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Publish Date: 02-Feb-2012

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Activities Supporting Local Communities, Charities and More
on Offer at Luxury Hotel Brand

TORONTO, January 26, 2012 – Every day Fairmont strives to not only be an outstanding, ethical employer, but also a community leader respectful of the extraordinary places where it operates. That’s why Fairmont has introduced the Meetings that Matter program to help not only the luxury brand’s associates and colleagues, but also its guests to become involved in making a difference.  Meetings and conferences can have a positive impact beyond the meeting room, as companies and planners alike seek out ways to give back to the communities and destinations where they gather.  Whether it’s cleaning up local waterways, assisting local shelters or building homes for Habitat for Humanity, every Fairmont now offers a powerful way for groups to give back.  These activities are gaining a reputation for fostering stronger ties among colleagues and attendees, who can work together to leave a positive impression on their chosen destination, while also creating lasting memories.

Additionally, the Meetings That Matter charitable donation component has been extended through 2012.  Planners booking a new meeting with a minimum of 50 room nights may donate 10 percent of the room revenue generated by the event to a charitable organization.  Planners can determine the charity of choice, whether it is a cause that resonates most strongly with attendees, a local organization in need, or one of Fairmont’s corporate partners, which include the National Geographic Society, WWF and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.  To learn more, planners can visit Additional opportunities for groups to give back include:

Helping People
The Special Commune is a not-for-profit organization in China whose mission is to empower intellectually challenged youth to be part of their community. Through internships on their organic farm, students learn job and life skills that allow them to live independently. At Fairmont Beijing, a corporate outing can be designed as either a half or full-day program, including a visit to the farm to meet the students, a student performance, and contribution to a current project.

Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club has strong ties to the local community, and can arrange donation drives for the Likii Special School for the Mentally Handicapped.  As many of these children have been orphaned or abandoned, donations of clothes, books, beddings and food stuffs are very much appreciated.

Founded in 1973, Kunshan Loving Care Centre is one of the oldest special education schools in Jiangsu Province. In 1997, the Kunshan Loving Care Centre started to accept mentally handicapped students and now offers classes from grade one through nine to 135 students. Groups at Fairmont Yangcheng Lake can welcome and work alongside students in an outdoor classroom as they pick fresh organic vegetables and take cooking lessons at the resort’s onsite Organic Farm.

Makkah Clock Royal Tower in Saudi Arabia offers many opportunities for groups to give back.  The on-going Feel your Senses program supports people who are visually impaired by giving them the financial assistance they need to regain their sight. The program supports their medical costs and after the procedure, the patient will come to the hotel to rest, recover and remove their bandages and enjoy the view of the Holy Haram.

Fairmont Washington D.C. offers a Volunteer at the DC Central Kitchen program where attendees can spend a half-day at DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) assisting in a variety of programs such as helping the kitchen prepare over 4,000 meals each day, going to local farms to pick fresh produce to prepare nutritious meals for clients, preparing and donating sack lunches, snack bags or toiletry kits, or serving breakfast at street locations in the District. Through job training, meal distribution, and supporting local food systems, DCCK is building long-term solutions for the interconnected problems of poverty, hunger, and homelessness.

Dress for Success assists disadvantaged women with job placement and is a popular partner of The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle. The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Groups can work with the hotel to organize clothes drives for this popular organization.

A half-day Habitat for Humanity program at The Fairmont Winnipeg tackles the final steps involved in turning a new house into a home. Groups will complete landscaping, painting and other minor household projects to prepare the homes for new families from March through November.  Planners can also arrange activities where guests spend 3 hours preparing and serving meals at the Winnipeg Harvest Food Bank or Siloam Mission Food Bank.

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Fairmont San Jose, Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows & Fairmont Newport Beach offer a Habitat for Humanity half-day program designed to tackle the many finishing touches needed to complete a new home. Groups will complete landscaping, painting and other minor household projects to prepare the homes for new families.

