In addition to the education sessions, networking opportunities and recreation, WMC attendees “adopted” a local school on the island of St. Kitts this year.
In 2012, TCIA planted the seeds of a “give back” campaign and donated school supplies to children of Curaçao. The success of the program spearheaded TCIA’s desire to continue the program. “WMC first travelled to St. Kitts in 2006 and we found the people of St. Kitts so kind and gracious that we absolutely wanted to ‘give back’ to the island when we returned in February 2013,” explained Diane Morgan, TCIA’s meeting planner.
So TCIA asked all attendees (and TCIA staff) to bring items such as pencils, crayons and books that would be donated to a local elementary school. And the attendees wholly embraced the effort! TCIA and WMC attendees donated nine boxes of school supplies to the Dieppe Bay Primary School, located about 35 minutes from the site of WMC.
These boxes were delivered on the last day of WMC by Diane Morgan, Tom Golon (past Chair of the Board), Val Maley and Lynn Guffey (wives of current Board of directors, Will Maley and Jack Guffey), and representatives for the St. Kitts Marriott. The students were polite and attentive while representatives explained where they had travelled from and about the tree care industry. Tom even educated them on trees and how important trees are to the planet!
The teachers, principal and the students were overjoyed at the generosity of the WMC attendees and all the donated supplies will go to good use and was very much needed. “It brought tears to all our eyes!” Diane says.
Thrilled with the success, TCIA plans to continue this program next year at Winter Management Conference at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas February 2-6, 2014.