Crossville, TN – October 2019 – Grand Pacific Resorts, a full service resort management company with a family of charming resorts in some of the most desirable west coast and Hawaiian destinations, has deep roots in giving back to the community.

For decades, Co-President David Brown has grown a diversified company culture with social responsibility at the heart of owner, guest, and associate engagement.

Grand Pacific Resorts (GPR) and Christel House have a longstanding connection. Grand Pacific Resorts’ fundraising achievements were elevated this year by the inclusion of an onsite ambassador graduate from Mexico City, and creating one-to-one donor-and-student connections through a series of engagement campaigns. Known for transforming the lives of impoverished children, breaking the cycle of poverty and building self-sufficient, contributing members of society, Christel House changes lives around the world.

As a host of The Christel House Golf Tournament for the past 17 years, Grand Pacific Resorts knew the time was right to put a spotlight on success stories to inspire a new wave of supporters and create lifelong connections to the cause. This year, the enhanced commitment to Christel House through a multichannel marketing and education effort, associate outreach and business partnerships, Grand Pacific Resorts nearly doubled the amount raised in past years by garnering $100,000 in sponsorships.

Proceeds benefit Christel House schools in underprivileged communities around the world, namely Indianapolis, Mexico City, South Africa, and India. In the case of Grand Pacific Resorts, says David Brown, “Our deepest connection is to Mexico City. So many of our associates have roots in Mexico, it is an honor to show our support for Christel House Mexico and demonstrate our commitment to the students and families that Christel House serves.”

This June, GPR brought a deeply personal touch to the tournament with two young women who exemplify the impact of the Christel House program. They served as ambassadors at The RCI Christel House Open at Shadow Ridge Country Club (Vista, CA), where they, along with Renee Wagner, Director of Marketing for GPR, raised awareness about the event and Christel House in numerous interviews, including local broadcast media.

Although their paths were worlds apart, Rosa Morales a guest Christel House graduate from Mexico City and Blanca Benitez, a GPR Intern from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) attribute their Christel House Education with their love of learning and the broad horizons now open to them.

Rosa, the daughter of a house painter, was selected to travel from Mexico City to help create a connection between the charity and local San Diego business supporters. Now in her second year of a six-year program in medical school where she is studying to be an OB/Gyn, Rosa is proof that Christel House is making an impact in the community by breaking the cycle of poverty. Rosa’s two brothers are also Christel House stars. The Morales’ family enrolled the children in Christel House primarily based on the opportunity to learn English. The experience far surpassed their expectations.

“Christel House provided me with a safe and supportive place where I was challenged to work hard which compliments all the values that I learned there,” says Rosa. “A couple of years ago I read a quote that said, ‘What if the cure for cancer is trapped inside the mind of someone who can’t afford an education?’ and it had a profound impact on me. It made me realize that I could be that doctor, which is why I leaned on Christel House to help me get into medical school, where I am now finishing my second year.”

Blanca, a social media entrepreneur on the rise, was thrilled when she found out that she was chosen to spend six weeks in Carlsbad, CA interning in the marketing department at GPR. Her high regard for Christel House, which she attended at the Indianapolis campus, stems from the relationship with the instructors who never let her give up.

Blanca shared, “The outstanding teacher-student relationships are built on small class sizes and exceptional teachers who care about their students: their mental health, their safety, their academics and extra-curricular activities.”

It only takes $3,500 to provide education, meals, clothes, transportation, and healthcare to a Christel House child for one year. This year, Grand Pacific Resorts, along with 17 partners including Fidelity National Timeshare, Welk Resorts, numerous vacation ownership industry partners, as well as local companies raised funds to cover the costs for 28 students for one year. To put that into perspective, the school Rosa attended is at capacity serving 800 children. Founder Christel DeHaan covers all of the administrative costs so 100% of the funds raised goes directly to the students. An important component of the Christel House philosophy is the requirement that a student’s family member volunteer hundreds of service hours at the school so we are all invested in the child’s success.

Grand Pacific Resorts continually expands its tradition of giving and thanks. From resorts collaborating with local charitable causes, to donating weeks to cancer survivors through Send Me On Vacation, the company-wide mission to celebrate and nurture good deeds is captured in their motto: “What Matters to You, Matters to Us.”


Written by Georgi Bohrod, RRP. This article was originally published in the October 5, 2019 issue of Resort Trades.

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