Groups at Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa can make a difference by Serving at the Ottawa Mission. Established in 1906, the Ottawa Mission is a non-profit, faith-based ministry, meeting the needs of the homeless and those at risk of being homeless in the Ottawa region. Groups can volunteer at the Ottawa Mission both on and off site. One on-site option is the popular Sandwich Making Program, while an off-site option would be a community fundraiser, such as helping to organize a bake sale or clothing or warm sock drive. During the winter months, groups in the community often collect donations of much needed items like hats, gloves, warm socks, long underwear and toiletries.

The Tablée des Chefs Food Recovery program at Fairmont Tremblant & Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in Québec help feed people in need in the local community. The project distributes food surplus from hotels and restaurants and donates to families in need, with group clients able to help participate by transferring and preparing food.

With the King Arthur Bread Baking program at The Fairmont Copley Plaza, attendees can bake bread for a local shelter. The King Arthur, Baking Education Center, a New England organization assists corporate groups with preparing bread which the  hotel then bakes and donates to a local shelter or food bank of the group’s choice. A presentation can be made at donation site or at the hotel.

Groups at The Fairmont Empress in Victoria can help collect and donate food for Vancouver Island’s largest food bank, Mustard Seed, either through the hotel’s quarterly food drives or as an organization. Opportunities also exist to assist the organization and serving of Christmas Dinner to 1,500 homeless and needy people.  Delegates can also help build a home for a low-income family with Habitat for Humanity. A half-day program designed to complete the final steps in creating a new home, attendees will complete landscaping, painting and other minor household projects to prepare the homes for new families.

The Amazing Race at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge gets attendees out into the great outdoors for a challenging game of wit, skill and determination. Teams are provided with everything they need to discover their local environment by finding a series of Amazing Race Stops. At each stop the teams complete challenges that allows them to raise funds through interaction with the public. The goal is to be the largest fund raising group. All of the funds raised are donated to the Jasper Food Bank.

Interval House Shelter in Toronto strives to help women in abusive situations get back on their feet by offering emergency shelter and community-based services. A program has been developed at The Fairmont Royal York to donate gently used soft goods including towels, sheets, mattresses and pillows, and groups can assist in this effort to support transitional housing needs by organizing a collection for gently used clothing and furnishings.

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society (GVFBS) was established in 1982 when many small organizations, church groups and concerned citizens joined together in response to the hunger crisis during the economic recession in 1981. The purpose of the GVFBS was to be a temporary social service provider; however, because the number of those suffering from hunger problems has continued to increase, the GVFBS has become one of the most important non-government funded food assistance providers in Canada. Groups at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver can volunteer their time with the group for a half day activity where they can assist with general tasks at the bank, such sorting food and goods.

Lending a Hand to the Environment
The new Fairmont Pacific Rim is committed to protecting Vancouver’s environment, and partners with the Stanley Park Ecology Society to promote awareness of and respect for the natural world. The Stanley Park Tour is a half-day program designed to provide an engaging and informative experience about some of the fascinating aspects of Stanley Park, while gaining a greater appreciation for the natural world at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s doorstep. Attendees will have the opportunity to have a close look at one of the largest great blue heron colonies in the province, learn about the multitude of waterfowl inhabiting Stanley Park, walk through the forest and discover gigantic cedar trees and how they have helped shape the way of life for Coastal First Nations communities, consider the impact of windstorms and other natural events on the forests and wildlife of the park, explore the biofiltration wetland and discover the role it plays in restoring the ecological balance of Lost Lagoon and learn about the extraordinary experiences of women of diverse heritage who played a crucial role in Stanley Park’s history.  The suggested donation of $10 per person will go to the Society’s mission of playing a leadership role in the stewardship of Stanley Park.

The beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya are home to many different species of plant and animal life, and groups at Fairmont Mayakoba that want to help preserve this stunning coast can participate in the hotel’s Beach Clean Up program. This half-day activity focuses on cleaning the coastline to insure a safe environment for indigenous birds and marine life. Participants may choose between visiting Xcacel, a natural sanctuary for turtle nesting, or the beaches of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a UNESCO site.

