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Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort Give Kids The World

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Sparky and friends!

For years the Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort has been putting children first. Last weekend, the resort celebrated the 18th anniversary of their major fundraiser; Give Kids The World, bringing the community together with a fun and child centered event.

The Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort opened their doors, once again, and put on a celebration to raise the much needed funds for Give Kids The World Village, a 70 acre “storybook” resort located in central, Fl. With the funds collected, Give Kids The World Village is able to fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

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Massey Hejazi, General Manager of the Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort enjoys the day.

The Give Kids The World Village is equipped with 144 Villas specifically designed for children with special needs. Any parent with an ill child can tell you the challenges the family has to overcome when they travel with a youngster with special needs.

The Give Kids The World Village is in the heart of central Florida and is geared toward “all things kids.” Welcoming more than 140,000 families from all 50 states and 75 countries, last year alone, Give Kids The World Village served over 7,000 families making wishes come true for thousands of kids.According to Give Kids The World Village website, “No child in need has ever been turned away – and no child ever will.” With the motto: Where Happiness Inspires Hope, Give Kids The World Village knows how to make families happy.

“This is an organization that we really believe in,” shared Massey Hejazi, General Manager of the Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort. “We do it from the heart. We do it for the kids.”
To say this was a community event is an understatement. Volunteers came out of the woodwork to participate in this event. The Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort staff formed a Give Kids The World committee. Working for a year, this group of dedicated employees gather donations, secured entertainment, arranged for food and got the word out. “We take care of all expenses and 100% of the proceeds go to the organization.” explained Hejazi as he made sure things flowed smoothly by the pool.

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Bobbie Kuehn and her mom enjoy their 10th year at the event.

Bobbie Kuehn was there enjoying the festivities with four generations of her family. “We have been coming here for over ten years,” explained Kuehn as she watched her grandchildren enjoying themselves in the pool and at the photo booth. “My granddaughter, Katelyn Thomas had two wishes fulfilled. It was just wonderful!”

Along with the special accommodations, Katelyn and her family were treated to tickets to five Orlando amusement parks, including Disney. “The facility is beautiful,” shared Kuehn as she remembered the time spend at Give Kids The World Village. “They made the children feel special. When the kids left for the day, the staff made sure there was a gift in the room when they came back.”

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The Beachside Entertainment Crew.

What started on the beach as a company tug-of-war, has expanded to a magical poolside event at Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort.

Brian Sullivan from Beachside Entertainment was on hand to donate his time and talents. “We do it for the kids,” said Sullivan as he packed up his equipment. “Any one of us can have health issues. Anything we can do to help out, after all they deserve it!”

Surrounded by kids all day long, Sparky the Clown made the crowd laugh with his impressive balloon animals and entertaining personality. “This is my passion,” shared Sparky, aka Christopher Paone a St Johns County school teacher. “I was trained by the best circus clown in the business, JB Dick, and I am grateful I am able to share my talent with the kids.”

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The ladies staff the  welcome table.

The silent auction included over 24 hotel stays including: Courtyard by Marriott, Days Inn and Crown Plaza Ft Myers to name a few. A Richard Petty ride along was a big auction item as was the local attractions including: Old Town Trolley ride, Ripleys, Alligator Farm, Gatorland, Marineland and many more. Gift cards were auctioned off, a 50/50 drawing was held and a “small town” bake sale was there to make sure nobody went home empty handed.

For a moment in time, Give Kids the World Village gives the children and their families the time and the space to forget about hospitals, forget about sickness and forget about the fear of waiting. It is a place where parents can put finances aside and enjoy their precious children. The Give Kids the World Village allows families to be “in the moment” and gives the children the opportunity to be a kid and have fun.

Somethings are just not fair. Bobbie Kuehn’s granddaughter Katelyn Thomas was just too young to leave this world. There was more to do and more to love. The impact that Give Kids The World Village has had on her family is apparent. It made a difference to a little girl, to a loving mom and to a loving family.

Give Kids The World Village is spreading the love and instilling the joy. Our hats are off to Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort and staff for taking the time to make a difference and for showing the community how it is done.