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Group RCI Gifts $100,000 to Christel House International Founder at Company Block Party

PARSIPPANY, N.J. and INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 900 employees and families of Group RCI, a world leader in leisure real estate and one of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN), gathered recently for the emotional reunion of RCI co-founder Christel DeHaan and many of her former RCI employees. The scene was a carnival-style block party at the Carmel-area campus of the world's largest timeshare exchange company to raise funds for Christel House International, Group RCI's global charity of choice. At the close of the event, DeHaan was presented with the unexpectedly sizeable donation of $100,000.

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The 5-hour block party marked the celebratory conclusion of the 'Summer of Christel House', a six-week-long fundraising campaign created by RCI employees to raise both consciousness and cash for Christel House International which operates learning centers for impoverished children in Mexico, Venezuela, South Africa, India, and Indianapolis. Founded by DeHaan in 1998, the charitable organization seeks to break the cycle of poverty for children around the world and help them become contributing members of society.

"The passion demonstrated by the associates of RCI to help provide the 2,700 children of Christel House a better quality of life is both amazing and unprecedented," marveled Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO of Group RCI. "Christel DeHaan created an incredibly caring culture at RCI many years ago based on honesty, integrity, sincerity and community service. It's a culture which is alive and well nearly 35 years later. And it's a culture I'm both honored and humbled to be associated with."

Attendees of the celebration were treated to a musical performance by visiting Christel House South Africa students Angelique Blaauw, Nontando Bonga, and Kyle Daniels, led by Luis-Miguel Delgado, a business development account executive with Group RCI. Blaauw 16, talked about teamwork, shared goals, and the power of "we" -- a message fitting the occasion.

Congratulating the crowd on their creativity and caring, DeHaan was preparing to accept the donation of monies raised by local RCI employees when it was revealed that those had been combined not only with contributions from global colleagues as well as block party proceeds but also a match from the company's corporate office, a sum totaling $100,000.00. "There are not enough words to describe how I'm feeling," choked an emotional DeHaan in response to the unexpected generosity. "From day one, RCI has distinguished itself through its people. This is a gift of love for which I am humbled and grateful."

To learn more about how Christel House is transforming lives of children or to make a donation, visit To learn more about Group RCI, visit .

About Group RCI

Group RCI, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies, (NYSE: WYN) is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the European leader in vacation rentals, with exclusive access for specified periods to more than 67,000 vacation properties in approximately 100 countries. For additional information visit or the media center of

About Christel House

Christel House International is a 501(c)3 public charity helping children around the world to break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. Christel House learning centers -- located in India, Mexico, South Africa, the United States and Venezuela -- provide education, nutrition, health care and character and life-skills development for children. The organization has received a Four Star rating from Charity Navigator and is celebrating its tenth year anniversary in 2008. For additional information, please visit

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