SOURCE: Wyndham Hotel Group

Wyndham Hotel Group

June 21, 2010 13:53 ET

HoJo Gives Students $15,000 to "Spread the Happy" on Happiest Day of the Year

PARSIPPANY, NJ--(Marketwire - June 21, 2010) -  The students of Metropolitan Ministries Partnership School in Tampa, Fl. learned today, the first day of summer and the happiest day of the year, that they won Howard Johnson and the Harlem Globetrotters' The Give Happy Challenge, winning $15,000 to keep their happy efforts going as well as a personal visit from the Harlem Globetrotters.

Despite a close race with the first grade students from McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md., it was the multiple happy-spreading efforts of the Tampa students that won voters' hearts. Among their good-deeds: raising money for the Haiti Earthquake survivors, creating clay bowls for the "Empty Bowls" project that helps fight hunger, and singing carols for local homeless families during the holiday season.

"It's heartwarming to see how a little happy can go a long way," said Howard Johnson Brand Senior Vice President Rui Barros. "Voters had a tough decision to make but I hope that they and others who are aware of The Give Happy Challenge are inspired to go out and continue to give happy to others."

The Metropolitan students will donate the $15,000 they won to their school, so that it may continue to provide the supplies, clothing and experiences necessary for its 80 students, all of whom are homeless and live in shelters, to continue to receive a great education.

The Howard Johnson brand surprised the first grade students of McDonogh School with an unannounced second prize of $2,500 to thank and encourage them to continue to "Give Happy." The students will use the money to help support a local shelter buy a new van, so that it may continue to deliver food every weekend to more than 200 homeless in Baltimore.

The Give Happy Challenge was created by Howard Johnson and the Harlem Globetrotters, two brands with a legacy of spreading fun and cheer, as a way to encourage others to do the same.

Howard Johnson International, a member of Wyndham Hotel Group's family of lodging brands, is a global chain of primarily midscale and economy hotels featuring single, double and suite accommodations. All properties in the U.S. and Canada, and most properties in other regions, offer complimentary high-speed Internet access, expanded cable television, in-room coffee and weekday newspaper. Select hotels offer complimentary Rise & Dine® continental breakfast and allow pets.

Reservations and information are available by calling (800) 446-4656 or by visiting All Howard Johnson hotels are independently owned and operated. Howard Johnson International is an indirect subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN).

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