The 14th Dalai Lama has said that, “Our prime purpose in life is to help others.’’
John Parkinson likely never has met the Lama, but Parkinson, general manager of the Hilton West Palm Beach, is meeting the Tibetan religious leader’s words with actions and color.
That color is pink and those actions includes dressing his hotel (and staff) in pinks; founding District Fit in West Palm Beach; and participating in “Real Men Wear Pink’’ campaign that raises awareness and money for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer initiatives. It’s all part of this month’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a cause that as it has many Americans – hits close to home for Parkinson, whose grandmother, mother and sister each died from the disease.
“I have a voice and want to do something with it,’’ Parkinson said. “I use it in other areas, but this is something I’m really passionate about.’’
Parkinson’s passion also is on full display at the Hilton West Palm, particularly in the lobby, which is lit up in pink every night this month, and in three guestrooms, each soaked in pink – from bed linens to robes. Proceeds from each night in a pink-clad guestroom goes to the American Cancer Society.
Parkinson is wearing pink every day this month to help show off his support for breast cancer research. Likewise the hotel staff, from the front office to the bartenders, each are sporting pink this month. The bartenders are serving pink frosé, and the barista’s are serving a pink latte. One dollar of the price of each drink goes to the Real Men Wear Pink Foundation and then on to the American Cancer Society. The hotel’s restaurants are even offering cancer-fighting foods on their menus.
Parkinson founded District Fit this past March as a way to get the West Palm Beach downtown community involved in fitness and healthier living. This month’s District Fit event takes place Oct. 19-21 at CityPlace in West Palm Beach.
The highlights will include a “Farm to Hilton’’ vegan dinner in collaboration with Swank Farms & Adam Lipson of VeganApproved on Oct. 18 at the Hilton West Palm Beach; and “Z for a C” Zumba Class at CityPlace highlighting pink attire in support of breast cancer research and awareness, and a cool down stretch from breast cancer survivor and cancer exercise specialist, Shannon Burrows.
“Sometimes there are cause that make you step back,’’ Parkinson said. “I can’t believe the number of people who are asking, ‘How can I do more?’ And I’m blown away by the outpouring of support from our team. I’ve never seen a hotel take causes to the levels we are taking them.’’
Photos: Hilton West Palm Beach