Award-winning Hotel Shows the Meaning of Hospitality

A year of Fridays for Families provided significant support to families struggling with their children’s behavior.

DURHAM, NC, September 7, 2016

There are over 65,000 children in Durham and, for some of these children, their parents don’t know how to help them have success. Many of these families could benefit from additional help through services like those offered by the Exchange Family Center (EFC). EFC offers support to any Durham County family struggling with their child’s behaviors free of charge. Unfortunately, the center often has more demand for services than capacity.

The Hilton Garden Inn-Durham University Medical Center (HGI-DUMC) saw this unmet need and offered to provide a year of support. Every Friday for a year they hosted “Fridays for Families” at their restaurant and donated 10% of the proceeds to EFC. The year of support totaled $7542.93. Abby Flynn, HGI-DUMC’s general manager explains, “Conrad Hilton believed that it was our responsibility to fill the world with the light and warmth of hospitality. We at the Hilton Garden Inn Durham-University Medical Center believe that responsibility does not just end at our front doors but instead should be carried out in our community as well. Organizations that benefit children have always been something we are passionate about at our hotel and I feel very strongly that the work the Exchange Family Center does is
very needed.”

This issue is personal to Ms. Flynn. She recounts her own experience needing support, “Twice now I have sought out support for [my eldest son] simply so he can learn new tools to help him deal with the real life issues our children now a days face.” Ms. Flynn stated that she feels fortunate to have resources at her disposal to get services she needs but recognizes that not all parents have this. “Be it financial limitations or transportation or simply knowledge of what resources are available … Other parents who are not as fortunate deserve that same ability to support their children and I am a strong believer that the Exchange Family Center helps do that in their work. Children deserve the best resources to set them up for success in life.”

The hotel’s commitment to the community resulted in their winning the 2015 You Can Count on Us Community Relations Award. Over the course of the year, HGI-DUMC donated $7542.93 through Fridays for Families and contributed another $1000 to support the center. EFC’s Executive Director Rachel Galanter is grateful for their partnership, stating “With the support of the community we can expand our reach to make sure every family gets support when they need it.”

About Exchange Family Center

The Exchange Family Center has been serving Durham County since 1992. The agency is home to the Family Support Program (FSP), the Early Childhood Outreach Program (EChO), and the Parenting of Adolescents program (POA). EFC provides support to local childcare providers and families with children from birth – 17. All of EFC’s services are free and available in both English and Spanish.

About Hilton Garden Inn-Durham University Medical Center (HGI-DUMC)

The Hilton Garden Inn-Durham University Medical Center was awarded the 2015 You Can Count on Us Community Relations award as well as awards recognizing the quality of their hospitality, including the 2015 Connie Award Winner, Hilton Garden Inn Hotel of the Year, and 2015 Highest Hilton Honors Loyalty Award. General Manager Abby Flynn was awarded as winner of the 2015 Barbara Bejan General Manager of the Year. Their restaurant which hosted Fridays for Families is run by Certified Executive Chef, Eli Fortney.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Danielle Delwiche-Oelhafen at 919-403-8249 or email at

You may also download a copy of this news release.