Brandywine Conference and Visitors Bureau Celebrates Tourism Week by Packing `SUITCASES FOR SOLDIERS’

CHADDS FORD, Pa., May 3 /PRNewswire/ — The Brandywine Conference and Visitors Bureau will celebrate Tourism Week, May 9th to 13th, by sending returning servicemen and women and their families on mini vacations throughout the northeast region.

“Bureaus around the country use Tourism Week to call attention to the huge economic impact tourism makes on local economies,” noted Tore Fiore, Executive Director of the Brandywine Conference and Visitors Bureau. “Travel and tourism in Brandywine Country has been climbing for the past 18 months and how better to highlight the importance of travel – than to give our local returning soldiers and their families mini vacations so they can reunite in a relaxed way, having fun and making great memories together.”

Brandywine Country’s bureau staff will be packing more than 100 SUITCASES FOR SOLDIERS at 9:30am on Tuesday, May 10th – filling them with free tickets to fun activities, free hotel weekends, disposable cameras and more. These suitcases will be given to the families of military servicemen and women currently in Iraq.

“Ask any soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq what their number one wish is and they will say that it’s getting back home for time with their families,” notes Sergeant Lawrence J. Addicott of the Pennsylvania Marine base in Folsom. “The Bureau’s “Suitcases for Soldiers” program creates that opportunity for returning veterans in an instant – it’s a great idea!”

“We are contacting hotels, attractions, theme parks and restaurants all over eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware,” Fiore explains. “We have received more than $5000 worth of free tickets to Pennsylvania theme parks and New Jersey shore fun piers including Morey’s Piers, Wonderland Pier, Dutch Wonderland, Sesame Place, Williams Grove Amusement Park, Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom, and Camel Beach Waterpark.”

Among the hotels donating overnight packages are the Doubletree Hotel in Wilmington, Hilton Garden Inn at Kennett Square, Radnor Hotel, Wayne Hotel, Embassy Suites of Philadelphia, Sheraton Suites Philadelphia Airport, Trump Casino and the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City. The Brandywine Valley Bed & Breakfast Association donated 17 overnight packages – one from each member B&B. And resorts and Inns throughout the Jersey Shore are donating, as well, with overnight packages coming from Montego Bay Resort, Pier 4, Summer Nites 50′s B&B, The Ocean Front, Candlelite Inn, Harbor Lights Hotel and Cameo Rose B&B.

Fiore added that major attractions have also donated hundreds of free admission tickets including the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science, the Brandywine River Museum and American Helicopter Museum. The Bureau has received dozens of theater packages including tickets to the Media Theater, Candlelight Theater and Three Little Bakers Dinner Theater – and the Glenmorgan Bar & Grill donated 100 free appetizers, one for each suitcase.

The Brandywine Bureau promotes the region known as “Brandywine Country,” which extends from the Delaware State Line at Wilmington to Philadelphia and north to the famous Main Line towns of Wayne and Radnor. It also blankets horse country and the lush countryside west of Philly, encompassing Chadds Ford and the Brandywine River Valley.

“We are excited to send our brave returning soldiers and their families out to enjoy all the great attractions we have to offer,” noted Lou Prevost, President of the Bureau’s Board of Directors. “Brandywine Country is one of the region’s top destinations featuring sites like the Brandywine Battlefield, Longwood Gardens and the Brandywine River Museum which features the art of three generations of Wyeths.”

The Brandywine Bureau will be accepting contributions until 9:30am on May 10th. You can mail them to arrive by the 10th, or bring them that morning and help the staff and soldiers from local bases pack the suitcases. Those able to contribute funds, overnight hotel packages, restaurant certificates or tickets to attractions should contact Barbara Lehman, Director of Communications, at 610-565-3679.

“The Travel and Tourism Industry has a huge heart,” Fiore adds, “and you can see a complete list of contributors on our web site, at http://www.brandywinecountry.org/.” For more information on Brandywine Country call 800-343-0843.

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