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April 14, 2010

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Golf Day builds homes for the needy

SHANGHAI'S business community joined forces with JW Marriott Hotels to help build a better life for China's poor during the hotel chain's annual charity golf day.

More than 160,000 yuan (US$23,436) was raised at the event last Friday at Shanghai Tianma Golf and Country Club in suburban Songjiang District.

Donations support the local arm of nonprofit Habitat for Humanity and will help fund poverty-alleviation housing projects in Guangdong and Yunnan provinces.

Marriott hotels from Shanghai, Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province and Wuxi and Suzhou in Jiangsu Province took part in the ninth annual event that attracted more than 100 golfers.

"Our Charity Golf Day seems to be gaining in popularity and both customers and business partners look forward to being part of this worthwhile cause," said Marriott Cluster General Manager Michael Malik.

"Once again, we got together to raise funds for Habitat for Humanities China and, coupled with the black-tie dinner on November 19, we look forward to breaking all fund-raising records previously set," he said.

Malik thanked the sponsors of the event that ranged from bedding manufacturer King Koil (Shanghai) Sleep System to the automotive industry's BMW Shanghai sales outlet.

"As always, we appreciate the strong support from our customers and business partners without which the event would not be a success," Malik said.

Golfers who hit a hole-in-one could win a BMW 318i, but no one did.

Many participants did leave with prizes including free nights at any of Marriott's 17 participating hotels, the latest model Ipod Touch and a top-of-the-range driver donated by HONMA.

When it came to the golf, the team of Jimmy Chen, George Russell, Zheng Yaokun and Xu Jianhua won the four-ball scramble event.

While the Marriott's regional vice president of sales and marketing, Dominic Sherry, won closest to the pin, Kuok Chek Lin had the longest drive.

Nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International works with people in need to build simple, safe and affordable homes.

Founded in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses globally for around 1 million people. It works in more than 3,000 communities in 83 nations, constructing homes in partnership with needy families, local coordinating committees, local and national governments, corporate sponsors and volunteers.

Habitat's Shanghai General Manager Eric Arndt said corporate support, like that in the golf day, helps build new homes and a new life for families around China.

"Habitat for Humanity is delighted to have the support of Marriott, King Koil and many others who've come together for this successful Charity Golf Day," Arndt said.

"It is partners like these that make it possible for us to help provide decent, affordable homes to families in need."


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