'May' we take your jacket? And, keep it?

Taking your jacket - 1
Taking your jacket - 1

Taking your jacket - 1

Woodlands Inn General Manager Casey Lavin (right) presents the propertys jacket collection to Walter "Will" Williams, senior veteran representative with the Summerville Workforce Center. The Inn is launching a business clothing drive for the month of May to help the areas unemployed veterans.

Inn’s month-long request for business clothing to help area’s unemployed veterans
 
 
Summerville, SC (April 21) – Woodlands Inn, one of the country’s most acclaimed hotels, is asking to take its guests’ jackets – and keep them to help the area’s unemployed veterans.
 
During the month of May, anyone dining or staying at the hotel is encouraged to donate jackets and other business-type clothing. The items will then be delivered to the Summerville Workforce Center and distributed to veterans seeking jobs.
 
The idea for the clothing drive originated after the Inn modified its dress code as part of a program designed to make the property more approachable. Men are no longer required to wear jackets in the Inn’s Dining Room, which is the only Five Star and Five Diamond restaurant in the Carolinas. The restaurant now also offers a la carte dining.
 
“We had a number of jackets that we used to lend to guests if they forgot their own, and we wanted to do something meaningful with them,” said Casey Lavin, the Inn’s general manager. “So, we contacted the Workforce Center, and the idea developed into a month-long business clothing drive for veterans. We’re really excited and honored to be a part of it.”
 
The unemployment rate in the Charleston, SC, area is above the national average of 9.7 percent. The unemployment rate in Dorchester County, the home of Woodlands Inn and much of Summerville is located, is 9.8 percent. The area is home to many veterans because of the nearby Air Force Base, Naval Weapons Station and former Navy Base, and just yesterday Governor Mark Sanford appointed retired Air Force Brigadier Gen. John Finan to become the interim director of the Department of Workforce.
 
“We see many unemployed veterans whom we try to help find work,” said Lisa Gowans, area director of Summerville Workforce Center. “Unfortunately, many have disabilities resulting from their service of our country, so we seek desk or non-physical work for them. This involves them dressing professionally – not only for the interview but for the job as well. A program like this can enrich the lives of many, and we are thankful to Woodlands Inn for reaching out to us. We hope similar programs appear throughout the rest of the state and the country. After all, Memorial Day is in May when we honor our veterans.”
 
In addition to helping the area’s unemployed veterans, dining and overnight guests who donate business clothing will receive a complimentary appetizer in the Dining Room and get entered into a drawing to win a two-night stay at Woodlands. Both offers expire on June 30, 2010. Donors will also receive a 50 percent discounted admission to Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, also valid through June 30.
 
“It’s a further way of saying ‘thank you’ to our guests for helping our veterans,” said Lavin.
 
The 18-room Woodlands Inn is a restored 1906 mansion set on 42 acres. It was purchased by Sheila C. Johnson in 2006, and is currently managed by her Salamander Hospitality company, which was named after the moniker given to World War II hero Bruce Sundlun. Woodlands is one of only six properties in the United States to hold the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star ratings for both lodging and dining. It has also been recognized by readers of Travel + Leisure as providing the finest service in the country.
 
For more information about Woodlands Inn call (800) 774-9999 or visit www.woodlandsinn.com.
 
About Woodlands Inn
Located in the charming village of Summerville and just a short drive from historic Charleston, SC, Woodlands Inn, a Salamander Hospitality property, is an immaculately restored 1906 classic revival mansion set amidst 42 acres of parkland grounds. It is one of only a handful of properties in North America to hold the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond ratings for both its accommodations and dining room. In 2008, it was also ranked by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine as number one in the US and Canada for service, and number three worldwide. The inn features 18 guest rooms and suites, a country guest cottage, a day spa, croquet lawn, red-clay tennis courts, a temperature-controlled swimming pool, unique meeting facilities, and golf privileges at nearby area courses. The Dining Room at Woodlands is widely known for its innovative and sophisticated version of New American Cuisine and the use of fresh local foods to create a nightly menu with a Lowcountry influence. Woodlands is a member of the Preferred Boutique and Historic Hotels of America programs. For more information call (800) 774-9999 or visit www.woodlandsinn.com. 
 
About Salamander Hospitality 
Salamander Hospitality is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson in 2005, the company manages and develops hotels, resorts and inns that reflect the authenticity and character of their surrounding environment. The portfolio currently includes the recently renovated Innisbrook resort near Tampa, FL., host to the PGA TOUR Transitions Championship every March and the LPGA Legends Tour Open Championship in November; Woodlands Inn near Charleston, SC, which is one of only four properties in North America to hold Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond ratings for both accommodations and dining; and the under-construction Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg. Salamander Hospitality also operates Market Salamander, a division of gourmet prepared food markets with locations in Middleburg and Innisbrook, and Salamander Touch, a boutique lifestyle store in Middleburg. For additional information, call (540) 687-3710 or visit www.salamanderhospitality.com. 
 
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Attached media

Taking your jacket - 1

Taking your jacket - 1

Woodlands Inn General Manager Casey Lavin (right) presents the propertys jacket collection to Walter "Will" Williams, senior veteran representative with the Summerville Workforce Center. The Inn is launching a business clothing drive for the month of May to help the areas unemployed veterans.

Taking your jacket - 2

Taking your jacket - 2

Woodlands Inn General Manager Casey Lavin (right) presents the propertys jacket collection to Walter "Will" Williams, senior veteran representative with the Summerville Workforce Center. The Inn is launching a business clothing drive for the month of May to help the areas unemployed veterans.