SOURCE: Global Winter Wonderland

Global Winter Wonderland

Global Winter Wonderland

January 20, 2012 17:17 ET

United States Premiere of Global Winter Wonderland a Huge Success

More Than 415,000 Visitors Flock to Magical World of Holiday Light in Santa Clara

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 20, 2012) - Global Winter Wonderland's holiday feast of giant lanterns and fun attractions drew more than 415,000 visitors in its U.S. premiere year, covering over nine acres on Santa Clara's Great America Parkway from November 25, 2011, through January 2, 2012. Global Winter Wonderland (www.globalwonderland.org) partnered with numerous businesses and non-profits to provide holiday cheer to thousands of underprivileged families and children throughout the Bay Area, who enjoyed the dazzling world of brightly colored magic lanterns, entertainment, refreshments, visits with Santa, and other celebrity appearances. Global Winter Wonderland was produced by the Fremont, California-based International Culture Exchange Group (ICEG) (www.cultureexchange.us), an international event organizer working to promote cultural exchange between East and West to bring the world closer together. Following is a video overview of Global Winter Wonderland: http://youtu.be/o37Iq73uWBw

"Global Winter Wonderland was the culmination of a life-long dream to bring the experience of a Chinese Lantern Festival to the United States," said International Culture Exchange Group (ICEG) Founder and President Lulu Huang. "It's completely consistent with the mission of my company to build a better understanding to overcome adversity through cultural exchange events. It was so gratifying to see the rich diversity of our community through the guests who came to our event and to know that we were not only celebrating Chinese culture but at the same time, recognizing and presenting entertainment, history and culture from around the world. The more we can learn about each other the better we can understand each other."

"Global Winter Wonderland is great," said Jamie Matthews, Mayor of Santa Clara, California. "It has manifested the absolute values of Silicon Valley here. We're a tapestry of communities from around the world coming together with the best and brightest ideas to drive the world's economy. People that are coming here are learning about the city, they'll know that this is a wonderful place to come back to. We've got a world-class convention center across the way and we're hoping to host Global Winter Wonderland for years to come."

ICEG partnered with several non-profit organizations to help those groups achieve their goals, promote awareness, and raise funds for their cause. Special charitable events and partnerships for ICEG included the partnership with the San Francisco 49ers Foundation to provide a special day at Global Winter Wonderland for children from organizations supported by the Foundation.

ICEG donated 300 tickets for the "49ers Celebrate the Season" event on December 20th and provided the invited children with VIP access to Global Winter Wonderland two hours before public hours. With compliments from ICEG, the children enjoyed special time with Santa, photos with the Gold Rush Girls and Sourdough Sam, face painting, carnival rides, goodie bags, and lunch. A special highlight of the day was a meet and greet with 49ers players and alumni who sponsor their non-profits. As part of the player sponsored charitable ticket donation program "49ers CARE," sixteen players purchased 20 season tickets each (3,200 total) for their selected non-profit organization. Current 49ers players who attended the event at Global Winter Wonderland and hosted meet and greets with the kids from their 49ers CARE groups included David Akers, Anthony Davis, Jonathan Goodwin, Mike Iupati, Scott Tolzien, and Patrick Willis. 49ers alumni players in attendance included Guy McIntyre, Jesse Sapolu, JJ Stokes, Eric Wright, Greg Clark, and Eason Ramson. At the event, the 49ers Foundation showcased a check for $2.4 million dollars, representing the Foundation's charitable giving in 2011.

49ers Foundation Executive Director Joanne Pasternack was thrilled with the collaboration, stating, "Global Winter Wonderland provided the perfect location for a unique celebration of charitable giving in an environment that exudes holiday spirit and creativity, bringing smiles to the faces of those in need."

On December 21st, 2012, ICEG also donated 650 tickets to the Northern California NFL Alumni Association. The generosity from ICEG gave the opportunity for children of The Boys and Girls Club of the Mid-Peninsula to spend a special holiday event at Global Winter Wonderland. Gifts to the children from ICEG included goodie bags, ice cream, fun times with Santa and the unique chance to meet with local NFL Alumni players.

ICEG also funded the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley (HFSV), to present a special event to benefit their organization. The "Telemundo and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley Fiesta Latina, Presented by Walmart" on December 18th provided a night of Hispanic music and dance, with dinner provided by ICEB and El Pollo Loco. For the event, the San Jose Earthquakes arranged appearances by their shaker squad and their mascot "Q." Through this event, HFSV honored 250 middle-school children who spent time during the summer and school year in the "Stepping Up to Algebra" program. Five of the program's top students were given additional recognition at the event, as Ron Gonzales, President/CEO of HFSV, called them to the stage and presented them with special sports memorabilia given by ICEG and its partners. Autographed San Francisco 49ers and San Jose Earthquakes gear was designated by ICEG to honor the outstanding students, including a signed helmet, footballs, jerseys and soccer ball. To top off the event, ICEG's CEO, Lulu Huang, presented Gonzales with a check donation for $2,500 to benefit HFSV programs in the community.

Because of the generosity of the community, 700 new and gently used warm coats were collected from visitors during the run of Global Winter Wonderland and distributed to the Salvation Army. With each purchased ticket, the promotion enabled the festival visitor to receive a free general admission ticket to Global Winter Wonderland.

ICEG also partnered with the state's Spare the Air Day to spread the word through on-site presence, advertising time, and other outreach programs, all targeted to inform the community of the need to spare the air in winter, too.

ABOUT GLOBAL WINTER WONDERLAND:
The largest such festival ever presented outside of China, the 2011 U.S. premiere of Global Winter Wonderland featured giant illuminated lanterns depicting creatures and scenes that included a Christmas holiday village, animals real and imagined, and people and scenes from around the world. Highlights included recreations of some of the world's greatest architectural achievements, including the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, Chichen Itza, and the Golden Gate Bridge. The eco-friendly lanterns, some of which towered more than 50 feet high and spanned nearly 100 feet wide, were illuminated with low voltage LEDs and fluorescent lights, with several structures powered by solar panels. Several of the lanterns, designed by engineers who built lanterns for the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, were made from recycled everyday materials, including recycled water bottles, CDs, porcelain dishes, and medicine bottles. The Bay Area's new family event of the holiday season also featured a dinosaur maze for children, carnival games, international cuisine, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and celebrations of holiday traditions from around the world.

About The International Culture Exchange Group:
International Culture Exchange Group is working to embrace cultural diversities between countries and beliefs. We believe that in order to promote greater understanding between civilizations it is imperative to break down social barriers and misconceptions. We promote, create, sponsor and organize memorable cultural experiences internationally. www.cultureexchange.us / Telephone: (510) 962-8586 / Email: info@cultureexchange.us / 44063 Fremont Blvd Ste. B Fremont, CA 94538

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