By Clyde Mooney
The 'Hotels Have Hearts Illawarra' dinner on Wednesday night saw the industry raise over $100,000 for
Representatives from 22 local hotels joined around 270 guests including political, business and community leaders at Novotel Northbeach for the event, hosted by 'Mr Illawarra', Marty Haynes from i98 FM.
The evening had an Olympic theme, with a photo session beside attending local Olympians, gold medallist David Smith, silver medallist Nina Curtis, runner Ryan Gregson, and Ron and David McKeon.
Professor Alan James, from Wollongong Hospital Childrens' Ward Charitable Trust, gave a heartfelt address on the benefits that have been felt as a result of the AHA Illawarra's fundraising.
"Hotels within our region provide direct employment for approximately 2000 people," AHA Illawarra President, Andy Hannelly from the Warilla Hotel, informed the crowd.
"We sponsor close to 200 individual sporting and community groups, and we are often the major social hub and meeting place within our respective communities.
"We are a part of the fabric of our societies and we strive to provide venues that foster fun and recreation in a socially responsible and safe environment.'