Attendees at the semi-annual Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) hospitality training conference built and donated 20 bicycles to children in need in Portland, Ore., March 8.

The exercise was part of an experimental learning session for the 130 attendees at the conference, which took place at the Portland Hilton & Executive Tower. After the attendees built the bikes in teams, they were surprised by 20 children from the local Boys and Girls Club of Portland Metropolitan Area, who were brought in to receive their bikes.

(l to r) Mel McLaughlin, training director of Blue Plate Restaurant Company; Jeff Drozdowski, manager of national training for Little Caesar's; and Mike Fischer, tourism education manager for the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau

Attendees also were asked to bring teddy bears to donate to the Portland Fire & Rescue Toy N Joy Makers, a nonprofit organization that has been giving toys to children in need since 1914. Portland Fire & Rescue Toy & Joy Makers received more than 220 teddy bears at a ceremony on March 9. CHART, a resource for the development and advancement of hospitality training professionals and their organizations, has incorporated community service projects into its semi-annual conferences since 2002.