Luxury travel agency Protravel International, in coordination with Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, hosted its annual holiday party, welcoming over 400 children and their families.
Over 100 Protravel team members helped with the event, dressing as elves, the Grinch and other Christmas characters. The festivities included a holiday meal, live music, a magic show, arts and crafts activities, carnival games, face painting and more. Capping off the event, Senior Vice President of Airline Relations Peter Vlitas arrived dressed as Santa Claus and gave the children each a gift specifically chosen for him or her. Prior to the event, Santa brought gifts to the in-patient children with brain tumors at Mount Sinai.
Protravel’s senior vice president of Leisure & Sales Marketing Andy Pesky, himself a brain tumor survivor, created the event with his wife Elaine Pesky, a Protravel travel advisor, over two decades ago. The idea came about when Pesky forewent his former company’s gift exchange pt the money instead towards raising donations for the holiday event.
The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded by parents, physicians and friends in 1988 with the goal of finding a cure for pediatric brain tumors. Brain tumors are the second most common cancers among children, with over 4,000 diagnoses every year.