Thursday, January 20, 2011

BnB's For Vets - and its Aftermath

On November 10, 2009 bed & breakfasts who were members of the West Virginia Association of Bed & Breakfasts joined together to give free rooms to veterans or active duty military in honor of Veterans Day on November 11 so their guests would be on-site for any activities/parades taking place on the 11th. In January 2010 the idea to take the program nationwide was born.

Flag flown during Operation New Dawn in Iraq
The Professional Association of Innkeepers International mentioned it in their monthly newsletter - and it was off and running! First to join in with West Virginia was the Cody County Bed & Breakfast Association in Wyoming.

Kathleen Panek of Gillum House Bed and Breakfast in Shinnston WV spearheaded this effort and the innkeepers of the Thomas Shepherd Inn in Shepherdsrown, WV created a web site and the program grew, and grew, and GREW.

BnB's For Vets grew to include over 900 bed & breakfasts and inns around the world!

The innkeepers at The Chocolate Turtle Bed & Breakfast in Corrales, New Mexico were surprised and honored in December to receive a flag flown during Operaition New Dawn in Iraq with a Certificate of Authenticity from one of the military couples who stayed with them with B & Bs For Vets.

In January 2011 at the PAII Conference, innkeepers Kathleen Panek, Jeanne Muir, and Jim Ford were presented the PAII 2011 Champion Award. From left to right: Kathleen Panek, Jay Karen (CEO of PAII), Jeanne Muir, Jim Ford, AnneMarie DeFreest (President of PAII Board of Directors).

Photo by Christian Giannelli

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