Sundance Vacations Announces Winner of Teachers and Nurses Appreciation Cruise Giveaway Contest


Winner Selected by Sundance Vacations’ Facebook Community


Wilkes-Barre, Pa (May 21, 2010) – Sundance Vacations today announced that Shannon Chavalia of Toledo, Ohio is the winner of the Teachers and Nurses Appreciation Cruise Giveaway Contest. The Teachers and Nurses Appreciation Cruise Giveaway is the third in a series of Facebook contests by Sundance Vacations to give away six free cruises between April and June. Shannon nominated herself and her husband for the contest and was chosen as the winner of the free cruise by Sundance Vacations’ Facebook community.


“We are shocked that we actually won the free cruise giveaway! The past year and half has been a very trying time for my husband and I, and a vacation for just the two of us has been a long time coming. Our last trip together was our honeymoon, nearly 11 years ago,” said Shannon Chavalia. “Thank you to Sundance Vacations and all their Facebook fans for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity. We couldn’t be more grateful!”


Last year, Shannon’s husband lost his job as a result of the economic recession and has since been unsuccessful in finding employment. As a registered nurse in the emergency room of an inner city hospital, Shannon works 60 plus hours a week to ensure that her husband and her four children are taken care of. Her unfailing love for her husband and family touched the hearts of Sundance Vacations’ Facebook fans, who voted for her in overwhelming numbers to show their appreciation for her hard work and dedication. 


“Shannon obviously is a remarkable woman, who has dedicated her life to not only taking care of her family, but also to helping save the lives of people around her every day,” said John Dowd, President of Sundance Vacations. “Sundance Vacations is thrilled to be able to provide her and her husband with a free cruise, where they can relax and share many valuable memories.”


To nominate someone for one of Sundance Vacations’ free cruises, members of the Sundance Vacations’ Facebook community simply submit a photo of their nominee and a brief essay that explains why that person should win. The nomination period will last two-weeks for each contest and Sundance Vacations’ Facebook friends will have one week to vote for the winner of each contest on the Facebook Fan Page.


Each of the six cruise giveaways is based on upcoming holidays including Armed Forces Appreciation and Father’s Day. Nominations for the fourth contest, in honor of Armed Forces Appreciation, close on May 26 and voting starts on May 27; so join Sundance Vacations’ Facebook Fan Page, tell your friends, and enter now to win!


Winners of the Sundance Vacations Cruise Giveaway will receive:

Sundance Vacations voucher for a four-day, three-night cruise for two;

Cruise leaves from ports in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, or Los Angeles;

Round-trip airfare for two (not to exceed $800 total) to port city;

One night’s stay in the port city.


Visit – for more details about the contest, including rules, dates and information on how to nominate and vote.


About Sundance Vacations:

Sundance Vacations is a national travel company that specializes in wholesale vacation accommodations. The company is headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and maintains offices in six other locations including; Rockaway, NJ; Princeton, NJ; King of Prussia, PA; Harrisburg, PA; Downers Grove, IL, and Brookfield, WI. Sundance Vacations was named “27th Best Place to Work” in Pennsylvania by Best Companies Group, and 17th Best Place to Work in Best Places to Work in Illinois. In 2009 the company was honored as Sales Department of the Year in the 3rd annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Sundance Vacations was also just named one of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America by Inc. 500/5000. Sundance can be found on the web at and on MySpace.

For more information, updates, travel tips and news from Sundance Vacations, be sure to follow us on the following social media outlets:


Tina Dowd

Co-Founder and Owner at Sundance Vacations
Tina Dowd co-founded Sundance Vacations in 1991 with her partner and husband John Dowd. In her 20 years with the company, Tina grew Sundance Vacations from a small start-up telemarketing office to a leading provider of affordable wholesale vacations, with over 700 employees and over 80,000 travelers nationwide. Tina’s award winning vision has guided the growth of the company straight to the Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies List. Mrs. Dowd accepted a Stevie Award for Employer of the Year in 2010 for Women in Business and several awards from the Best Places to Work Group in more recent years.

Tina is a graduate from Kutztown University with a BS in Education. In addition to her change leadership Tina also enjoys serving as the Chief Editor of the company’s corporate newsletter, “The Owl”. She shares her extensive travel experience and advice on both the Sundance Vacations blog and Facebook on a regular basis.

Although her schedule is sometimes jam packed with family activities she still finds opportunities to volunteer her time and leadership to various charities. She currently serves as Vice President for Family Promise of Carbon County, an organization serving homeless children and their families in that area. She also chairs the Fund Development team for that organization and plans several major fundraising events each year. The Dowd family generously supports many charities including St. Vincent DePaul Soup kitchen, Wyoming Valley Children’s Association, Volunteers of America, the Wyoming Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross and many others. She is a member of the Luzerne Foundation Millennium Circle. Tina is also a former board member for the Northeast Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau and the Lehighton Area School District. Mrs. Dowd loves traveling, and her favorite vacation destination is where she and husband John Dowd spent their honeymoon, Maui, Hawaii.
Tina Dowd

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