March 31, 2015 11:13 ET

RCI Helps Drive Out Poverty as Title Sponsor of the 13th Annual Christel House Open

PARSIPPANY, NJ--(Marketwired - March 31, 2015) -  RCI, the world's largest vacation exchange provider, returns for its ninth consecutive year as title sponsor of the 2015 RCI® Christel House Open International Charity Golf Tournament. The event, which includes tournament locations spanning three continents, raises funds and awareness for Christel House International, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished children throughout the world.

"Christel House transforms the lives of disadvantaged children by giving them the tools and opportunities they need to progress, and we are honored and humbled to be a small part of this work," said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI. "Last year's tournament raised nearly $800,000. With the support of our timeshare and hospitality colleagues, we hope to exceed that amount in 2015 to help even more children get the services and care they need and deserve."

The Open began Thursday, March 26, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona, and continues in more than a dozen additional sites across North America, Europe and Africa. Celebrating its 13th year, the event welcomes thousands of golfers, sponsors and volunteers from around the world to garner funds and awareness for Christel House International. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event directly benefit children involved with the nonprofit organization.

Christel DeHaan, the co-founder of RCI, established Christel House in 1998 and serves as the organization's CEO. The nonprofit aims to help its more than 4,100 children around the world break the cycle of poverty to realize their hopes and dreams and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. It operates learning centers in the U.S., India, Mexico and South Africa, and funds an outreach program in Venezuela.

"RCI has been making a difference in the world through corporate social responsibility and volunteer initiatives for more than 40 years," said DeHaan. "Giving back has always been a pillar of the company's culture. We are tremendously grateful to RCI for choosing Christel House as its charity of choice and for stepping up another year as the Title Sponsor of the 2015 Christel House Open. Lives are being transformed. What a noble mission to support and what a story to tell!"

Christel House and the RCI Christel House Open are strongly supported by developers, resorts and vendors in the timeshare industry, with proceeds of $9.7 million worldwide since the tournament's inception. Christel House is also one of the three signature charities of Wishes by Wyndham, Wyndham Worldwide's philanthropic program.

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About RCI
RCI is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange with approximately 4,500 affiliated resorts in more than 100 countries. RCI pioneered the concept of vacation exchange in 1974, offering members increased flexibility and versatility with their vacation ownership experience. Today, through the RCI Weeks® program, the week-for-week exchange system, and the RCI Points® program, the industry's first global points-based exchange system, RCI provides flexible vacation options to its 3.8 million RCI subscribing members each year. RCI's luxury exchange program, The Registry Collection®, is the world's largest program of its kind with approximately 200 affiliated properties either accessible for exchange or under development on six continents. RCI is part of Wyndham Exchange & Rentals and the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN). For additional information visit our media center or RCI also can be found on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

About Christel House International
The mission of Christel House is to transform the lives of impoverished children around the world -- breaking the cycle of poverty and building self-sufficient, contributing members of society. A focus on academic excellence through a robust K-12 curriculum is combined with a strong character development program and holistic human development to give students the skills and competencies necessary to compete successfully in complex 21st Century society. Much more than a school, Christel House was established in 1998 by Founder and CEO Christel DeHaan, and currently serves more than 4,100 impoverished children through seven learning centers located in India, Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.A., as well as a career development program in Venezuela. Christel House maintains a 96 percent high school graduation rate, and the majority of its graduates go on to pursue higher education. They become productive citizens, and many secure employment with top multinational corporations. Christel House graduates are confident, hardworking, responsible and ethical, with a passion for giving back to their communities and caring for their families. For more information, please visit

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