Miss A Columnist

A native of the Philadelphia area, family and friends would describe Malikah Upchurch as eclectic. Her experiences in school and the workplace have enabled her to familiarize herself with and befriend people from all walks of life. Those familiar with her appreciate her positive energetic demeanor and those she meet quickly grow to love it. She enjoys writing about all topics from business to education and beyond. As a soccer mom, wife, and educator, she knows how busy life can be on a daily basis. Understanding that many readers may only have a brief moment to enjoy a story, she writes in a concise yet enjoyable way. Philadelphia is an exciting place to live, visit, and work. Eager to keep readers in the know about charitable happenings around Philadelphia, she seeks out and shares her discoveries with readers. She frequents events and festivals in Center City, Bucks and Montgomery counties, so if and when you see her be sure to share a friendly wave.

Recap: Sonesta Hotel’s Rooftop Luau To Benefit One Simple Wish

Hula dancing performance. (Photo credit: Malikah Upchurch)

Hula dancing performance. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

On Thursday,  June 20, 2013, Sonesta Hotel held a Luau at it’s rooftop pool, celebrating the recent renovations at the location in Center City, Philadelphia. In addition to showcasing the recent renovations, each year the hotel hosts a party, during which time funds are raised to support local charities. This year’s party benefited the local non-profit One Simple Wish: The Ohana Project.

Sisters Renie, Joan, and Judy Plonsky. (Photo credit: Malikah Upchurch)

Sisters Renie, Joan, and Judy Plonsky. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

As guests arrived, monetary and toiletry donations were accepted. Before heading out to the rooftop pool area, guests received a lei, sandals and sunblock. While enjoying after-work cocktails and eating island themed foods from a buffet-style menu, guests were entertained with a medley of live music, Hula dancers and Hula dancing lessons. During entertainment breaks, guests were given tours of the newly renovated hotel rooms, which include environmentally-friendly modifications, locally inspired wall art and more. Guests also entered a raffle to win tickets from Southwest Airlines.

One of the newly renovated rooms at Sonesta hotel in Center City, Philadelphia. (Photo credit: Malikah Upchurch)

One of the newly renovated rooms at Sonesta hotel in Center City, Philadelphia. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

Sonesta hotels have a “Culture of Caring,” valuing employees, guests, traditions and communities. Its four cornerstones include integrity, authenticity, quality and concern. Local flavor can be found throughout Sonesta locations, showing its passion to build a relationship with the community, and not just be a hotel in the community.

Nancy Mrzljak, Julie Foley, Danielle Gletow, and Stephanie Connie from One Simple Wish. (Photo credit: Malikah Upchurch)

Nancy Mrzljak, Julie Foley, Danielle Gletow, and Stephanie Connie from One Simple Wish. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

Locally headquartered in Trenton, N.J., One Simple Wish supports the well-being of families and children associated with foster care, accepting monetary gifts and/or toiletries, which enables people to donate whatever they can. Most wishes they grant range from $5-100, but no gift is too big, small, or insignificant. Founder, Danielle Gletow, her staff and volunteers have been dedicated to helping families since 2008. Ohana is the Hawaiian culture’s word for family, and for One Simple Wish it represents not only blood-related individuals, but also includes the children who enter foster care each year.



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