The Channel Community Gives and Gets at Everything Channel XChange Solution Provider Event

Channel@Work program connects with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida's Downtown Branch

Mar 30, 2011, 08:00 ET from Everything Channel

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Everything Channel, a UBM company, today announced the successful completion of another Channel@Work charitable project. As part of this month's XChange Solution Provider event, the Channel@Work team partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida's Downtown Branch to positively impact and improve the lives of children and teens in the event host city. To watch the video recap of the project, visit http://www.crn.com/video/index1.htm?searchVideoContent=822788040001.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101026/NY89042LOGO)

With the continued support of program underwriter and sole sponsor Microsoft, the Channel@Work project had two main initiatives:

  • Build-a-Bike: a group of volunteers from Everything Channel, technology vendors, and solution providers converged to build twenty bikes for teenagers in the Boys & Girls Clubs program.
  • Technology Update: technology vendors participating in the event donated products to fulfill the Club's technology wish list, as well as sporting equipment and a variety of gift cards to help with day-to-day needs.  Participating vendors included Dell, D-Link, EMC, Juniper, Kensington, Microsoft, Samsung, Symantec, and Xerox.

On Saturday, March 5, the teens from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida's Downtown Branch joined the Channel@Work volunteers for a reception at the Walt Disney Dolphin hotel, where they received and tested their new bikes, witnessed the technology and gift unveiling, and learned that Microsoft was taking them all to watch the Orlando Magic basketball game from a luxury box on Monday night.

The teens responded with a mix of surprise and happiness. "There're people out there in the world that actually do something good for others that don't really have much," said eighth grader Isaiah Samuels from the Club. "It's a real good feeling."

The bikes provide the teens with a reliable form of transportation for school, work and their afterschool program.  The donations will help the Boys & Girls Clubs to update or replace antiquated equipment and supplement supplies, benefiting more than 100 children in the program. "We are moving into a newly renovated space at the end of April, so these donations could not have come at a better time," said Tasha Robinson-Banks, service director for the Downtown Branch. "We would like to thank everyone for their support."

"In the end, going through this experience, you learn that they have given us so much more than we have given them," said Eric Martorano, senior director of SMB channels for Microsoft. "It's amazing to see, with just a bike, the excitement and joy that that can bring – the smiles. But it wasn't about building bikes; it was about changing lives, or at least being part of changing lives. And I just feel so thankful that we were able to give a little back."

The Channel@Work team was so moved by the stories that the teens shared, and struck by the level of investment that their Club staff was making, that they wanted to do more.  In response to learning that the Club had lost bus fare funding for in-need children, Everything Channel CEO Robert Faletra made an impromptu call for a collection at the XChange Solution Provider awards reception.  By the end of the event, $3,113 was collected for the Club. "I could not be more proud to be a part of the IT Channel and this Channel@Work team right now," said Lisa Mackenzie. "The response to our calls to action exceeded all of our expectations. This is a great kick-off for this year's partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs."

In addition to the Build-a-Bike program, Channel@Work continued its partnership with Dress for Success, hosting a presentation and collection at the Sunday evening welcome reception, sponsored by Microsoft. In addition to in-kind donations of suits, shoes and accessories, more than $1,100 was raised from the sale of Dress for Success scarves and ties and monetary donations.

To learn more about Channel@Work and view photos from previous projects, please visit http://www.everythingchannelevents.com/index.php?section=channel@work

Everything Channel

Everything Channel is the premier provider of IT channel-focused events, media, research, consulting, and sales and marketing services. With over 30 years of experience and engagement, Everything Channel has the unmatched channel expertise to execute integrated solutions for technology executives managing partner recruitment, enablement and go-to-market strategy in order to accelerate technology sales. Everything Channel is a UBM company. To learn more about Everything Channel, visit us at http://www.everythingchannel.com. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/everythingchnl.

United Business Media Limited (www.unitedbusinessmedia.com)

UBM (UBM.L) focuses on two principal activities: worldwide information distribution, targeting and monitoring; and, the development and monetization of B2B communities and markets. UBM's businesses inform markets and serve professional commercial communities - from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists – with integrated events, online, print and business information products. Our 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organized into specialist teams that serve these communities, bringing buyers and sellers together, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.

About Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx)

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft serves millions of small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S., helping them start, grow and thrive by leveraging today's powerful and affordable technologies.  At the pillar of these technologies lies cloud computing, in which Microsoft has more than 15 years of experience and understands how to meet the demands of SMBs for simplicity and impact, with enterprise-grade capabilities, flexibility and affordability in a familiar environment.

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