Orlando, Fla. – Nov. 29, 2017 – The Westgate Resorts Foundation announced today its 2018 philanthropic investment of $1 million in Central Florida and communities nationwide where Westgate Resorts operates.
The Foundation awarded grants to more than 65 nonprofits committed to Westgate’s community mission of Strong Families | Strong Workforce, focused on the areas of homelessness, domestic violence, gaps in education and veteran employment.
Local nonprofits were honored during a breakfast event at Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa conference center in Orlando, where grant amounts were revealed. Nonprofit executives, board members and staff, as well as elected officials from across the region, were in attendance.
“During the last year, our community has been called on repeatedly to respond to emergencies and crises,”
said David Siegel, president and CEO of Westgate Resorts. “Today was about celebrating how our nonprofit community answered the call during these challenges, as well as honoring their everyday successes and the many people who benefit from their work.”
The Westgate Resorts Foundation also celebrated four special grants that were awarded earlier this year to nonprofit partnerships in Central Florida. These “collaboration grants” represent an innovative approach to community investment, challenging nonprofits to partner on programs designed to strengthen the local workforce, in keeping with the Foundation’s Strong Families | Strong Workforce mission. The following four nonprofit partnerships were awarded grants of $25,000 each:
City Year Orlando and Foundation for Orange County Public Schools for the “Accelerated Teacher Pipeline Program.”
Valencia College Foundation and The Jobs Partnership of Florida for “Hope for Students, Hope for Parents (Hope2).”
Community Hope Center’s IDignity Osceola Program, IDignity Orlando, and Goodwill Industries of Central Florida for "Gateways to Work.”
Foundation for Seminole State College and Victim Service Center of Central Florida for the “Be the Hero Bystander Education & Training.”
“The grant process was designed to encourage innovation between Westgate’s nonprofit grantee partners, working together to create programs that capitalize on each organization’s unique skills and expertise,” said Mara Frazier, Westgate’s vice president, community & public affairs. “The four we selected did an exceptional job defining what they do best while relying on their partners to do what they do best, reducing duplication, and innovatively using resources to build our workforce.”
A complete list of grant recipients is attached, which also reflects anticipated awards through the David’s Dollars Fund, a resource for Westgate Resorts team members in crisis.
About the Westgate Resorts Foundation
Celebrating its 16th year, the Westgate Resorts Foundation is committed to investing in Westgate’s resort communities and team members by partnering with nonprofits equally committed to our mission of Strong Families | Strong Workforce: If families are equipped to break through barriers such as homelessness, domestic violence, gaps in education or returning to the workforce after military service, then they keep working or quickly return to work…paving their own path to self-sufficiency and lifelong success. A strong workforce means thriving communities where people want to live and vacation. The Foundation supports this mission through grant-making, advocacy and volunteerism in Westgate’s resort communities nationwide and grants more than $1 million annually. For more information about the Westgate Resorts Foundation, visit www.westgateresortsfoundation.org.
About Westgate Resorts
Founded in 1982 by David A. Siegel, Westgate Resorts is one of the largest resort developers in the United States. Westgate features 28 themed destination resorts with over 13,000 luxury villas and hotel rooms in premier locations throughout the United States such as Orlando, Florida; Park City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Williamsburg, Virginia; Miami and Cocoa Beach, Florida; Branson, Missouri; Mesa, Arizona; and Tunica, Mississippi. Most Westgate Resorts locations feature a variety of unique restaurant, retail and spa concepts, including Drafts Sports Bar & Grill, Westgate Smokehouse Grill, Edge Steakhouse, Westgate Marketplace & Deli and Serenity Spa by Westgate. For more information about Westgate Resorts, visit www.westgateresorts.com.