What started out as four hotels in Oakbrook Terrace wanting to help the Salvation Army, has grown into a community effort that saw record donations this past holiday season.
In 2013, four hotels, including Comfort Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Suites and Hilton Garden Inn, joined forces to show their support for the community by starting Salvation Army Day in support of the Salvation Army Oakbrook Terrace Corps.
The hotels gave 10 percent of their total sales on a day during the week before Christmas directly to the Oakbrook Terrace Corps. During the first year, the hotels donated $4,730. "The fundraising effort by the hotels in Oakbrook Terrace on our behalf is greatly appreciated and needed for the communities we serve," Sue Linden, development director of the Salvation Army Oakbrook Terrace Corps said at the time.
The effort grew over the next few years.
The original four hotels were joined by Ditka's as well as the Starbucks located in Oakbrook Terrace Tower. What started out as a day turned into Virtual Red Kettle Week in which these organizations all donated a percentage of their sales from Dec. 17 to Dec. 23 to the Salvation Army Oakbrook Terrace Corps.
Not only did these organizations combine to donate $5,000, the City of Oakbrook Terrace agreed to match that total resulting in a check for $10,000 given to Major John Pook by representatives of the hotels, Ditka's and Equity Office which manages Oakbrook Terrace Tower. "The Salvation Army Oakbrook Terrace Corps appreciates the donation that these organizations and the City of Oakbrook Terrace provided as a result of Virtual Red Kettle Week. Their donation will continue to make a difference in the lives of people that need to know that there is hope and that people care," Pook said.
"Giving back to the community continues to be a top priority of the City of Oakbrook Terrace Hotel, Convention and Visitors Commission," said According Donald Hill, director of sales and marketing at Hilton Suites and Hilton Garden Inn.
Discussions have started with the other hotels in Oakbrook Terrace to continue and expand the effort to bring in additional partners into Virtual Red Kettle Week 2018.