The Westgate Resorts Foundation announced today its 2016 philanthropic investment of $1 million in Central Florida and in communities nationwide where Westgate Resorts operates. This represents the largest distribution the Foundation has ever awarded in a single year.
In celebration of its 15th anniversary, the Foundation awarded grants to 50 nonprofits committed to Westgate’s new 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.
Local nonprofits were honored during a breakfast event at Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa Conference Center in Orlando, where grant amounts were revealed. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs spoke at the event, and in attendance were elected officials representing the federal and state legislature; Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Brevard counties; and the cities of Orlando, Kissimmee and Cocoa Beach.
“This was a great celebration of the positive work happening in all of our resort communities,” said David Siegel, president and CEO of Westgate Resorts. “Westgate Resorts Foundation’s new mission of Strong Families | Strong Workforce is rooted in a legacy of generosity and entrepreneurialism, but reflects a clear and intentional vision for the future and we have the right partners to help us accomplish it.”
In keeping with an event theme of “strength through collaboration,” Westgate leadership challenged organizations in the room to build relationships with one another, a pre-cursor to collaboration and problem-solving. The Westgate Resorts Foundation will offer a series of challenge grants this year to existing grantees that collaborate in groups of two or more to innovatively tackle issues within the Foundation’s four focus areas of youth and family homelessness, domestic violence, education and veteran employment.
“Today was every bit as much about fostering relationships and collaboration as it was about celebrating a landmark investment of $1 million,” said Mara Frazier, senior director of the Westgate Resorts Foundation and Community Affairs. “I’m excited to see the year unfold and how our grantee partners leverage resources and talent to create innovative solutions and bring permanent positive change to our community.”
A complete list of grant recipients is attached, which also reflects $175,000 for the David’s Dollars fund, a resource for Westgate Resorts team members in crisis.
About the Westgate Resorts Foundation
Celebrating its 15th 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. 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 in premier locations throughout the United States such as Orlando, Fla.; Park City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nev.; Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Williamsburg, Va.; Miami and Cocoa Beach, Fla.; Branson, Mo.; Mesa, Az.; and Tunica, Miss. 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.