The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association Foundation was formed in 2009 and began operating as a public foundation in 2012, serving as the charitable arm of CFHLA. The CFHLA Foundation makes contributions to advance tourism initiatives, youth-related causes and community advocacy.
In 2016, the CFHLA Foundation has awarded nearly $200,000 in charitable contributions, scholarships and school grants in Central Florida. Monies raised from the CFHLA Bacchus Bash have provided scholarships for 35 hospitality students and multiple schools including The School District of Osceola County and Orange County Public Schools. Additional scholarships were awarded to family members of local hospitality employees at the Golden Pineapple Awards Dinner.
Charitable contributions for 2016 included the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Central Florida Boy Scouts of America, Central Florida Community Arts, Dr. Phillips Little League, UCF Rosen – Pineapple Ball, Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida and the Grand Tour Gala Foundation. In 2016, the foundation donated $5,000 to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a support home-visits program for crisis situations. This program assists families in Osceola County who struggle to survive working part-time jobs in the area with utility bills and monthly rent.
Additionally, a $2,000 grant was awarded to the new USO Welcome Center at Orlando International Airport. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority estimates that 700,000 active military personnel, veterans and their families will pass through the Orlando International Airport during their travels. The USO Center, which will serve as a first impression of Central Florida, anticipates accommodating over 2,400 military members and their families each month.
The hospitality industry continues to advance the quality of life in Central Florida.