(September 19, 2012) – The philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts – The Sandals Foundation – and Flight Centre Canada, one of the world’s leading travel consulting companies, joined forces for a fourth year to continue their legacy of providing the largest community outreach program in the Caribbean.
Over 600 Flight Centre employees descended on Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) from September 8 – 15 to hold their National Leadership Conference, and collaborate with the Foundation to undertake a wide range of community projects in communities and schools across TCI.
Eight major projects – benefiting over 4,000 TCI residents – were carried out including the renovation of two schools, Clement Howell High and Enid Capron Primary; a conch farm clean-up; the renovation of the Five Cays community Center basketball court; a collaboration with the National Trust to repair the trail-way; the planting of mangrove trees on the Little Water Cay National reserve; and the beautification of National Landmark Cheshire Hall Historical Ruins.
“Working on these projects gave us a chance to give back to the destinations that help us make a living. It was our chance to prove that we are responsible and caring travel professionals by getting engaged in some charitable work with our great partner, Sandals, and our friends – the Caribbean locals, said Flight Centre President Greg Dixon
“Flight Centre is a company made up of incredibly passionate and dedicated people. This was our chance to show ourselves and the travel industry how working together can produce amazing results. We are leaving a legacy and starting a trend that we hope lasts for years to come,”. Dixon continued.
Dixon and a team of 247 volunteers ventured to Blue Hills to visit the Foundation sponsored school Clement Howell High where they constructed 20 picnic tables for the students’ lunch shed, completely renewed the surface of thebasketball court, painted the administrative and canteen buildings along with 15 doors of the school’s industrial arts building, constructed 40 garbage receptacles, taught crucial environmental lessons to over 150 students and helped to install 15 brand new computers donated by the Sandals Foundation, as well as repair other computers in the computer labs.
Heidi Clarke, Director of Programs for the Sandals Foundation who was on hand to help with these projects, was yet again amazed by the generous support of the Flight Centre team.
“The Sandals Foundation is extremely grateful to the Flight Centre team who have partnered with us for the last four years to invest in making a difference in the Caribbean. When the Flight Centre travel consultants learn about the communities we work with and interact with the local people, they leave our shores and promote giving back to the communities through the Sandals Foundation,” she said. “We have seen the amazing benefits of their visits and our partnership, and we continue to be touched by both their generosity and their dedication in taking time out to give back in this region.”
Enid Capron Principal Rachel Taylor expressed her excitement for the amazing contribution, saying, “We are so happy that the Flight Centre group was able to come and not only improve our reading garden, paint our buildings, build garbage receptacles around the school compound but also build a new infant play area for our kindergarteners. Now the students have a beautiful, clean and comfortable area that they will enjoy using.”
Meanwhile, Director of the National Trust Ethlyn Gibbs-Williams praised the work that was done at the National Trust.
“We are so appreciative of the work done on Little Water Cay and at Cheshire Hall Plantation Historic Site. The group helped with the much needed mangrove planting, repairs of the trail on the cay, the realignment of the trails of Cheshire Hall Ruins, and the provision of gravel, which uplifted the appearance and will indeed make walking more comfortable for some of our visitors.
“We thank them for helping us to safeguard the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the Turks & Caicos Islands,” she said.
The volunteers also hosted two Reading Road Trips which saw the participation of over 200 children. This included a reading session at the Paradise Baptist Church in Five Cays and an Environmental Class at the Clement Howell High School and Enid Capron schools.