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Celebrating 35 Years: Associate Spotlight – Erac Priester

This year, Marriott Vacations Worldwide joins CMN Hospitals in celebrating 35 years of incredible partnership, all in support of local sick and injured kids.

CMN Hospitals was founded 35 years ago in 1983, and Marriott International was the first corporate partner to join the organizations efforts to raise money for local children’s hospitals. In the early days of the partnership, Marriott provided free rooms for celebrity guests appearing on the organization’s telethon. 

Marriott Vacation Club resorts have continued this legacy and support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since Marriott Vacations Worldwide became an independent, public company in 2011. Now, 35 years later, Marriott International and MVW associates, guests and Owners have raised more than $130 million for sick and injured kids treated at CMN Hospitals.

Throughout 2018, we are highlighting Marriott Vacation Clubs and their incredible associates who go above and beyond to support local children’s hospitals. This month, we celebrate Erac Priester, General Manager at Marriott’s Barony Beach Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Erac shares his personal reason for supporting CMN Hospitals: 

“When my middle son, Evan, was three years old, we had a traumatic experience following a nasty fall that he had from a bar stool at our house. He was rushed by ambulance to our local CMN Hospital in Savannah and I met my wife there after receiving the call. I’ll never forget the day for the rest of my life. I remember the images and thoughts that raced through my head during that 45 minute drive to Savannah and then getting to the full Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to see my son.

Luckily they were just holding him to monitor the blood on his brain overnight to ensure they wouldn’t need to do any additional work. However, I remember calling my parents to update them and how emotional I got telling them what was going on. Fortunate for us we were able to walk out the next day with our son and life continued as usual. Although I still remember seeing the other rooms full of kids and their families that were going through traumatic events that were far more severe than what we dealt with. I remember the dozens of staff we came into contact with and the plethora of equipment they had around the facility to help mend those in need.

As I came back to work and we started preparing for the next Torch Relay, I had a different passion. I saw how the funds were used and I saw how important it was to our community. I strive to be one of the top fund raisers every year, because I have seen why the funding is so important.”