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Children's Charities Will Benefit from Joint Fund Raiser

Dec. 3, 2007 — This year the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association and the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce are teaming up for the first time to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of St. Croix and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The association and chamber are hosting the annual Holiday for Hope Benefit at the Carambola Beach Resort beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The benefit is a silent and live auction with complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bar.
"We opened up our annual Christmas party/fund raiser to the public for the first time last year," said Kathryn Piper of the Hotel and Tourism Association, co-chair of the event. "It was so successful we decided to open it to the public again."
Last year $15,000 was raised in the auctions and used to set up a computer lab at the Boys and Girls Club, Piper said. In addition, Professional Holding Company (PHC) gave a private donation of $8,000.
"We had close to 300 people at the benefit last year, and we hope to match that again this year," Piper said.
The entrance fee for the benefit is $25 or two unwrapped toys per person. The toys and money from the entrance fee go directly to Toys for Tots.
The silent auction bidding closes at 9 p.m., with the live auction beginning afterward.
The auctioneer will be Rashidi Clenance, public relations officer for Juan F. Luis Hospital and local broadcast-media personality.
Donations of 10 major items are on the auction block, some of which are "hot items," Piper said. Up for bid are a used car from Auto World and a Seaborne Champagne Flight Tour of St. Croix for 14 people. West Indies Corporation has donated a four-day wine-country tour in Sonoma and Napa Valley, Calif. There is a St. Maarten getaway for two, with three nights at the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and airfare on Liat. Miss Anna's Hot Sauce is donating a private five-course dinner for eight. Also included are three limited-edition prints by local artist Heiko, valued at $11,000.
There will be more than 60 items donated in the silent auction bidding. They range from travel, dining and activity packages to gift baskets, jewelry and items from local retailers. There will be bidding on service needs like Terminix extermination, CynTek computer solutions, floral designs By Special Arrangement, car washes from Caribbean Auto Mart and spay and neuter services from the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center.
Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino has pledged $5,000 and PHC has pledged $2,000 to fulfill the Christiansted and Frederiksted Boys and Girls Clubs' duplicate wish lists for each location, including an outdoor play and swing set, TV, Sony Playstation and a 15-passenger van to provide the boys and girls with safe transportation to participate in community activities.
The master of ceremonies will be Kevin Jackson, assistant general manager at Divi Resort, with his smooth-jazz, Barry White-like voice. Xpress Band will provide entertainment.
Carambola Resort will offer a special benefit rate of $119 per night for garden-view rooms, based on availability.
"This year-end party is a perfect example of how Hotel and Tourism and the chamber can work together to benefit the most important part of our community: the children," said Omer ErSelcuk, chairman of the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce, board member of the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association and President and CEO of Seaborne Airlines. "It also demonstrates our resolve to continue working together in the new year, along with our partners in the government, in achieving a brighter future for St. Croix."
For reservations and more information, call Nicole Friday at 774-6835 or email her.
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