Last updated: 05:34 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015 Unveils Charitable Foundation

Host Agency & Consortia | | Claudette Covey | April 30, 2015 Unveils Charitable Foundation has created the Family Bonds Foundation, a charitable outreach program near and dear to John Lovell’s heart.

“Many of you know that my father-in-law suffers from ALS and I know that each of you probably has something in your life that means something to you,” said Lovell, CTC, president of during the company’s 17th annual International Trade Show & Conference. “This is really for the people in our organization and the wider communities in which they live. There’s nothing more important to us than the people that we work with each day and represent.”

To help jumpstart the foundation financially, Crystal Cruises donated a seven-day cruise from Rome to Venice on Aug. 30 that will be raffled off during the conference; and United Airlines donated two roundtrip tickets. 

“ has made the first donation,” said Lovell (pictured above). “We’re matching the first $5,000 that we collect here.”

He added that Celebrity, Viking River Cruises, Travel Insured International and Delta have stepped up to the plate to make similar donations going forward.

“As we start moving down this path over the next couple months we’ll be able to re-engage the membership on a wider scale and they raise some good money as well,” Lovell said.

Robert Brill, senior vice president/general counsel of Travel Leaders Group, formed a board, which comprises Scott Nisbet, CEO of Globus Family of Brands; Gary Davis, co-president of Acendas; Donna Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales and trade support and services of Celebrity; and Michele Saegesser, vice president of sales for Viking River Cruises.

“In addition to Gary, we’re looking for three other people from the agent community to be on the board,” said Lovell. 

The board will award grants twice annually, in April and October. Lovell noted, however, that the foundation would be flexible if funds are needed at other times of the year.

“Where there’s immediate need, we’ll look at that,” he said. “The more money we raise, the more generous we can be.”

Constituents include agents, agency owners, suppliers and/or consumers, who can nominate candidates in need at

The foundation is which is awaiting IRS 501(c)(3) approval.

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