NSBA’s Secretary-Treasurer Sonny Savoie poses with
celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse at the event in New
Orleans.NSBA joined the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB), its hotel community, and two other organizations that relocated their conventions to Chicago to present nearly $900,000 to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity and the University of New Orleans’ Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration.
When NSBA relocated its 2006 conference to Chicago, the Chicago hotel community offered to raise money to assist its colleagues in New Orleans affected by the storm as well as to help in the efforts to rebuild the New Orleans tourism industry. The money was raised when the Chicago hotels agreed to set aside a portion of each hotel room night sold from the relocated conventions of NSBA and the two other organizations.
“NSBA remains committed to the national effort to help rebuild and revitalize New Orleans,” said Anne Bryant, NSBA’s executive director. “When the CCTB and hotels offered us this opportunity to relocate our conference as well as to give back to the New Orleans community, we were thrilled. Being able to support the renewal of the city is something we couldn’t pass up.”
Of the $900,000 dollars raised, a total of $447,800 will go to the University to fund 48 four-year scholarships. The check was presented at celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse‘s restaurant, as he has been a constant supporter of the efforts to rebuild New Orleans.
Sonny Savoie, NSBA’s secretary-treasurer, who attended the event, noted, “As a resident of St. Charles Parish, so close to New Orleans, this gift from an organization that I represent to a city that I love, is especially touching. I’m proud that NSBA has made a commitment to the revival of this great city, and I hope that we’ll continue to support New Orleans as it recovers from Hurricane Katrina.”
The remaining balance of $447,800 was also presented to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity during a visit to Musicians Village. The funds will be used to build six homes for partner families from the hospitality industry that have been displaced by the storm. Construction on the homes is expected to begin within the next six months.
You can see additional photographs from this event by clicking here. For more of BoardBuzz‘s coverage of Hurricane Katrina, click here, here, here, here, and here.