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Now celebrating its tenth year as the Central Florida host of the RCI Christel House Open, the tournament was held on Monday, June 11 at Orange Lake Resort, the timeshare on U.S. 192 in Four Corners. The tournament was held at the resort’s 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-designed Legends golf course.

There were 152 golfers at the event, the largest of all the foundation’s tournaments. It has also been the most successful, raising more than $1 million over the past nine years to support the mission of the foundation, noted Christel House co-founder Christel DeHaan. He also noted that this is the largest multi-day charity golf tournament in the world.

“To Christel House, a contribution of $1 million offers a significant amount of change and hope to impoverished children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to go to school, providing access to all Christel House programs and services from kindergarten to 12th grade,” noted Geoff Ballotti, CEO of RCI. All of the funds raised for the foundation, Ballotti added, “go straight to feed, nourish and nurture the children of Christel House.” This year, the Christel House Open has been spread out across 14 tournament sites, with
11 played in this county and the other three held in Mexico, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

More than 1,800 golfers will tee off in support of the charity in 2012, and RCI has pledged that 100 percent of the worldwide proceeds will go to programs and services that directly benefit the more than 3,000 children of Christel House. Orange Lake Resorts has been one of the oldest timeshares in Central Florida. This, the
flagship property for Holiday Inn Club Vacation, has been operating for 30 years and now offers a 1,450-acre golf course, water park and sports activities, as well as 2,478 villas.

The firm also has resort locations at Lake Geneva, Wis.; Panama City Beach and Marco Island, Fla.; Brownsville, Vt.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Gatlinburg, Tenn.; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Orange Lake Resorts President and CEO Don Harrill welcomed competitors to the tournament on June 11, praising the competitors who have been signature sponsors there for the past 10 years – as well as welcoming the tournament’s newest sponsors.

At the tournament’s reception, Harrill said, “Having personally visited Christel House- Mexico two years ago, I saw first-hand how your donations make a difference for children. We are truly appreciative of your contributions, and proud to once again serve as the host site for this wonderful cause close to our hearts.”
The winning foursome this year was the team from the American Resort Development Association. The CEO of the association, Howard Nusbaum, noted “At this tournament, we drop our competition and become people working together, honoring [timeshare’s] founding daughter [Christel DeHaan] and doing good in the world.”
Nusbaum quoted Christel DeHaan, who once said ‘Whatever you can do good and do well, that’s a double good.’ “So, that’s what Christel House does for the timeshare industry,” Nusbaum said. “We’re doing good and doing well.”

To learn more about the tournament or Christel House, contact Orange Lake Resorts at 407-905-1979 or email [email protected]


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