by Brooke Wilzen, Community Engagement Manager
The 14th Annual Northwest Region Charity Golf Tournament and Auction was held August 23rd in Aloha, OR at the beautiful Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club. This year, I had the privilege of volunteering on behalf of BEST. Mar and I spent the day keeping golfers hydrated and cool by delivering beverages via golf cart. Spending the day on a stunning golf course in perfect summer weather was a far cry from my normal workday which is filled with emails and conference calls, but such sacrifices must be made once in a while.
In all seriousness though, I want to extend a thank you, on behalf of all of us at BEST, to the attendees, sponsors, and organizers who put together another fabulous event this year. Thank you for continuing to support our Northwest community and BEST’s work to create a world in which no one is trafficked. A special word of thanks to Arvind, Tina, and Alkesh Patel, who continue to be the driving forces behind this annual event. This year’s tournament raised an impressive $70,000! These funds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon, Autism Society of Oregon and Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST).
In the past few years, AAHOA’s support has enabled BEST to spread the word about our online Inhospitable to Trafficking training course, which trains hoteliers how to recognize and prevent human trafficking from happening within their hotels.
“Our partnership with AAHOA has been fantastic--AAHOA is thoughtful and strategic in their stand against human trafficking. Their generous donation to BEST this year will enable BEST to support AAHOA’s social media and communications regarding the impact of human trafficking on the hospitality industry, gather new legal research for hotel owners, and provide ongoing training for their members,” said Dr. Mar Brettmann, BEST’s Executive Director.
This year’s tournament was a huge success, attracting over 140 golfers from across the hospitality sector. After finishing the course, golfers and volunteers headed to the clubhouse to have dinner, pick up awards and bid on some wonderful silent auction items. I met many wonderful people, enjoyed the innumerable networking opportunities, and saw lots of happy faces. It seemed that all of the attendees and volunteers were having as good a time as me.
Founded in 1989, AAHOA (www.aahoa.com) is the largest hotel owners association in the world, with more than 15,000 small business owner-members. AAHOA members own almost one in every two hotels in the United States.