DoubleTree Valley Forge to Hold Fundraiser for Sandy Hook School Community

All proceeds from the beef and beer event will benefit the United Way of Western Connecticut Sandy Hook School Fund.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia-Valley Forge, located at 301 W. DeKalb Pike in King of Prussia, will host a Sandy Hook Beef and Beer Benefit on Jan. 23.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., with 100-percent of the proceeds benefiting the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

“When Sandy Hook happened, we wanted to go above and beyond,” Jenn Shipman, senior sales manager at DoubleTree Valley Forge, said. “This event touched everybody.”

Shipman said that DoubleTree employees participate in a corporate community service initiative called the CARE (Creating A Rewarding Experience) program. In the past, DoubleTree Valley Forge employees, as well as clients, have volunteered at local organizations, such as Laurel House, Philabundence, and at local schools.

According to Shipman, in the week following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy, which took place in December of last year, she suggested to the CARE committee that support should be given to the school community in Newtown, Conn.

Shipman said that several employees have direct connection to the community, either having friends or relatives from the area or having attended the elementary school itself. She also noted how visiting guests of the hotel were effected.

The DoubleTree Valley Forge CARE committee came up with a beef and beer event, to take place in the hotel’s grand ballroom. In terms of CARE programs, Shipman said that DoubleTree Valley Forge CARE participants have not volunteered in a project as involved as the planned beef and beer event.


The Sandy Hook Beef and Beer Benefit

The Jan. 23 event will include selections from nearby restaurants, as well as several entertaining activities, such as a dancing and music and a complimentary photo booth. Arts and crafts and other activities for children will also be available, and children 12 and under are admitted for free.

The event will also include a silent auction, featuring such prizes as:

  • King of Prussia Mall gift bag
  • Donated stays at Double Tree hotels throughout the world
  • A Valley Forge Visitors Bureau picnic basket
  • A wine and cheese basket from the Laser Spine Institute

Shipman said, all proceeds from the beef and beer will directly benefit the Newtown community through the United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) Sandy Hook School Support Fund.


The Sandy Hook School Support Fund

According to a recent UWWC press release, the Sandy Hook School Support Fund is a charitable fund established jointly by UWWC and Newtown Savings Bank to support the Newtown community.

By Jan. 3, the support fund had received over $6-million. In a Jan. 17 release, the UWWC reported that the fund now has more than $8-million from donations.

“It’s heartening and humbling to see this support,” Isabel Almeida, UWWC executive vice president of Workplace Development and Marketing, said.

According to Almeida, the UWWC has not campaigned for donations or support for the Newtown community. Instead, there has been an outpouring of such unsolicited support from United Way organizations, as well as individual and private businesses, from across the country and internationally.

She said that donations have come in the from students sending in their change to larger corporations, such as the DoubleTree, sending in thousands of dollars. She added that UWWC normally raises an approximate $3.5-million in donations for its various community initiatives and programs each year.

“It really makes us feel embraced by the whole world,” Almeida said.

According to the UWWC release, donations kept in the Sandy Hook Support Fund will be transferred to a foundation or trust as managed by members of the Newtown community to use as the community sees fit.

“The needs facing Newtown will be many, diverse and ongoing,” Kim Morgan, UWWC CEO, said in the release. “We believe it is critical that the needs and priorities of the fund be determined locally.”

By the end of December of last year, a transition team, which will determine how the funds will be dispersed, chose a Newtown community member as its chairman. On Jan. 17, UWWC also announced that former U.S. senator Joe Lieberman, of Connecticut, had signed on to serve as an advisor to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund transition team.

According to Almeida, the long-term needs of the community will be great, and funds may be used to invest in expert mental health services for students, families and first responders.


Heading to the DoubleTree Sandy Hook Beef and Beer Benefit?

  • Date: Jan. 23, 2013
  • Time: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Where: DoubleTree Hotel, 301 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA.
  • Tickets: Cash, check, credit card. $25 by Jan. 18 and $30 at the door. Checks made payable to “DoubleTree Valley Forge.” Children under 12 are admitted free.

For more information, visit www.philadelphiavalleyforge.doubletree.com, call 610-312-0356 or e-mail Elizabeth.batchelor@hilton.com.

For More information about the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, visit http://www.uwwesternct.org/.  


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