Fairmont Bab al Bahr in Abu Dhabi gives guests the opportunity to participate in two international celebrations for the environment each year.  For Earth Hour, held annually in late March, the hotel works with the World Wildlife Federation and Emirates Wildlife Society in developing an initiative to reduce energy consumption by hosting a 24-hour cycle-a-thon in the lobby where participants cycle on static bikes to create sufficient energy to power a TV screen displayed in the lobby. A percentage of donations from the dinners purchased on Earth Hour are provided to WWF and Emirates Wildlife Society.  For Earth Day, April 22, a Beach Clean-Up is organized on the shores of the Abu Dhabi Creek around the Hotel.

The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai is a wetland reserve renowned for its large numbers of migratory birds, including over 500 Greater Flamingoes. It is located, as the name in Arabic suggests, at the cape of the creek, and is one of the few urban protected areas in the world. Fairmont Dubai offers rare opportunities to experience this delicate and biodiverse ecosystem for 2 hours at a time.  The hotel also offers a Beach Clean-Up activity from October – December where guests can assist with the clean up and beautification of the city’s natural resources.

In Hamburg, Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten offers half day Beach Clean-Up programs at the historic River Elbe or Inner Alster Lake, two of the city’s main attractions.  A Local Food Bank half day program allows attendees to prepare and distribute care packages for homeless people and people in need.

The Fairmont Waterfront works with a number of partners to help keep Vancouver green, and groups that want to lend a hand can get involved with a number of initiatives.  With the Evergreen program attendees can help by planting trees, shrubs and wildflowers in public spaces. Or, they can go to historic Stanley Park and help remove the rapidly spreading English Ivy that threatens to smother native vegetation and compromise natural shelter and food sources for wildlife with the Ivy Busters program.

The Fairmont Acapulco Princess & The Fairmont Pierre Marques offer a half day Turtle Release program where groups can help the Golfina Turtle during its nesting season by protecting its habitat, located on the Playa Revolcadero beach in front of the Hotel. This activity motivates and educates participants about taking care of turtles and understanding their life cycle.

The Fairmont Banff Springs offers a Trail Clean Up program with Parks Canada in Banff National Park. Groups can collect trash on the trails and recreation areas, wearing Banff National Park volunteer T-Shirts and ball caps. A high ranking representative of the National Park can be arranged to welcome the group and thank them for their efforts. Parks Canada is also able to print an official Donation / Volunteer Appreciation document.

Grant Park encompasses 319 acres along Chicago’s waterfront and the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park and Grant Park Conservancy are working to enhance and beautify the area with group volunteers.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offers a unique program where groups can help restore a native species to this stunning landscape.  The Upper Corral Creek Basin Westslope Cutthroat Trout Restoration in Banff National Park will not only recover this local species that is under imminent threat, but will also help to return the aquatic ecosystem of the Upper Corral Creek Basin to a natural, balanced state. The Westslope Cutthroat Trout is a native species that was once abundant in the Lake Louise area, but is now threatened after decades of human activities such as angling, stocking of non-native fish for human benefit, and habitat destruction. Only a few kilometers away from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, the restoration site has excellent trail access and can be easily reached by people with a reasonable level of fitness. This opens up great opportunities for volunteering such as helping to catch and release for DNA sampling, monitoring the condition of the trout, helping with DNA collection, GIS mapping of the creek basin, angling to assist in the removal of non-native brook trout.

The Adopt-A-River Scheme is an innovative and educational 2-hour clean-up event along the foreshore of the River Thames just across from The Savoy, A Fairmont Hotel. Together with a team from the conservation charity, Thames21, attendees are given a health and safety briefing and provided with all the necessary equipment, protective boots and gloves before diving in. The Thames21 team help to identify the wildlife and any historical artifacts that might be found. All rubbish collected is removed by boat at the end of the event. The views of St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, Millennium Wheel and the Houses of Parliament and, of course, The Savoy are breathtaking.

