Sundance Vacations Founders Receive Spirit of Youth Award from the Volunteers of America, Pennsylvania 

Wilkes-Barre, Pa (May 5, 2011) – John and Tina Dowd, founders of Sundance Vacations, were presented with the Spirit of Youth Award by the Volunteers of America at the 8th Annual Volunteers of America Celebrity Dinner on Wednesday, May 4th  at Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

In front of over 100 supporters of Volunteers of America, Bill Jones, VP of Volunteers of America Pennsylvania, said that the mission statement of Sundance Vacations, minus a few words specific to the vacation industry, sounds very similar to a social services organization. The mission statement Bill was referencing reads, “We share the common goal of enriching the lives of our customers and each other by helping people experience quality vacations through caring, professional service.”  John and Tina created a company culture at Sundance Vacations that encourages living out the mission statement not only in providing quality vacations but also in philanthropic activities. The Dowd’s truly understand the importance of supporting and donating to many different organizations through charity, volunteer work and various sponsorships.  

In her speech, Tina Dowd spoke about receiving a unique award from her seven year old daughter, Bridget, for helping the homeless. Tina closed by saying, “Writing a check to support Volunteers of America has a certain dollar value, but I believe the real and even greater value is the example we are setting for the next generation.”  

Patricia Stella, a Volunteers of America board member and a McDonald’s franchisee, was also honored at the dinner. Stella said her proudest moments are when she watches teenagers grow from being new hires at 16 years old to climbing the ladder in her restaurants or seeing them graduate college.  Education comes first in Stella’s restaurants.

The guest speaker of the evening was former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, who previously played for Notre Dame and the Oakland Raiders. Tim spoke about his upbringing – a sentiment that echoed the entire night. Tim Brown currently helps non-profit organizations with fundraising activities. Along with the awards dinner, there was a VIP meet and greet with Tim Brown and a silent auction of autographed sports memorabilia, in which all proceeds will be used to support Volunteers of America’s services for at-risk youth, low income families, individuals with disabilities, the elderly and homeless young adults.

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 other locations including: Rockaway, NJ; Dublin, OH; King of Prussia, PA; Harrisburg, PA; Downers Grove, IL; and Brookfield, WI. Sundance Vacations was named to the “Best Place to Work” list in Pennsylvania by Best Companies Group four years in a row and ranked 17th 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 named to the Inc 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies two years in a row.

About Volunteers of America:

Volunteers of America (VOA) is a national, nonprofit, spiritually based organization providing local human service programs and opportunities for individual and community involvement. In Pennsylvania, their focus is providing affordable low-income housing for seniors and a variety of services for youth, adults and families.

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