Sierra Tucson Alumni Build Bikes for Kids at Westward Look
Retreat project provides bikes, message of hope for children dealing with grief and loss
Tucson, AZ (11/22/11) – Twenty-five stations stocked with bicycle parts and tools lined the lawn at Westward Look Resort last Friday for a very special event. Sierra Tucson’s 24 th Annual Alumni Retreat (S.T.A.R 24) was a celebration of miracles, particularly the miracle of recovery. The result of the weekend retreat was a message of hope from one group of survivors to another.
Over 150 alumni of Sierra Tucson, a licensed and accredited psychiatric hospital and behavioral health residential treatment center, gathered at Westward Look during the weekend of November 3 to 6, 2011, to reconnect and renew their dedication to recovery and self-care. This year’s retreat theme was “Carrying the Message,” and alumni were encouraged to think about how to carry a message of hope and love to the world. They were then given the chance to do just that, thanks to a retreat project coordinated by Senior Alumni Coordinator Tim McLeod.
Tim’s exercise teamed up alumni to work together to assemble bikes, with assistance from a “Bicycle Inspection Team” as needed. Yet much to the alumni’s pleasant surprise, the collaboration exercise wasn’t over when the bikes were complete. As the bicycles were being finished up, a large group of children from Tu Nidito Children and Family Services finished their resort lunch and surprised the alumni by eagerly gathering on the field to receive the new bikes as a gift from the group.
When Sierra Tucson alumni realized they would have the opportunity to give the bikes to deserving children that same day, they were thrilled. Sonia Hammrich, Sales Manager for Westward Look Resort, and her daughter Serenity joined Tim on the field to express their appreciation and thanks from the children at Tu Nidito.
It was Sonia who first suggested the connection between Sierra Tucson and the nonprofit Tu Nidito Children and Family Services. When Senior Alumni Coordinator Tim McLeod came to the resort to plan the annual retreat, he inquired about a group of children they might be able to help, and Sonia immediately recommended Tu Niditio. The Tucson organization provides support for children and families whose lives have been impacted by a serious medical condition or death. Tu Nidito helped Sonia’s 9-year old daughter cope with the death of her best friend, Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of the January 8 shooting in Tucson. Tu Nidito, which means “your little nest,” provides children and families with emotional, social, and educational tools to cope with grief and loss and move forward with strength and hope.
“It was incredible to see not only the happy faces of the children with their new bikes, but to see the hope and inspiration they and their families gained during the event,” said Craig Waterman, General Manager of Westward Look Resort. “Everyone was touched as the Sierra Tucson alumni and Tu Nidito kids connected and shared encouragement. Sonia and I are proud that Westward Look could be a part of that.”
Nestled on 80 secluded acres in the Catalina foothills overlooking the city of Tucson, Westward Look Resort often caters to business meetings, conferences and retreats like Sierra Tucson’s. Surrounded by the naturally beautiful Sonoran Desert outside, and seamlessly blending historic charm and modern luxury inside, Tucson’s first resort provides a refreshing meeting alternative and a tranquil retreat option.
ABOUT WESTWARD LOOK RESORT
Westward Look Resort is set in the foothills of Tucson's Santa Catalina Mountains on 80 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. It offers 244 suite-sized rooms, two award-winning restaurants, a chef's garden, the Sonoran Spa, eight tennis courts, desert hiking trails, on-site stables for horseback riding and multiple pools. Since 2010, the resort has been named an AAA Four Diamond Award® recipient each year, which honors the hotel for its commitment to excellence throughout the entire property, including GOLD restaurant, the resort's extensive array of amenities, guest services and attention to detail. More information is available at 1-800-722-2500 and www.westwardlook.com.
ABOUT RIVER HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
River Hospitality Management is a hospitality management company that strives for successful management partnerships through offering a unique blend of integrated disciplines, experienced leadership and multiple resources. A focus to improve guest service quality, inspire staff performance and ignite revenue production creates a sustainable model for increased profit margins and enhanced asset value under a variety of ownership structures. www.riverhospitality.com.