Monday, April 16, 2012

Don't Keep the Change


Ramada Oasis Hotel & Convention Center Maintenance
Worker Jon Brown suggested that all the money collected
from the hotel's fountains be donated to the Make-A-Wish
Fondation. Now the hotel donates every penny and owner
Robert Low matches every donation made in the fountails.
/Nathan Papes/News-Leader
by: Springfield News-Leader - April 14, 2012

Jon Brown spent two years watching coins fall into the fountains at the Ramada Oasis hotel and convention center.

The hotel has three indoor fountains and more outside, and it’s Brown’s job to clean them periodically. The coins were saved for employee parties or some other function.
“Everyone tosses change in the fountains and makes a wish — so I thought, let’s donate to Make-A-Wish,” Brown said.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of local children with life-threatening illnesses. He said what planted the idea in his head was a party at the hotel. A young girl had asked for a pool party as her wish through the foundation. Brown said he was touched that of all the things the girl could have requested, all she wanted was a chance to swim with friends.

“It was that pool party that really got me thinking,” Brown said. “Children are amazing, so simple. It’s just the littlest things.” He told General Manager Missy Handyside about his idea, and she passed it on to hotel owner Robert Low. “It was just a great idea, and we just had great support,” Handyside said.

Low jumped on board, and even offered to match all the donations made in the fountains.
But the idea didn’t stop there. The hotel contacted Springfield Sign & Neon, which donated plaques for each of the fountains explaining the program. The sign company designed and installed the plaques, and didn’t ask for any credit in the process.“They didn’t even put their logo on it or anything,” Brown said.

In January, the hotel and Low presented more than $500 to the organization. Handyside and Brown expect that amount to grow, as more people notice the signs and chip in a bit more than before. “It’s a lot more quarters,” Brown said. As proud as he is of the program, he hopes it doesn’t stop with the Ramada Oasis.
“There’s other ideas people can come up with. “And other foundations too,” he said.



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