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The Plaza and Saks Fifth Avenue Partner to Celebrate the Holiday Season and Give Back

Publish Date: 12-Nov-2013

New York, NY Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Volunteers of America-Greater New York Proud Beneficiary when Guests Round Up Purchases at the Legendary Hotel and Take Pictures with The Plaza Santa

 Two of Fifth Avenue’s oldest “residents” join forces to applaud the city’s picturesque holiday landscape with The Plaza’s New York City Holiday Tree.  The Plaza and Saks Fifth Avenue are also demonstrating the spirit of giving that is intrinsic to the holiday season with dedicated charitable programs benefitting Volunteers of America-Greater New York, one of New York City’s oldest and most respected social service charities.

“Combining the influence of three legendary institutions – Volunteers of America-Greater New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and The Plaza – to enliven the physical and heart-warming beauty of New York City holidays, is what The Plaza’s signature tree is celebrating this year,” says George Cozonis, Managing Director, The Plaza.   

“Volunteers of America-Greater New York is delighted, and honored, to partner with The Plaza and Saks Fifth Avenue to ensure hundreds of needy New Yorkers are not forgotten during the holidays,” said Claire Altman, President and CEO, VOA-GNY.  “Since it opened, The Plaza has been a favorite of New Yorkers – a special destination where dreams were fulfilled, occasions were celebrated, and a legacy was admired.  Volunteers of America has a 117-year legacy as rich as The Plaza’s and our partnership is a testament to The Plaza’s commitment to its philanthropic core.”

The Plaza will celebrate the holidays with its time-honored traditions kicking off on Friday, November 29, 2013 with Santa’s arrival. 


The Plaza’s Third Annual Signature Tree and Holiday Tea

The Plaza Christmas Tree takes center stage in the Fifth Avenue Foyer and features a collection of artfully crafted snowflake ornaments curated especially for The Plaza by Saks Fifth Avenue. Of special interest is a large 3D printed snowflake, designed by Marian Bantjes for Saks Fiffth Avenue, and 3D printed by MakerBot.  Much like Eloise at The Plaza, Saks has its own legendary resident. For years, it’s been rumored that a Yeti lives on the Saks Fifth Avenue roof, making beautiful snowflakes during the holiday season...and there’s bound to be a sighting of the Yeti and his handiwork on the tree.

On December 2 at 5:00 pm, The Plaza will host its third annual “Tree Lighting Tea” in the Fifth Avenue Foyer and The Palm Court to officially kick off the holiday season throughout the building.  Guests will relish the newly introduced “Snowflake Tea” while enjoying front row seats to the unveiling ceremony.  

Reservations for the tree lighting are open to the public and can be made via phone (212-546-5300) or via email,; pricing begins at $79.00 per adult and $45.00 per child, and includes a champagne toast as well as a “mocktail” for our younger guests.   


The Snowflake Tea will be offered beginning on December 2 through December 31, and a portion of each sale will be donated to Volunteers of America-Greater New York.


The Plaza Santa

Straight from the North Pole, The Plaza Santa will make his debut appearance on Friday, November 29 and will be at his workshop daily until Christmas Eve.  The Plaza 

Santa is adding to his route this year and will be ho-ho-ho’ing at Saks Fifth Avenue throughout his stay in New York City.

Santa’s hours at The Plaza: 

Monday-Friday 12pm-7pm

Saturdays:  1:30pm-7pm

Sundays:  12pm-6pm

Santa’s hours at Saks Fifth Avenue:

Saturday, November 30:  12pm-6pm

Saturday, December 7, 12, 21:  11am-1pm

Photo packages, available exclusively at The Plaza, range from à la carte photos (starting at $29.00) to the Santa’s Plaza Sampler (starting at $99.00), which includes The Plaza postcards, Christmas cards, a calendar, and additional prints.


Supporting Volunteers of America-Greater New York’s Hope and Hearth Holiday Food Voucher Campaign

The New York landmark hotel will launch two initiatives to raise money for Volunteers of America’s Hope and Hearth Holiday Food Voucher campaign. A “round up” program will be implemented throughout the building whereby guests and patrons can round up their bill, with proceeds going to fund food vouchers, which will ensure additional food for the holidays for homeless families, veterans and the elderly.  The Plaza is also committing to the cause all net proceeds from pictures taken with Santa and will be playing host to two of the last remaining red “brick” Volunteers of America chimneys.  One will be located at Santa's Workshop and the other in The Plaza Boutique on the concourse level. 

These chimneys once dotted the streets of midtown, manned by a cadre of Sidewalk Santas, formerly homeless men and women themselves, collecting donations from a generous public for the Hope and Hearth program. Now, the public can go online to Volunteers of America’s virtual chimneys to donate to Hope and Hearth. 


The Rawther Fancy Tea with Santa

Every Friday throughout the month of December, Eloise is hosting a Rawther Fancy Tea with Santa.  During the holiday events, guests are invited to The Eloise Shop for a tea party, complete with tea sandwiches, fruit, and an assortment of desserts. After the meal and writing letters to Eloise, the children all visit Santa in his workshop where he reads a story (book provided by Eloise) and invites the children to take turns having their picture taken with him. Photos are distributed to the families and the children to take home, along with their favor bag from Eloise.  

The Rawther Fancy Tea with Santa takes place Fridays, December 6th, 13th, and 20th from 4pm to 5pm at Eloise at The Plaza; $150.00 per child and adult.


About The Plaza 

Timeless, captivating and unforgettable, The Plaza is where memories are made. The passionate and uncompromising service which made the hotel a legend has been re-ignited with a new and contemporary spirit. The Plaza is an extraordinary hotel and a true Urban Resort destination that offers guests every indulgence, featuring The Shops at the Plaza, La Palestra, Caudalie Vinotherapie® Spa, the flagship Warren-Tricomi Salon and the Eloise Shop. The Palm Court provides a quintessential New York experience, and the opulent Grand Ballroom continues to host the world’s most memorable events. The Plaza is also home to the elegant Champagne Bar, the ever-stylish Rose Club, and The Plaza Food Hall, a 30,000 square foot culinary experience anchored by The Todd English Food Hall. Designated a New York City Landmark in 1969, it is also the only New York City hotel to be designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Plaza is managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. For reservations and additional information, please call 888-240-7775 or visit


About Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s pre-eminent specialty retailers, is renowned for its superlative American and international designer collections, its expertly edited assortment of handbags, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and gifts, and the first-rate fashion expertise and exemplary client service of its Associates. As part of the Hudson’s Bay Company brand portfolio, Saks operates 41 full-line stores in 22 states, five international licensed stores, 72 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores and, the company’s online store. 

Saks Fifth Avenue is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named.


About Volunteers of America-Greater New York

Volunteers of America-Greater New York, the largest affiliate of the national organization, Volunteers of America, Inc., is one of the oldest and most respected social services charities in New York City.  Founded in 1896 by social reformers Maud and Ballington Booth, who pledged “we will go wherever we are needed and do whatever comes to hand”, this essential New York City institution addresses the needs of the most vulnerable men, women and children in our community,  strengthening individuals and families so that they can live safe, healthy and productive lives.  The charity’s life-changing, often life-saving work impacts tens of thousands of people each year, including families and individuals who are homeless and recovering from domestic violence, preschoolers with developmental delays who also live in poverty, young people about to age out of the foster care system, frail seniors trying to age safely at home rather than face institutionalization, and many others.  Volunteers of America-Greater New York is the largest provider of supportive and transitional housing for formerly homeless veterans in New York City. 



About Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of more than 60 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand's distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognized internationally 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, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residences club, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties.  For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit 

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