Orlando, FL (April 10, 2013) – Welk Resorts, a well-established leader in the vacation ownership industry, today announced that Welk Resort Branson was the proud recipient of the ARDA Ace Community Service Award for their Yellow Ribbon Tribute to Veterans.The ACE Community Service Award recognizes outstanding community contributions by an ARDA member, individual or organization, during the calendar year. This year the prestigious award was presented to the team at Welk Resort Branson for the tributes they pay to our Service Personnel, particularly during Branson Veterans Homecoming Week.“It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of our Welk Resorts associates.” said Dathan Atchison, General Manager, Welk Resort Branson. “We share this recognition with our Branson community, who know how much our Veterans deserve our respect and admiration, and honors them daily throughout our community.”

The week-long festivities have become the second biggest veterans’ event in the country after Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Memorial Wall replica has been a serious commitment for the resort for the last sixteen years. Throughout the week, visitors from schools, ROTC programs, and other organizations as well as the veterans and general public come to look at the wall, dropping off flowers and memorabilia and looking for loved ones’ names. Some veterans have come to visit the wall replica simply because it is much closer to them than traveling all the way to D.C. Throughout the day, volunteers read aloud the names of the Vietnam veterans whose names are listed on the wall.

The Welk Resort also holds two significant ceremonies by the wall: the Opening Ceremony for the Wall and the POW/MIA Service of Tribute and Remembrance. The 2012 keynote speaker for the Memorial Wall opening ceremony was Corporal Eddie Beasley who had lost his legs in the Vietnam War and in 2010 was presented with in iBbot chair from performer Tony Orlando, who had raised $50,000 for the chair.

“We are proud of Dathan Atchison, Tony Orlando and our Branson team for creating a memorable and moving Veteran’s Day celebration,” said Jon Fredricks, president of Welk Resort Group. “We are honored to be able pay tribute and give thanks to the many men and women of the Armed Services who have admirably served our country by hosting the Tony Orlando Veteran’s Show and the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall.”

The Welk Hospitality Group has a long history of showing their commitment to their surrounding communities by not only providing financially, but also by giving their time to volunteer organizations that reflect the Lawrence Welk Family legacy. They recognize that charitable engagement is a fundamental component of personal well-being and associate satisfaction. They also believe that when corporations like Welk include good citizenship as a benchmark of success, they demonstrate that they are ethical, responsible, proactive, and caring members of those communities. To that end, they have instituted a formal Welk Heart Program as a giving strategy to help instill a culture of corporate philanthropy. As part of this program, a Welk Heart Committee was created at each property to encourage and reward associates who participate in community service.

About Welk Resorts
Founded in 1955 by the late entertainment icon Lawrence Welk, Welk Resorts is one of the most respected independent brands in the vacation ownership industry today. Welk remains a privately held, family-owned company led by President Jon Fredricks, who is the grandson of the late Lawrence Welk.

Fredricks has established the Welk Resort group of properties as top vacation destinations. With more than 20 years of experience in hospitality, real estate and finance, he has helped the company realize unprecedented growth by fostering profitable expansion projects and internal corporate growth. The company has developed and/or operated more than 1,100 luxury vacation units, villas and hotel rooms in San Diego; Maui, Hawaii; the Palm Desert area; Branson, Missouri; and Cabo San Lucas. The corporate offices are located in San Marcos, California.

The mission of the company “Our family creates vacation memories to cherish for a lifetime” is reflective of the strong company values, which promote both tradition and family. This mission and commitment to guest and owner service and resort quality has led Welk Resorts to be among the highest rated resorts internationally by owners and guests. Trip Advisor ranked Welk Resorts Sirena Del Mar a Top 25 Resort in Mexico in 2012.

Web: www.welkresort.com

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Welk Resorts

8860 Lawrence Welk Drive, Escondido, CA 92026