SHANGHAI, CHINA [ ABN NEWS ] — Marriott International hosted its fourth annual charity gala in support of Yao Foundation today and raised a total of RMB 2.24 million to further support education projects for underprivileged children in rural China.
All proceeds generated from ticket sales and the evening’s charity auction will be used for the further development of Marriott-Yao Foundation Hope Primary Schools.
Marriott International recognizes the important work of the Yao Foundation and has supported it in community service programs since 2013, including the commitment of rebuilding seven Hope Primary Schools in southwestern China. As of 2016, Marriott has raised a total of RMB 13 million in supporting charity projects in collaboration with the Yao Foundation, completed the reconstruction of three primary schools, and supported three the Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Seasons.
Established by the former basketball player Yao Ming, the Yao Foundation is dedicated to the development of Chinese youth through education, sport, health and self-esteem.
Themed “Roaring 20’s,” the Gala was held in the Shanghai Marriott Hotel Parkview and jointly organized by a cluster of 34 Marriott Hotels in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Kunshan, Yiwu and Changzhou with the attendance of more than 700 corporate guests and individual sponsors.
During the 2016 gala dinner, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, appeared in a special video to express his gratitude to the guests, Marriott associates and Yao Foundation teams for their support of children’s education. He said: “Thank you to the Yao Foundation for your vision and to our associates who work so hard to improve your communities. My favourite word is ‘more’, as we continue to grow and add more hotels, we will continue to do more for our communities.”
Craig S. Smith, President and Managing Director of Marriott International Asia Pacific, said: “It is our great pleasure to be part of this ongoing commitment in supporting children’s education in China alongside the Yao Foundation. Being the world’s largest hotel group isn’t just about adding scale, but also opportunities – opportunities for our associates, owners and, most importantly, for the community we live in. I thank Yao Ming and the Yao Foundation for their trust in and collaboration with Marriott.”
Yao Ming said: “We are grateful for all the support of Marriott International towards the education and sports program for children in rural China over the past few years. Marriott International not only raises funds for the Yao Foundation, but also drives the collective engagement of business partners, guests and associates for this charity.” Yao recognizes Marriott International as a good role model in promoting corporate social responsibility and support for local communities.
Top level sponsors include:
British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia, Brand USA China Office, Callaway, Summergate Fine Wines & Spirits, Mercedes-Benz Arena, HNA Group, Air China, Harman International, Marriott Rewards, Grand Hotels Media, Simmons Bedding Company LLC., Shanghai Sunway Business Development Co., Verve International.
Ecolab Inc., Shanghai Lin Hu International Trading Limited, Tronex International Inc., Wuxi Chengbao Foods Co. LTD, Technogym (Shanghai) International Trading Ltd., American Hotel Register Company (International Hotel Supply (Shanghai) Company Ltd.), Winterhalter (China), New Development Group.
About the Yao Foundation
The Yao Foundation is a specialized fund established by Yao Ming under the auspices of The China Youth Development Foundation. It aims at promoting the all-around development of Chinese youth by providing them the opportunities to improve their education, sports skills, health and self-esteem. Since the Yao Foundation was established, more than 10,000 Chinese rural youth have benefited from studying in the 22 Hope Primary Schools and one special education school it has funded. Besides constructing the school buildings, the Yao Foundation also improves the educational experience of Chinese youth by partnering with leading Chinese and multinational companies to build libraries, computer rooms, kitchens, and sports and exercise areas in local schools. In 2012, the Yao Foundation initiated the “Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season” program. From 2012 to 2016, the program has 495,000 attendances of Chinese youth. Besides teaching basketball skills, it will help them build self-confidence and learn sportsmanship which will be crucial for their development in the future. For more information about the Yao Foundation, visit www.yaofoundation.cn. Weibo and Wechat: 姚明爱心基金.