Boys and Girls Club benefits from Embassy sweetness
Thanks to Embassy Suites Resort, the wishes of many may help fulfill the dreams of a small group of deserving youngsters.
The large fountain in the lobby at Embassy Suites brings in more than $1,000 in spare change per year, all of which is donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe.
The Nevada-side club sent its Torch group, a youth service group within the Boys & Girls Club, to Embassy to collect the donation.
But resort officials didn’t just hand the kids a check. They had to dig for their treasure.
Embassy Suites Facilities Manager Gerry De Young and his crew drained the water from the fountain, leaving hundreds of gray rocks and hidden, shiny coins behind.
“The property doesn’t just present a check, they have the kids come in and collect the money themselves,” said Justin Yax, Embassy Suites spokesman. “When they built the property they didn’t necessarily have this in mind, but it quickly became evident that (the wishing well) would attract a lot of money.”
There is now a plaque on the fountain which reads: “Contributions are made to the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe – Dedicated to the youth and future of Lake Tahoe.”
Boys & Girls Club Program Director Mike Hoxsie said he is very grateful for Embassy’s contribution to the children.
“We have very few sources on this side of the lake for these kids, so something like this is just outstanding,” said Hoxsie, adding that his club’s site, at Lake Park apartments, will be torn down next year. “My biggest thing is to let the community know we have an awesome program we’ve put into place, but we do need a site. If someone knows of a site available, we’d love to hear about it.”
De Young said donating the fountain funds to the Boys & Girls Club is like giving something back to the community.
“We’ve always had a sign that says where the money is going, which may contribute to the large amounts put in,” he said. “It’s giving something back to the community, especially the Boys & Girls Club, which desperately needs it. Embassy tries to support the community, so when it comes time, we don’t even think of anyone else to clean the pond, we just call in the Boys and Girls Club.”
And so, with latex gloves and buckets in hand, the kids crouched down on the fountain’s rocky bottom and retrieved the handsome reward.
“I think this is fun. It’s dirty, but I don’t care about the mess because we get the money and now we can go on more field trips.” said Morgan Brown, 10. “We could have come out here and done the work as a service project, for free, but it’s cool because we also get to keep all of the money.”
Nick Vidal, 13, has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club for more than three years.
“I think it’s cool (Embassy Suites) lets us do this because we get money contributed to our club,” he said.
Eleven-year-old Shayna Padilla said cleaning out the fountain benefits Embassy Suites, as well as the club.
“I think it’s worth it to go out in the community and do things like this because it’s helpful to people and it’s helpful to us,” she said.
The club began working in the fountain Monday evening, but still had a long way to go. De Young said he could keep the fountain drained until Friday to give the kids enough time to gather all of the money. At that time, the coins will be rinsed clean and taken to a casino to be counted.
Harveys Resort Casino also gives the funds from it’s fountain to a charitable cause. All proceeds from the Harveys fountain are donated to That’s What Friends are For, the Harveys employee assistance fund, a nonprofit charitable organization registered with the state of Nevada.
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