses and their families go there for week-long vacations at no cost to the child’s family.
Suzanne Casey, who owns Salisbury’s Holiday Inn, said that the chain has a relationship with the charity.
Dave Redden, manager of the hotel, stood inside to greet guests as they arrived.
“This is what it’s about, community,” Redden said.
“Those families will see dreams come true” because of the funds that local residents helped to raise.
Redden also said he was thrilled with how the hotel’s staff had responded.
In addition to their regular work schedules and the duties of running the Holiday Inn on a summer weekend, Redden said, they’d volunteered to help with the fundraiser.
“The employees donated their time today,” he said. Some were scheduled to work their regular shifts Saturday night.
Despite the sweltering heat, executive housekeeper Jennifer Silvia said she was having fun washing cars outside in the parking lot.
She said she pictured the smiles on the faces of the kids the donations would help.
“It feels real good,” said Jessica Cline, a waitress at the hotel.
Cheryl Sperling of Salisbury came to the fundraiser after reading about it in the newspaper.
She said she loves shopping for bargains, and eagerly eyed collectibles at the indoor yard sale.
“Of course, it feels good to help,” Sperling said. “It gives me a good, gleeful feeling.”
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.