Collaboration Quote of the Month

January 25, 2011

“A world community can only exist with world communication, which means something more than extensive software facilities scattered about the globe. It means common understanding, a common tradition, common idea’s and common ideals.”

Robert M. Hutchins

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WITIA Members Step Forward with Flood Relief Initiatives in Australia

January 19, 2011

Queensland, Australia: Members of Women in Tourism International Alliance (WITIA), headquartered in Gold Coast, Queensland, are wasting no time in coming to the assistance of victims of unprecedented flooding in the state of Queensland. While the tourism-dependent regions of the Gold Coast, Whitsunday Islands and Cairns have escaped flooding and are all open for business, state capital Brisbane and central Queensland were hard hit. These areas are beginning the slow process of recovery.

Within hours of WITIA’s first emailed appeal, local area members came forward to volunteer for humanitarian and clean-up efforts that assist flood victims. According to Beryl Ley, WITIA Communications Director, no WITIA members were directly affected by the floods. “However our members were in the first wave to pitch in with the huge task of cleaning up. Even before flood waters began to recede, we had members raising money for victims through spontaneous street gatherings organized on the Gold Coast. On ‘Salvation Saturday,” our members joined an estimated 12,000 residents unaffected by flooding to travel to Brisbane by bus as part of a massive mop and bucket brigade. Other members have been sorting and packing needed supplies such as non-perishable food, toiletries, clothing, bedding and toys to be distributed to evacuation centers.”

Beyond immediate aid, WITIA members are setting up programs to provide needed funds for the long recovery period. One outstanding example is WITIA member Louise Kearney of Sydney-based Accommodation Auctions On Line. Kearney has solicited donations of vacation packages from properties in Australia, Bali, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Thailand that will go on auction during February 2011. One hundred percent of the auction proceeds will be donated to the floods appeal. Kearney expects to raise between AUD $30,000 – $50,000 with this initiative.

Says Kearney, “We need everyone’s help to make this a real success. We urge you to donate or recommend donors of accommodations, tours, attractions, cruises, flights and transfers – whatever items can attract bids at auction. Furthermore, donors whose solicitations sell at auction will receive a donation receipt made out to them from the Queensland government. Accommodation Auctions is donating our systems and programs to make this happen efficiently and fairly.”

To offer assistance or to get more information, contact Kearney at sales@accommodationauctions.com. As her website is international, this opportunity is open to WITIA members and other tourism businesses around the globe.

WITIA President Mary Mahon Jones adds, “It is heart-warming to see WITIA members respond so quickly. Adelaide member Gudrun Tamandl of Cruise Connection started the ball rolling with an offer of free accommodations for a displaced family. WITIA itself has made a monetary donation. Our call continues to our global membership – be generous in using the power of tourism to help victims in calamitous circumstances, whether in Queensland or other stricken areas.”

Women in Tourism International Alliance (WITIA) is a global networking association for people in travel, tourism, hospitality and related industries. WITIA works to promote and enhance business opportunities and promotes the value of tourism to foster cultural understanding and peace worldwide. It supports charitable causes that offer care and protection to women and children, assists young people in the industry and contributes to the protection of the planet’s natural resources.

For more information, please contact Anne Isaacson, Secretary, at secretary@witia.org.


Former MC of Ozomatli, Kanetic Source, Needs Our Help for His Sick Child Fighting Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

January 18, 2011

As a huge and loving fan of Ozomatli, a funky, world-music dance band from Los Angeles, one of my favorite aspects to the band in the early days was watching their MC Kanetic shake his booty…the man can dance, and with his big, contagious smile, it was hard not to follow his lead. After a few years Kanetic left the band. I often wondered what happened to my and my husband’s dancing coach.

Kanetic and I a few years ago

Well, the other night at an Ozomatli show (our first since coming back to the States, and oh-so-great to experience) Kanetic came out for a surprise appearance. But his stage time was not for fun and laughs…it was, instead, to help bring awareness to his son’s plight for a happy life…

Kanetic’s four year old son, Noah Stout, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma on December 27, 2010 at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital (Stanford) in Palo Alto, California. Noah is a sweet and loving little four year old boy who was playing at home when suddenly he fell and was unable to stand up. His parent’s rushed him to Regional Hospital where the ER doctors decided to do a CT and MRI to ensure he had no major head injuries. To everyone’s surprise, they found a tumor and rushed Noah in an ambulance to Stanford Children’s Hospital. The Stanford Neuro Oncologists reviewed his MRI where he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

Here’s a message from the Stout Family:

Your help will support our son’s fight as well as give hope to parents who are dealing with this illness. All proceeds will be, not only for the benefit of our son Noah, but all children who are in this fight. We hope that if it’s Gods will, that we will cure our son and be the miracle that so many parents around the world have been waiting for. God is everything and the most merciful. Thank you for taking the time to read about our beautiful son, Noah. God Bless.

Sincerely,
The Stout Family

Please help this adorable little boy…The Stout Family has set up a web page and a link to donate via PayPal. For more information, please visit IHeartNoah.org. You can also join the “I Heart Noah” Facebook fanpage.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 19th, little Noah is scheduled for a biopsy at UCSF Childrens Hospital. The family is asking for healing energy and vibe to be sent their way for the procedure.

Family Stout, my thoughts are with you.


Supporting High Fives Foundation in their Support of our Tahoe Community

January 11, 2011

Today is a day of celebration for a nonprofit close to my heart.

1/11/11 is a calenderial fiesta because of the five ones equaling the name that the 501c embraced, High Fives Foundation.

An organization brought together to show support and love for those members of our ski and snowboard tribe that are injured or paralyzed, the Tahoe foundation is helping dampened dreams glimmer with hope. Not only am I close to some of those that the nonprofit assists, I also consider myself lucky to be one of those they are not helping.

15 years ago I sustained a fracture to C5. It all happened in an instant. I was skiing down a silly run — it was low snow year and a group of friends and I were tucking…racing to the bottom…enjoying our mountain playground. There happened to be a jump at the bottom that offered a great right hand airplane turn. Coming into it with speed, I launched into the air only to meet another person — a 350 pound German man — coming out of the woods at the exact same moment. It was neither one of our faults, but nonetheless the collision was a huge blow. It knocked everything off of me…my gloves, hat, goggles, skis, poles…and it changed the course of my life forever.

Prior to that I had dreams of being a ski star. I had the gumption. I had the will. I had the drive. And I adored the sport. But breaking my neck brought that all to a screeching hault. Another fall of great magnitude could leave me wheelchair bound; a future that I took to heart, changing the way I looked at the mountain and the way I skied.

So, there you have it. High Fives is a foundation near and dear to my dreams and adorations in life. I applaud their efforts and am here as a steward of their good will. I ask you to do the same…


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