Stepping up its commitment and efforts toward corporate social responsibility – whilst adding a dash of adventure and undeniable spirit of joie de vivre, the Karma way, Karma Royal Group recently held its successful inaugural Penguin Walk – a 36-kilometre trail hike winding through the hills, fields, forests and beaches around the charming medieval village of Le Garde Freinet, near the coast of St. Tropez in France. The inaugural Penguin Walk had 20 adventurous, like-minded Penguins participating, led by the designated King Penguin himself, John Spence, Karma Royal Group founder, Chairman and CEO. John conceived of the Walk as a fun, challenging and purposed-filled adventure fully embracing a mission to improve the lives of the disadvantaged, especially in communities around the world where Karma Royal Group operates.
“Nothing compares to the immense feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from helping others. To be in a position of being able to embark on physically challenging adventures such as the Karma Penguin Walk, in the company of high-achieving, socially responsible and like-minded individuals, is a tremendous privilege and one that I intend for us to continue each year, for the express benefit of the young students on the College & Careers scholarship programme by Christel House in India, ” said John Spence. ” My work brings me to diverse corners of the globe, where I often encounter disadvantaged communities facing astounding challenges each and every day. With projects such as the Karma Penguin Walk, we can be in a powerful position to raise awareness as well as contribute funds which will help in directly alleviating some of the pressures faced by these underprivileged young people, so they can benefit from a proper university or college education, obtain gainful employment and break the cycle of poverty in their lives.”
The inaugural Penguin Walk began at 6 o’clock in the morning under cover of darkness at Le Preverger, Karma Estates’ legendary chateau, with the Penguins traversing a winding forest trail reminiscent of an Indiana Jones adventure. Along the way, the waddlers encountered several perilous obstacles, such as wild boar and other wildlife, local Gallic huntsmen, oncoming lorries, as well as facing the risk of being skewered by fellow hikers’ walking sticks in the dim dawn light. Occasional stops of brandy coffee and wine tastings served to bolster the Penguins’ flagging energies and by half past two in the afternoon, all of the Penguins had completed the route and triumphantly reached the final destination of Le Club 55 on the beach, where they were welcomed with a well-deserved luncheon and the gratifying news that the Penguin Walk had successfully raised more than 10,000 Euros to directly benefit the young scholars of Christel House in India.
The 2016 Penguin Walk is already being planned by Karma Royal Group, with the intention of making it an annual event.
Christel House, a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Bangalore, India, helps children and youth from underprivileged backgrounds overcome the cycle of poverty through education. In 2011, Christel House established its College & Careers programme, whereby scholarships are provided for students to pursue university or college professional degrees in order that they may be fully employed upon graduation.
At Christel House, via its charity foundation Karma Camino, Karma Royal Group has sponsored the construction and initial establishment of its school library, including stocking its shelves with children’s books, and provides all the meals for over 900 children (To date, the group has provided and paid for in excess of 4.5 million meals.) The Karma Camino foundation also organizes an annual “Camp Royal” excursion, whereby children from Christel House are invited to stay for a few days’ holiday at Karma Royal Group’s resorts in Goa and entertained by resort staff volunteers – a treat which most of these children, who have never known what it is like to go on vacation, are experiencing for the first time.
In addition, Karma Royal Group has raised over a million US dollars over the past two years for various charities, through the auctioning off of villa and hotel accommodations.
BACKGROUND ON KARMA ROYAL GROUP
Karma Royal Group is headed by Chairman and CEO, John Spence, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010. In June 2013, John was invited to join leading entrepreneurs from around the world in Monaco to join the judging panel for the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year. In July 2013, John was honoured by the Yale University School of Architecture by being appointed the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow for the fall semester 2013/2014 and by the University of California (UCLA) by being awarded a 2015 Distinguished Visiting Fellowship in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design. Karma Royal Group is comprised of Royal Resorts, Karma Resorts, Karma Estates, Beach Club International and Karma Spa and has undergone significant expansion to its global network in recent years. This expansion includes the acquisition of Karma St. Martin’s in the United Kingdom, Karma Bavaria ski resort in Germany, the iconic Karma Rottnest on Rottnest Island, Western Australia, the development of Karma Bahamas on Little Harbour Island and the purchase of one of the world’s iconic estates – the magnificent former home of Laura Ashley “Le Preverger” in the Cote D’Azur. Further expansion includes land acquisition and development plans in Cuba, Brazil, Japan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Karma Royal Group continues to set industry benchmarks with its passion and innovation in providing new products to engage its over 55,000 members and loyal clients throughout the world.
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Diane Fermin Roeder
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