STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS LAUNCHES THIRD ANNUAL ‘ROAD TO AWARENESS’ CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF UNICEF
- Alps cycle ride to raise funds for children’s education in South Africa
Dubai, UAE, August 10, 2010 – Today, Starwood Hotels & Resorts will begin its third Road to Awareness campaign with UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s agency, to raise money so that children in South Africa can realize their right to a basic, quality education, with a special emphasis on helping the most disadvantaged young people to stay in school.
This year’s Road to Awareness campaign, which runs until November, revolves around a fund-raising bike-ride climbing the Dolomites, a section of the Italian Alps, and features three representatives from Starwood hotels in the Middle Eastern region.
Guido De Wilde, Vice President & Regional Director, Starwood Middle East, one of the pioneers of the Road to Awareness initiative, and two other Middle East representatives, Bojan Kalodjera, Sports and Leisure Manager, Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai and Shivakumar Vaman, Recreation and Spa Manager, Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, will join a team of 24 cyclists and fundraisers for the arduous journey, which begins on August 26th and lasts for three days. During the trip, the avid cyclists will cover a total of 360km (225 miles), racking up between 120km and 150km per day while spending an average of six hours in the saddle, and traversing some seriously steep gradients over the course of the campaign.
“Road to Awareness further highlights Starwood’s continued commitment to the Check Out for Children programme and the partnership with UNICEF. We want to do all we can – as individuals and as a company – to continue to fund UNICEF projects around the world,” says De Wilde.
“We are extremely proud of our Starwood associates who work so hard to support the success of Road to Awareness. The money raised from this year’s campaign will make a real difference to the lives of children in South Africa,” added De Wilde.
The funds raised from this year’s Road to Awareness campaign will help UNICEF support 1,500 orphans and vulnerable children in five rural schools in South Africa, allowing them to complete their primary education and realise their potential. It will also help improve the quality of schooling by training 70 teachers in child-friendly education methods and fund the implementation of sports programmes in 18 schools to enhance children’s physical and psychological development.
In addition to the cycle ride, Starwood properties in the Middle East will participate in Road to Awareness by running fund-raising activities such as a soccer tournament, fishing for charity, and a swimming competition. Sheraton Abu Dhabi will also run its own Summer Olympics.
Each year Starwood’s Road to Awareness campaign raises money for a different area of UNICEF’s work. In 2009, the initiative raised over US$200,000 for UNICEF’s efforts to protect and improve the lives of children living and working on the streets of Egypt. Last year, Starwood properties in the Middle East raised approximately $100,000 for the project.
The Road to Awareness cycle ride is in addition to Starwood’s on-going fundraising efforts for UNICEF through the ‘Check Out for Children’ programme. Check Out for Children, which was launched in 1995, is a partnership between Starwood Hotels & Resorts and UNICEF whereby guests at participating Starwood hotels around the world agree to the addition of US$1 (or local currency equivalent) to their bills when they check out. To date Starwood guests and associates have raised over US$22 million for UNICEF making a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable children across the globe.
For more information on Road to Awareness visit www.roadtoawareness.com or to make a donation, http://www.roadtoawareness.com/donate.htm
For more information about UNICEF please contact Liz Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 207 375 6096
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About Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work please visit: www.unicef.org.
About Check Out For Children
The Check Out for Children partnership between UNICEF and Starwood Hotels & Resorts was launched in London in November 1995 by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore KBE. The programme now operates in over 250 hotels across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In 2006, Starwood Hotels & Resorts won the UNICEF UK’s prestigious Corporate Partnership Award in recognition of its significant contribution to the work of UNICEF. The award, which is only granted every 10 years, is given as a way of acknowledging the exceptional contribution of an organisation to the fulfillment of UNICEF’s mission for children during the last decade. Since 1995, guests at participating Starwood hotels around the world have donated over US$22 million to UNICEF by agreeing to the addition of US$1 (or local currency equivalent) to their bills when they check out.