A great activity for a small group (10-15 people), the Turtle Scrub at The Fairmont Hamilton Princess & The Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda lets attendees get to know some of Bermuda’s greenest residents – the giant sea turtles at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. Participants get in the tank with the turtles and scrub them clean with the help of the Aquarium’s turtle experts. The BAMZ Green Turtle exhibit introduces visitors to the Bermuda Turtle Project and offers an excellent opportunity to focus on the importance of conservation and education to the protection of our oceanic island environment.

For a quick onsite activity at Fairmont Mara Safari Club, the Tree Planting Exercise is a great option.  Guests can plant a tree within the Club before departing as way of reducing their personal carbon foot print, as well as commemorate their stay.

Day in the Dirt is a half-day program at The Plaza in New York where guests can participate in volunteer projects with the Central Park Conservancy. This is a unique opportunity for groups to promote employee volunteerism, foster camaraderie and support engagement with Central Park and the Conservancy. Projects include clean-up, planting, bench painting and maintenance assistance.

Montréal is the only city in North America to have a mountain in the heart of its downtown district, and Les Amis de la Montagne is a non-profit organization committed to preserving ‘Mount Royal’. The Environmental Stewardship Program is one of their Conservation Activities and works with Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth to offer group activities such as litter collection in the forest undergrowth, planting of indigenous trees and shrubs, establishing the growth and survival rate of previous tree plantings, cutting of invasive species that affect the biodiversity of Mount Royal’s forests.

A half-day River Cleaning activity at Fairmont Singapore involves clearing debris from  the water, riverbanks and the surrounding areas of the Kallang River with the Waterways Watch Society. The clean-up helps to remove sources of pollution, such as cans, plastic containers and plastic bags, and protects the aesthetics of the city’s waterways.

The beautiful collection of Islands right off the cities coast makes up Boston Harbor Islands National Park. With over 1,600 acres and 35 miles of undeveloped ocean shoreline, the National Parks services puts in a conscious effort to protect the land and their associated resources. Fairmont Battery Wharf employees, hotel guests, and group attendees can volunteer their time for the Boston Harbor Islands Group Stewardship Program, which has an active focus in beach clean-up, trails and grounds maintenance, control of invasive plants, painting, or other light construction projects.

Fostering Happy, Healthy Kids & Communities
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport partners with the Richmond Schoolyard Society for the Kids + gardens + healthy food = stronger communities program. This half-day activity is designed to bring children into the “outdoor classroom” where they connect with the earth and their community. “Outdoor classroom" activities integrate the complete food cycle, from seed to table and from table back to soil. Working with attendees, students plan their garden in the winter, prepare the beds in the spring, plant the seeds and seedlings, tend and monitor their crops and harvest their produce in the fall. Through these hands-on learning experiences, children begin to understand where their food comes from, appreciate seasonality and the cycle of food production and gain an increased awareness of their natural environment and of the community around them.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s Higher Ground Biker Build-Off program lets attendees build a bike, race it, and raise a deserving child's spirits. Working together, teams work to acquire the bike parts they need to construct their masterpiece. They then theme and parade their creations to the judges, finishing off with a big race. When a champion has been declared, teams donate their creations to kids for whom owning a bike is otherwise impossible.

At the Fairmont Monte Carlo, kids are in the spotlight with a series of activities and privileges which are exclusively dedicated to them for a happy and memorable family experience. For the Monegasque “Red Nose” event, put on by “Les Enfants de Frankie” association - which helps sick children and children in need, the Fairmont Monte Carlo has created an original and tasty cocktail without alcohol, rich in fruity and sunny flavors. Named “Frankie”, it is served in a flute with a straw set with a “mini red nose” in chocolate, a symbol of the clown. And in honor of this famous character of the Principality of Monaco, this cocktail, available at the “Saphir 24, lounge & bar”, costs only €7 and €1 is donated to the association.

During Ramadan, Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers offers a half day program where groups can sponsor 150 orphan children at the property, creating a fun atmosphere that includes dancing, singing, gifts, and Egyptian food & drinks.  Attendees can also participate in a charity that supports 10 families per day by preparing 60 meals for two days during the holy month of Ramadan.

At Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Québec City, the Build-A-Bike team building activity offers a fun event that is also socially responsible. To build bicycles, teams need to get together and communicate effectively in order to obtain the tools required. Completed bicycles are donated to a suggested charity, the O.P.C.R. (Organization for the Protection of Childrens’ Rights).

Teddy Bear Making is a heart-warming group activity at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello in Québec. Attendees are given materials and will build, stuff and decorate teddy bears by hand. Prizes will be given away for the best and most creative bears, but all are donated to Leucan, an association for children with cancer.

In Nairobi, Fairmont The Norfolk works with the Better Life Children's Home & Tapa Trust Home on a program that supports less fortunate children living in slums, who are orphaned or vulnerable.  Groups are invited to donate and distribute food, toiletries, clothing, books and stationery.

The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Island School Garden Network works with The Peace Committee to arrange for volunteers to assist in the creation and/or maintenance, tilling, planting and upkeep in a number of school gardens in the Hamakua District. In addition, groups can help out at Mala’ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School, founded by Dr. Michelle Suber, a naturopathic physician concerned with the number of food-related diseases she was treating in her practice in Waimea. Modeled on the Edible School Yard in Berkeley, CA, the garden works in partnership with Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School (WMPCCS). Breaking ground in February 2005, the garden has become a learning environment for the staff, teachers, the greater community, and all of the 280 students at the school. Past projects have included painting, classroom tent refurbishment, to windbreak planting and careful garden work.

The Fairmont Palliser has partnered with Ronald McDonald House of Southern Alberta on a half-day program designed to assist with meal preparation for families of sick children staying at the House. Attendees will take part in the organization’s Home For Dinner Program by purchasing groceries, cooking a meal and cleaning up afterwards.

Colleagues at Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai believe books can open doors to all sorts of opportunities. The Shanghai Sunrise Library Program uses donations to fund the purchase of library books for needy migrant schools, offering students a well-stocked library with age-appropriate books that will pay dividends for years to come. Groups can spend ½ a day visiting one of the migrant schools in Shanghai and be involved with cataloguing the new library books they purchased and before engaging in reading sessions with the children.

Fairmont Pittsburgh is proud to partner with Grow Pittsburgh – a non-profit organization that promotes responsible urban food production through educational workshops, the development of urban farms, adult and teen internship programs, and its unique Edible Schoolyard program. Groups can underwrite printing costs and assemble educational “veggie packets” to be given to low income families and students throughout the local community. These packets are full of colorful photos and simple cooking tips to encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

A half-day program at Fairmont Zimbali Resort is designed to encourage guests to Experience a Traditional Zulu Village. Guests will meet with community members and experience a day in their lives, which could include beading, fetching water, learning Zulu or traditional Zulu dances and assisting with simple building and maintenance tasks.  All donations placed in a fund to build a community centre for the village to gather for church, making crafts and an area for the village children to gather for educational presentations.

The Nebny Foundation has been formed by a group of Young Egyptians who participated in the Arab Spring protests and believe the success of the revolution did not stop at taking down the old regime, but will succeed when Egypt becomes a leader in the developing world. ¬The Nebny Foundation recognizes that this post-revolution moment belongs to the nation’s young people. Through a youth-led, locally-driven approach, Nebny will promote, educate, enable, and empower youth to actively participate in shaping Egypt’s economy. Fairmont Nile City is supporting groups that want to donate to the organization.

Supporting the Local Heroes
Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is one of the main entry points for U.S. soldiers leaving and returning from their tours abroad, which is why The Fairmont Dallas offers a Serve The Troops program. An all-day activity shows appreciation for the troops going back to Iraq after their R&R break at home by serving them a full buffet meal.

For a comprehensive look at Fairmont’s meeting offerings, visit or contact Global Events & Meetings Solutions, a dedicated resource for meeting planners available at or 1-866-662-6060 from within North America, and 1-506-877-3162 internationally.

Located in world-class destinations around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of hotels that includes landmark locations like London’s The Savoy, New York’s The Plaza, and Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel. With more than 60 hotels, Fairmont is known as much for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, as its classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also regarded for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit



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