For many years, our co-founders and co-presidents David Brown and Tim Stripe have maintained a close relationship with timeshare pioneer Christel DeHaan. Christel mentored the two young entrepreneurs during the early days of Grand Pacific Resorts, contributing wisdom from her experience co-founding RCI, one of the world’s largest timeshare exchange networks.
Today Christel devotes her time and financial resources to Christel House, an organization that builds and operates learning centers in India, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, and inner city Indianapolis. These centers empower students in impoverished areas to become leaders in their communities through education. Christel House also provides healthcare, nutritious meals, character development, and other complementary services to care for the whole child.
When Christel began her non-profit in 1998, David and Tim jumped at the opportunity to support the cause and expand our philanthropic reach beyond the communities we operate in. Since then, we’ve furthered our support of Christel House’s fundraising efforts and spent time with a number of the students at the annual ARDA World conference.
Here are some of the ways in which we provide funding and ongoing support for this worthy cause:
- Since 2003 Grand Pacific Resorts has raised more than $300,000 for Christel House by hosting an annual golf tournament.
- Grand Pacific Resorts donates a week to the Christel House vacation auction each year that is placed on BiddingforGood.com.
- In 2015, Grand Pacific Resorts donated two weeks to the Christel House live auction at the GNEX conference.
- Two years ago, Christel DeHaan introduced David Brown to Maryari, a Christel House graduate from Venezuela who was struggling to pick a college major. Maryari dreamed of studying international relations, but her professors weren’t supportive. They worried that she would not be able to find a job in a country characterized by political instability. David and Maryari hit it off immediately, and David mentored the college student to stick with her passion. Maryari took the advice to heart, and today she works for the United Nations in Caracas.
- We stock all of our resort units with Christel House Coffee, which is a fundraising program for the organization.
As we continue to expand our giving program, we remain committed to Christel House and the students it impacts every day. For more information about Christel House, visit http://christelhouse.org/.