Featured in West Chatham Neighbors
200 Club Cares For Those Who Care For Us
Kai Patel, his wife, 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son love living at Savannah Quarters which they have called home for 8 years. “This is the perfect environment in which to raise a family,” Kai comments. “Pooler is a fantastic area of Chatham County and a real melting pot of young families from all over the country and world who are attracted by the opportunities and lifestyle here.”
As President and CEO of Image Hotels, Kai is proud of the family-run business he leads which owns, develops and manages hotels. Image Hotels was founded by his father 45 years ago and Kai was raised to give back to the community, now setting an example for his own children. He sits on a number of boards including SEDA, The Savannah Chamber of Commerce, The World Trade Center, The Tourism Leadership Council and The Georgia Tourism Foundation. Both personally and through his company, Kai is a generous supporter of the 200 Club. “I met President and CEO of the 200 Club, Mark Dana through the tourism community,” explains Kai. “What this organization does is truly amazing. The financial and emotional support the 200 Club provides for families when they lose a spouse or parent is vital. Many people think that families are automatically taken care of when a first responder is killed or seriously injured in the line of duty, but that is not the case. Thankfully the 200 Club is here to provide a lifeline.”
The 200 Club provides immediate and significant financial support to the families of fallen and critically injured first responders in the 20 counties the 200 Club serves in Georgia and South Carolina. The 200 Club “cares for those who care for us” by providing for the surviving spouses and dependents of first responders. To date, the organization has given over $3.8 million to over 100 families, many of these in Chatham County. In addition, the 200 Club offers a fully paid college education – including tuition, room and board, textbooks, and a computer to the spouse and children of the fallen first responder. Holidays and Mother’s Day can be especially hard after the loss of a spouse and father and the 200 Club sends food and Mother’s Day flowers to remind the families that they are cared about and supported. The families also provide each other with friendship and understanding and often describe the 200 Club as a village of people who know what they are going through.
As a family man himself, Kai donates all he can to support the 200 Club. From sponsoring and participating in the annual golf tournament, purchasing Boston butts during the annual fundraiser and ensuring he and his staff at Image Hotels are members of the 200 Club, Kai is always willing to step up to help these families. “I cannot imagine the additional stress of a first responder when they go to work and know that they are literally risking their lives every day.” Kai explains. “The fear of leaving their families without support is unimaginably terrible. It is not as though first responders are highly paid, so the relief they must feel knowing that the 200 Club will step up if the worse happens, is very, very important.”
Kai is keen for his neighbors to become aware of the 200 Club and offer support in any way they can. The organization is appealing for people to include the 200 Club in their end of year giving, become a member, volunteer and make bequests to help them continue in their mission to pro vide for our fallen heroes’ families. Organizing a fund raising event or purchasing Boston Butts for the July 4th weekend, offer different ways to raise awareness and provide vital funds for ongoing support of families in our community.