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Tourism Cares Restores Vibrancy to Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II

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More than 275 volunteers donate $160,000 of labor to iconic destination

Effort saved 2,113 hours of staff time

PLYMOUTH, Mass., Oct. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tourism Cares today announced the successful completion of a large-scale rejuvenation of Plimoth Plantation, the Smithsonian Institution Affiliate that annually attracts more than 350,000 guests. On Friday, September 27, World Tourism Day, more than 275 volunteers from 21 states and 113 companies donated $160,000 of labor in advance of 2020, the highly anticipated 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim's transatlantic voyage to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Volunteers made enhancements to the museum's authentic timber palisade, visitor center, and grounds, including the Wampanaog Homesite; Mayflower II, now a 54-year-old wind vessel; Burial Hill, recently listed in the Register of Historic Places; and the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Tourism Cares also awarded a $10,000 grant to Plimoth Plantation to support ongoing revitalization of its 130-acre campus overlooking Cape Cod Bay. Tourism Cares preserves iconic travel experiences and is the largest volunteer organization for tourism professionals in the world.

"The gift of your valuable time will help us to continue to fulfill our educational mission and provide guests with an engaging, transformative experience that touches lives in meaningful ways," said Ellie Donovan, executive director of Plimoth Plantation, during the closing outdoor ceremony. "Plimoth Plantation, Mayflower II, and the town of Plymouth are national treasures. You have helped preserve these for the future, and we are grateful to you."

Tourism Cares volunteers saved Plimoth Plantation and Friends of Burial Hill an estimated 2,113 hours of valuable staff time. Volunteers restored 300 feet of the timber palisade surrounding the museum's iconic 17th-century village; sanded, scraped, and painted all the interior surfaces of the Mayflower II's outdoor decks; cleaned lichen and mold from 160 infested gravestones at Burial Hill, an early U.S. cemetery spanning the Mayflower's arrival to the Civil War; cleaned debris and stacked necessary deadfall firewood for the Wampanoag Homesite, an outdoor living history exhibit; and made enhancements to the museum's visitor center, parking lot, and grounds, including nearly 10,000 square feet of painting; approximately 150 feet of new outdoor decking, and removal of invasive species.

"We are honored to have contributed to the vibrancy of Plimoth Plantation and the town of Plymouth," said Mike Rea, president of Tourism Cares. "Tourism Cares is a movement that channels the goodwill of the global travel and tourism industry."

"Mayflower II is out in the harsh New England weather and sees hundreds of thousands of visitors every year," said Peter Arenstam, skipper of Mayflower II. "Tourism Cares has allowed our staff to focus on structural repairs that we must complete before 2020."

In honor of the effort, Plimoth Plantation and the Town of Plymouth named September 27 Tourism Cares Day in Plymouth.

Tourism Cares is grateful to sponsors Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Destination Plymouth, Town of Plymouth, Visitor Services Board, Plymouth County Development Council, A.D. Makepeace, Ocean Spray, Mayflower Brewing Company, Setting the Space, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Plymouth Bay Winery, Trolleys by Tes, Sodexo, Pilgrim Sands on Long Beach, MaCher, Globus Family of Brands, Smart Destinations, Inc., AAA Travel, Marriott, Halo Branded Solutions, ADARA, American Bus Association, NTA, United States Travel Association, United States Tour Operators Association, United Motorcoach Association, Student Youth Travel Association/ SYTA Youth Foundation,  Lowes, On Call International, DATTCO, and Yankee Leisure Group.

History of the "Tourism Cares for America" program
Created in the aftermath of September 11th, Tourism Cares for America brings together the tourism industry to give back to American icons in need of care. Volunteer restorations have united nearly 4,000 travel industry professionals who have donated 31,189 hours at a value of $600,000 at culturally and historically significant destinations such as Ellis Island, New Orleans, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Gettysburg, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Angel Island in San Francisco.

Announcing Tourism Cares for Miami
In 2014, Tourism Cares will leverage its strong legacy of community service to help Friends of Miami Marine Stadium restore Cuban-American Hilario Candela's Florida landmark and modern architectural masterpiece. Built in 1963 on Biscayne Bay, the 6,566 seat stadium, noted for its visually arresting cantilevered concrete roof, fell into disuse after Hurricane Andrew and had been slated for demolition. In 2012, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the abandoned structure a National Treasure. Tourism Cares will provide donations of highly skilled assistance for fundraising and other initiatives to support its eventual and complete restoration; in May, hundreds of travel and tourism volunteers will rejuvenate key parts of the stadium. Professionals interested in volunteering can learn more at tourismcares.org.

Learn more and follow updates on Facebook, on Twitter: @TourismCares, on Instagram: @Tourismcares; and #tourismcaresplimoth.

About Tourism Cares
Tourism Cares preserves and enhances the travel experience for future generations. We channel the philanthropic passion and commitment of the travel industry to protect and restore valuable destinations we all care about—and to support those destinations as engines for prosperity, civil society, and pride in their communities. Our domestic programs focus on industry-wide volunteer events, capacity building for the nonprofit stewards of tourism sites, and scholarships and mentoring to support a talented workforce. Globally, our efforts include corporate social responsibility partnerships, strategic investments, and advocacy and education across the travel industry. For more, tourismcares.org.

SOURCE Tourism Cares



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