Archive for Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hyatt opts to donate to Skywalk collapse memorial

December 22, 2011


— Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has changed course and donated $25,000 to a planned memorial for the victims of a 1981 skywalk collapse at the former Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City.

Officials with the Skywalk Memorial Foundation confirmed the Hyatt donation in a statement Thursday. Hyatt had said previously it would not donate to the memorial fund because the hotel chain no longer operates the site where the collapsed occurred, killing 114 people and injuring more than 200.

The hotel became a Sheraton this month.

The collapse occurred during a dance that drew about 1,500 people to the hotel. A fourth-floor skywalk gave way, falling on a second-floor skywalk.

The memorial foundation broke ground earlier this year on the site of the planned memorial, about a block from the hotel. Sheraton announced this month it would contribute $5,000 to the foundation.

"We are very appreciative of the Hyatt's change in thinking," Frank Freeman, president of the Skywalk Memorial Foundation said in a release. "We hope this contribution, coupled with the Sheraton's donation, will inspire other corporations to step forward. We are getting closer to realizing this goal and we thank those who have made donations."

Freeman said the group, which was founded five years ago, has so far raised about two-thirds of the $600,000 needed to build the memorial.

The Kansas City Star reported that Hyatt issued a statement in which the chain said it hopes the contribution "helps convey the respect we have for the victims of the tragedy and the pride we feel in our relationship with this great city."


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