The shelves lining the walls of the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute reading library stood largely empty until Friday afternoon, when members of “The Spirit to Serve” committee, made up of associates employed by the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morningstar Beach Resort, arrived with boxes of books and magazines donated from fellow hotel associates.
The committee, started a little over a year ago, was the brainchild of Frenchman’s Reef’s General Manager Jose Gonzalez. “Spirit to Serve” is a Marriott theme and each May, all Marriott properties worldwide participate in some form of community service. According to Rita Christmas, one of the dozen or so committee members, “We participated in the annual event that all of the Marriotts do. Jose took that concept and said, ‘We can do better than that,’ and expanded it into a monthly thing.
Edward “Teddy” Aribisala, vice-president of oncology services and CKCI administrator, thanked the committee on behalf of the institute and its patients while pointing to the bare shelves.
The four committee members, including Christmas, Sharon Flemon, Rosanna Baker, and Robert White, discussed previous committee projects with Aribisala such as cleanups at Vessup Beach, Bethlehem House and the Family Resource Center.
Last month’s committee project was a back-to-school donation in which management and supervisors at Frenchman’s Reef donated money to the committee in order to purchase school supplies. These supplies were then given to hotel associates with small children.
Upon hearing that, Aribisala ran to his office and returned with a box of school supplies that he had been given recently, stating, “I would be happy knowing that these went to someone who needed them.”
The reading library’s shelves are now filled, and another child will have pens and paper on the first day of school.