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September 2021

Omni Amelia Island Resort

Giving Back with Purpose

By Sally J. Sportsman

Amelia Island, part of the Sea Islands chain of barrier islands on Florida’s Atlantic coast, is a holiday destination known for its luxury resorts, golf courses and sandy beaches. Omni Amelia Island Resort, in Fernandina Beach in Northeast Florida, offers enjoyable golf, sweeping ocean views and world-class amenities. What may not come immediately to mind is that this resort contributes in important ways to the well being of its community. In fact, it is part of the initiative, launched in 2016 by Omni Hotels, known as Say Goodnight to Hunger, with a goal to help end hunger in America.

Since the program’s launch, the Omni properties have made donations to Feeding America® that help provide one meal for every completed stay. To date, nearly 18 million meals have been donated across the Omni brand, providing nutritious meals for food banks to feed children, families and seniors in communities around the United States. All of the 60 Omni properties, including Omni Amelia Island Resort, are actively participating in the program.

In addition, Omni Amelia Island Resort, which features Oak Marsh Golf Course and Long Point Golf Course, hosts fundraisers to help contribute to other community charities and charitable initiatives.

“We try to hold most of our charity events on Mondays or Tuesdays, when we typically see less resort play compared to other days of the week,” said Jonathan Bridge, director of golf at Omni Amelia Island Resort. “Most youth events and Florida State Golf Association events take place over weekends, so we have to be more selective over which ones we accommodate so we don’t displace resort guests.”

Some of the charity events the resort has hosted include PTSD Heroes, Knights of Columbus, Boys & Girls Club and the United Way. All of these take place in the fall, September through November.

“The course is usually in really good shape that time of year and we experience less transient play,” Bridge said, “perfect timing to host charity events. These events are your typical fundraisers with multiple ways to donate or participate in games, including mulligans, longest drive and closest to the pin.”

In addition to golf, amenities at Omni Amelia Island Resort include multiple dining options, 23 tennis courts and the renowned Cliff Drysdale tennis program, a nature-inspired spa, boutique shops and numerous recreational options managed by resort staff, all without guests ever needing to leaving the property – not to mention what the resort bills as the largest poolscape in Northeast Florida.

“We pride ourselves in offering guests a full resort experience,” said Theo Schofield, managing director of the Omni Amelia Island Resort. “Set on over 1,300 acres, the resort is a destination within a destination.”

Michelle Valle, complex director of marketing for several Omni properties, noted that the Omni Amelia Island Resort balances its luxurious guest experience with even more community support and outreach programs.

“Beyond the Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative,” Valle said, “our associates organize dates to volunteer at the local food pantry, Barnabas Center. This may involve packing lunches for local school-age children, providing meals for those in need or stocking the consignment store.”

As for marketing all these outreach initiatives, the resort generally doesn’t do so.

“We don’t necessarily market to charitable organizations,” said Valle. “They tend to find us due to our reputation and brand awareness in our market.

“We continue to focus our efforts on supporting Omni’s Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative, which is a great way to make a positive impact in our own community.”

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