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Community pride: civic heart beats within the tourism community of Madison, Wisc.

The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and the Madison Area Wisconsin Innkeepers Association partner together to show that hospitality and caring for others is a way of life for the tourism industry. On a daily basis, both care for visitors who come to the greater Madison area--and quietly they make significant contributions to the welfare of those who live in the community too.

Hospitality with a Heart, a program that began in 2001, originally helped Madison's Salvation Army and New York hospitality employees and their families who were affected by the events of September 11. The GMCVB and 100+ area hospitality-related businesses donated packages to be auctioned on the GMCVB Web site.

"As Wisconsin's second largest industry, area tourism and hospitality partners play critical roles in our community and greatly contribute to the economic vitality of our area and assisting those in need," GMCVB President & CEO Deb Archer asserts

The auction, which has become an annual event to raise money for the local Salvation Army, has also brought to light the numerous other ways Madison area tourism provides incredible generosity to the community. Each year:

* Thousands of pounds of food and toiletries are donated to area shelters by caterers, hotels, and restaurants.

* Deeply discounted hotel rooms are provided to medical patients and their families`

* Hundreds of complimentary dining and retail certificates are donated to charities and non-profit organization fundraisers.

* Dozens of free taxi rides are provided for the Safe Rider program.

* Complimentary space and support is provided for blood drives and charitable programS.
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Article Details
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Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1U3WI
Date:May 12, 2003
Previous Article:Charlotte, N.C., partners with community, travel & tourism task force to get results.
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