(The following article was published May 31 on the Web site of the Macon Telegraph.)
By Liz Fabian
When construction delays postponed the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn at Mercer University, the property management company decided to put the staff to work anyway by volunteering with local charities.
Larry Blumberg & Associates is paying hotel workers who were originally scheduled to open the 101-room hotel in May.
Now that the hotel won't open until late June, employees are brushing up on their hospitality skills by helping in the construction of a Habitat for Humanity house at 4243 Roy Ave. in Lynmore Estates.
Home owner Vicki Cooley, a Hurricane Katrina evacuee, said the kindness of others has made her transition to Macon much easier.
The hotel workers, including the executive housekeeper, chief engineer and front desk associates, have volunteered more than 1,300 hours through Habitat and Goodwill Industries.