Skål International Boston gives thanks and gives back this November

A great time was had by all on Thursday, November 18, at the iconic Boston Park Plaza as a group of nearly 90 Skålleagues gathered together to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season and to give back.

Upon arrival, guests tucked into delightful bites and enjoyed networking. The Skål toast was led by host Jon Crellin, Vice President of Operations/Managing Director of Highgate and the Boston Park Plaza.

After confirming the 2022 slate of officers, Beth Stehley, 2021 Club President and Senior Vice President of Sales for the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, commenced the November activity, a first-of-its-kind event for the club supporting the charity Boston’s Healthcare for the Homeless.

Members and guests worked together to assemble over 500 bags of essential supplies donated to the organization and their patients. Donations were secured from the Moxy Boston Downtown, Studio Allston, and the Boston Park Plaza, with additional supplies secured by the club to round out the offering.

Efren Aponte, Skål International Boston’s 2021 treasurer and Director of Sales and Marketing at the Moxy Downtown and Studio Allston, spearheaded the event. He said the idea was inspired by the annual December meeting, where the club has a heavy charity focus. He asked himself, “instead of giving back once a year, why don’t we do it more often? I did a lot of research on different organizations around Boston. Life is so fast-paced right now; learning about what organizations like Boston Healthcare for the Homeless do was eye-opening. Skal is an organization and a leader within the city and the hospitality industry. I believe it is important for us to include the homeless community in our charitable efforts as a part of our city. With the COVID pandemic happening, we know that some of our hospitality community are now affected by homelessness. As a destination, we need to be a part of the solution. What can we do to make our city and our destination better?

Beth shared: “philanthropic endeavors are a major pillar of the Boston club. We hold raffles at most meetings which enable us to annually fund two scholarships for individuals majoring in hospitality and other charities that need assistance. This year with so many in need of the basics, partnering with the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless was our choice, specifically helping children stay warm with the upcoming cold weather".

In addition to opening their hearts, members were encouraged to open their wallets, and over $3,300 was collected to support the event. Beth added, “a thank you to our members for their ongoing generous contributions".

Over 11,000 homeless individuals are cared for by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program each year. They are committed to ensuring that every one of these individuals has access to comprehensive health care, from preventative dental care to cancer treatment. Their clinicians, case managers, and behavioral health professionals work in more than 35 locations to deliver the highest quality health care to some of our community’s most vulnerable—and most resilient—citizens.