Montage Resort & Spa brightened the start of the holiday season this year with its first-ever tree lighting, the grand finale to an evening of cheer and goodwill.
An estimated 1,300 revelers enjoyed the resort's hospitality, which culminated in the lighting of the tree at 6:30 p.m., and applauded its generous early holiday gift to the Laguna Relief and Resource Center.
A $5,000 check was presented to center representatives Faye Chapman and Don Campbell, honoring the contributions of the Hearts of Montage, a volunteer group of employees which has raised money for local for non-profits almost since the resort opened.
"We have raised $1,379,000 since September of 2003," said Chris Loidolt, Hearts member and manager of the Montage Business Center. "Our first event was coastal cleanup seven months after Montage opened and we have done quarterly cleanups of Treasure Island since then."
Twice every year the group donates food and clothing the resource center and adopts a family for the holidays.