The Spirit of Giving Flourishes for Needy Families at the Hilton Miami Airport Hotel

MIAMI, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ — The Hilton Miami Airport Hotel partnered with Neighbors 4 Neighbors to provide children, teens and families of the Village South Inc. and Miami Bridge with a very memorable Christmas season this year. Over 200 people, including children ranging from newborns to teens, experienced a spectacular Christmas celebration amongst lush surroundings. They gathered in the hotel’s lavishly renovated International Ballroom, where they enjoyed a sumptuous meal specially prepared for them by our award-winning Executive Chef, Anthony Travis.

This magnificent celebration was made possible through the efforts and contributions of several members of the community, such as Hilton partners Sysco, Coca-Cola, and Miami Purveyors, who made generous donations of food items and beverages for the elaborate banquet. Ms. Jenna Edwards, Miss Florida 2004, gave a special performance, inviting the children to sing along as she sang popular Christmas carols. Next, there was an exciting surprise visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who delivered gifts provided by the Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant and the hotel’s team members. Hilton Miami Airport team members were thrilled to have a part in giving to each of these uniquely deserving children. “It is an unbelievably rewarding experience to be part of this wonderful moment where you can see the children’s eyes widen and their faces light up with joy. I am so glad that in this small way we were able to make their holiday brighter. Seeing the surprise, and delight, felt by these kids made all of our own holidays so much more special and meaningful. For us, this occasion really confirms that it truly is better to give than to receive!” said Farooq Rehmatwala, Area Vice President, Southeast and General Manager of the Hilton Miami Airport.

The Village South is an outreach program established in 1973 as a non- profit agency that focuses on the rehabilitation and counseling of individuals suffering from chemical dependency, mental illness, and adolescents who are deemed to be at risk for substance abuse, as well as other social problems. The Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services, Inc. has been a saving grace for children and families of Miami-Dade County for the past 25 years. A non- profit youth serving agency committed to preserving and strengthening family integrity and redirecting young lives, the organization offers a wide array of intervention programs to assist families with children between the ages of 10-17 who are runaway, abandoned, abused, neglected, truant, or otherwise at- risk. The Miami Bridge helps to “build bridges” for children and families, opening lines of communication in times of crisis and stress.

The Hilton Miami Airport Hotel has a long-term commitment to South Florida, having opened its doors to families and children in need throughout the years. Farooq Rehmatwala, Area Vice President, Southeast, and General Manager of the Hilton Miami Airport, has devoted his time and energy to supporting countless organizations, including Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, United Way, Make a Wish Foundation, March of Dimes, Children’s Home Society, Ronald McDonald House, Neighbors 4 Neighbors, The Village South, and Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services, Inc. Located three miles south of Miami International Airport, The Hilton Miami Airport is situated on a private tropical peninsula in the heart of Blue Lagoon, a 100-acre freshwater lake. With 500 deluxe guest rooms, including 82 spacious junior suites, the hotel offers the most professional environment and amenities for the seasoned business traveler, with a relaxing leisure atmosphere for after business hours.

Jenna Edwards, age 23, was crowned Miss Florida in June 2004, and represented the Sunshine State at the Miss America Pageant in September, where she was a preliminary swimsuit winner. She graduated from the University of Miami in 2003, receiving her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Studies and English Literature. She was recognized as an outstanding student during University of Miami’s Fall Commencement. She aspires to receive her Master’s in Business Administration, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. Jenna is also the founder and President of a 501-C-3 Corporation, Queen for a Day. QFAD helps seriously and terminally ill pediatric patients fight the psychological war of their illness. She appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on two different occasions, and was the recipient of a $10,000 grant as one of Oprah’s Angels. People Magazine and Ford Motor Company have also recognized Jenna and QFAD for the outstanding work in helping to make these young patients become champions of their illness.

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