Hotels to support RAINN over commencement weekend

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- This weekend, as thousands of people converge upon Penn State and the surrounding community for commencement, several area hotels including Penn State's Nittany Lion Inn and Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel will be teaming up to actively support the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. From Dec. 15 to 18, an estimated 2,000 guest rooms will be occupied in 23 participating lodging properties in the State College hotel community, which have teamed up with Hotels for Hope and the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau to donate $1 per occupied room night to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). The hotels also will distribute information about sexual assault and RAINN's outreach to those staying at their hotels.

"Based on our reservations for graduation weekend, we're estimating that the Nittany Lion Inn and Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel will team up to donate about $1,000 to RAINN," said Jim Purdum, general manager of hospitality services for Penn State.

Hotels will promote the cause at check in, along with answering any questions guests may have about the campaign. Each property will hand out informational cards containing a "Happy Valley Hotels for Hope Weekend" logo and statistics related to sexual abuse. Affixed to every card is a blue ribbon, which guests can wear throughout the weekend.

"We, as a hotel community, want to join others in our community who are currently reaching out to help victims of sexual abuse," said Michele MacDonald, co-chair and director of sales for HFL Hotels. All donations will be facilitated by Hotels for Hope and donated through The Hotels for Hope Fund.

"State College lodging properties are working alongside alumni groups and student organizations currently raising funds for RAINN," said Neil Goldman, Founder of Hotels for Hope.

RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault violence organization. Charitable contributions from hotel room night consumption and additional donations will fund RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline. "Thanks to Hotels for Hope and participating hotels, the Penn State community is giving back to help victims, and demonstrating what being a Penn Stater is really all about," said Scott Berkowitz, Founder of RAINN. "Since this broke, we have seen a 54 percent increase in usage to our hotline."

For more information about the Hotels for Hope initiative, visit http://www.hotelsforhope.org/happyvalley/ online.

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Last Updated December 16, 2011