Celebrating 35 Years of a Spirit to Serve

January 24, 2019

As the first corporate partner to join in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ efforts to raise funds and awareness for charitable support of pediatric healthcare, Marriott provided free rooms for celebrity guests appearing on the organization’s national telethon.

When John and Alice Marriott opened a root beer stand in 1927, they could have never imagined the business impact they would have in the hospitality industry, let alone the tremendous contribution they would make in advancing pediatric health care - including here at Orlando Health.

After running their original Hot Shoppes, the Marriott family became known for the portfolio of hotels and resorts they are associated with today.  Along the way, they also aligned themselves with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals – a cause near and dear to their hearts, as Alice Marriott’s mother had worked for Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.

A First
As the first corporate partner to join in CMN Hospitals’ efforts to raise funds and awareness for charitable support of pediatric healthcare, Marriott provided free rooms for celebrity guests appearing on the organization’s national telethon. More than 30 years later, the partnership has evolved, and since the inception of this relationship, more than $130 million has been raised by Marriott International and Marriott Vacation Club properties across North America.

Since becoming a CMN member hospital in 1997, Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children has benefitted greatly from the generous spirit of Marriott International and Marriott Vacations Worldwide guests, owners and associates. CMN Hospitals’ funds have supported the Level 1 Trauma Center, The Heart Center and the Child Life department at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer, as well as the NICU at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. Their partnership also made possible the Marriott International Radiology Waiting Room at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer.

Giving to CMN Hospitals is part of Marriott’s Spirit to Serve initiative and Marriott Vacation Club brands have continued this legacy and support since Marriott Vacations Worldwide became an independent, publicly held company in 2011.

365 Day of Fundraising


As a year-round fundraising partner, Marriott Vacations Worldwide associates, guests and owners raise funds through large-scale events like the Caring Classic golf tournament, conducting unique fundraising events at resorts, participating in associate giving through payroll deduction and participating in the local Torch Relay for CMN Hospitals event in Orlando.

In 2012, Marriott Vacations Worldwide pledged to raise $1 million to support the expansion of the Alexander Center for Neonatology at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer, which opened its doors in 2014. This year, Marriott Vacations Worldwide has pledged to support families once again, making a commitment to raise $1.5 million over the next five years to support the fetal surgery program at both the Leon Pediatric Neuroscience Center of Excellence at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer, and the Fetal Care Center at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer.

With this recent addition, we bring together physicians of multiple specialties and other clinicians to provide advanced diagnostic services, the latest surgical and non-surgical treatment options, comprehensive education and research. For pediatric patients and for babies that would be born with neurological conditions, such as spina bifida, this means greater access to experts and more coordinated care – all of which contribute to an improved quality of life. Orlando Health Arnold Palmer and Orlando Health Winnie Palmer now has one of only 12 programs in the country and the first in Florida to offer in-utero surgery to repair spina bifida.
Charitable support makes these advancements possible, and we are grateful for partners who want to make a difference in the life of a child today, as well as invest in the care for future patients. And to think, it all began with a hot summer day and a root beer float, nearly 100 years ago.