CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Extended Stay America -- the largest owner-operated hotel brand in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society -- the largest voluntary health organization in the nation -- celebrate the one-year anniversary of their unprecedented multi-year partnership and flagship program, "Keys of Hope." Helping patients overcome the financial and emotional stress associated with traveling for treatment, Extended Stay America donated 40,000 hotel stays throughout the brand's 632 U.S. locations to cancer patients, including 20,000 free rooms and an additional 20,000 stays at an incredibly discounted rate of $12/night.
Piloted in Atlanta, Boston and Houston in Nov. 2013, the program expanded nationwide in the spring of 2014, and has since served more than 3,000 patient guests, reducing the financial and emotional stress caused by traveling away from home to receive the best treatment for their cancer diagnosis.
"Giving back to the many communities in which we operate is one of Extended Stay America's greatest commitments. Working alongside the American Cancer Society to provide even the slightest peace of mind, and more importantly support, to patients battling cancer has been extremely rewarding," said Rick Canale, vice president, marketing strategy and planning at Extended Stay America. "As cancer impacts so many lives, it's humbling to have the ability to help in this capacity."
"One of the most important keys to surviving cancer is access to treatment," said Kristen Solt, vice president, Hope Lodge Network, American Cancer Society. "For many patients, traveling to a treatment facility in another city offers the best hope for a cure. Along with traveling away from home, for weeks or months at a time, comes added emotional and financial stress during a time which is already extremely challenging. Through the partnership with Extended Stay America, a great burden is lifted off patients and families, as they are now presented with an opportunity to offset lodging costs associated with the potentially critical treatment they need. Extended Stay America's unyielding support this year has increased our capacity to provide lodging for patients in need. We look forward to another amazing year!"
"I didn't have anywhere to stay and couldn't afford to pay for a hotel. I thought I had to cancel my surgery," said two-time breast cancer survivor Nancy Pickard of Charlotte, N.C. Through the Keys of Hope program, Pickard was able to spend the two-week recovery period after her surgery at Extended Stay America. "It was more than anyone would hope for. I am forever grateful to the American Cancer Society and Extended Stay America. It was such a privilege to have that kind of assistance and quality accommodation."
In addition to room donations, throughout the year, Extended Stay America's more than 10,000 employees regularly volunteered and engaged in individual fundraising efforts through the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events and recently concluded a brand-wide breast cancer awareness fundraising initiative in October. Since officially launching the partnership, nearly $200,000 has been raised on the property level, benefiting American Cancer Society research, programs and services.
Extended Stay America provides the comforts and conveniences of home complete with on-site laundry centers, kitchens in each hotel room for patients to store and cook the foods they enjoy, and flat-screen TVs with premium channels to unwind with favorite shows. In-room Wi-Fi access allows patients to stay connected with loved ones while away from home, daily Grab and Go Breakfast provides a quick and healthy way to start the day and pet-friendly accommodations allow beloved pets to provide healing comfort.
To join Extended Stay America and the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer, visit ExtendedStayAmerica.com or call 800-804-3724. For information about American Cancer Society programs and services, including the lodging program, please visit cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.
About Extended Stay America
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Extended Stay America has 684 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The company owns and operates hotels under the core brand, Extended Stay America®, which serves the mid-priced extended stay segment, and other brands. It is the largest owner/operator of company-branded hotels in North America and employs approximately 10,400 employees in its hotel properties and headquarters.
About American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we celebrate 100 years of service, we're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACTS: IVETTE FAULKNER - CHRISTA HUDSON THE ZIMMERMAN AGENCY - (850) 668-2222 - CHUDSON@ZIMMERMAN.COM
Source:Extended Stay America