June 4, 2020

Hospitality club students donate to Hospitality Relief Fund while GBCC and Horizon Beverage Company offer new student scholarship.

Portsmouth, NH – The Hospitality Club at Great Bay Community College has donated $500 to Hospitality Employee Relief Fund of the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association. The donation comes from fundraising completed by the club over the past year. The club typically would use the money for student trip but decided instead to use it to help other hospitality workers during a time of economic crisis, said Allison Johonnett, club president.

“During the year we have volunteered to run the concessions for Great Bay sports games, some members have spent time at cross roads soup kitchen, and other club members helped the elderly by raking or shoveling, others have volunteered for events like Purses for a Purpose or the Distinguished Leader Gala put on by Great Bay,” she said.

The association sent a letter in return, thanking the club for its generous support of fellow industry workers.

Dawn Comito, Hospitality Management Chair and Professor at Great Bay, praised the students for their pay-it-forward gesture. Hospitality professionals are a very passionate bunch. We love what we do and have chosen this ‘people business’ as our long-term career,” she said. “Even though hospitality is in flux right now, along with many other types of businesses, we are confident that we’ll get through this. Things will look different on the other side, but hospitality is not going away, if anything, people want and need it more now than ever.”

Meanwhile, thanks to a donation from industry partner Horizon Beverage Co., the hospitality department at Great Bay is offering four $500 scholarships to the first four new students who apply and enroll in any of Great Bay’s hospitality programs this summer or fall. This includes the Hotel, Restaurant & Event Management degree, as well as the college’s three 1-year Certificate programs in Event & Meeting Planning, Spa & Wellness Management, and Hotel/Restaurant Management.

“Hospitality workers who may not yet be back to work might consider adding some professional credentials to their experience during this down time,” Comito said. “Many of our classes include several industry recognized credentials as well, like Servsafe, TIPs, Delphi. In doing this, they’ll not only be ready to hit the ground running again, but they’ll also be poised for advancement opportunities in management, operations, marketing or sales.”

Great Bay offers associate degree and certificate programs in Hotel, Restaurant, and Event Management, and certificates in Event and Meeting Planning Management, Hotel/Restaurant Management and Spa and Wellness Management. All Hospitality courses for the fall and summer are being offered remotely either through a traditional online format or remotely via Zoom.