SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - December 11, 2009) - When Dolce Hotels and Resorts sponsored a contest for its Facebook fans to propose dream vacations at the Dolce Hayes Mansion, the expectation was that the winner would enjoy a self-indulgent getaway with a spouse or significant other and maybe their offspring.

The company didn't expect the winner to propose a holiday fund-raising event to benefit charities including a nationally known toy donation program, food bank and children's research hospital. But that's exactly what Lucia Tran of San Jose did, and she convinced more than 550 of her friends and coworkers to vote for her entry.

Specifically, Tran proposed "throwing an elegant holiday party for my closest friends and family" at Dolce Hayes Mansion. Invitees would be asked to bring contributions of toys and canned foods, and she would hold a raffle featuring hotel stays, spa packages and champagne Sunday brunch, with all proceeds donated to the children's research hospital.

Cedric Fasbender, hotel general manager and Dolce Hotels and Resorts regional vice president, aims to see that Tran gets her wish. "We're working with Lucia and her designated charities right now to organize her party," he said. "Lucia's proposal has captured the hearts of Dolce Hayes Mansion employees, who are personally committed to creating a spectacular event."

(The party will be held tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Dolce Hayes Mansion's Westwood Patio.)

Michael Goldrich, Dolce director of global Web services and e-commerce, helped create the Facebook contest, called "Tell Us Your Story." He said Dolce executives selected finalists and posted them on Facebook to allow "fans" to vote for their favorite. Tran won the grand prize, a vacation valued up to $4,000.

"This contest really demonstrates the power of social media to spark philanthropy," Goldrich said. "What began as a commercial venture promises to end up as nothing short of a holiday miracle. Everyone involved is quite touched by the generosity of Lucia Tran's spirit. We're particularly impressed by the fact that her San Jose-area coworkers rallied to her cause."

Goldrich said this was the company's second Facebook contest this year following a promotion featuring Dolce's Lakeway Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. "Lucia's winning submission in the Dolce Hayes Mansion contest got more than triple the number of votes received by the Lakeway Resort contest winner," he said. "It shows the growing power of social media."

(The text of Tran's winning entry can be viewed on the Dolce Hotels and Resorts Facebook page at by clicking on the Facebook Promotions Winners tab.)

Dolce Hayes Mansion, a century-old, Spanish Colonial Revival-style hotel, resort and spa, once was a lavish private estate and is considered one of the South Bay's most distinctive historical structures. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 214-room hotel's facilities include two restaurants, lounge, day spa, fitness center, outdoor pool, tennis courts and 25 conference rooms totaling 33,000 square feet of function space certified by the International Association of Conference Centers. The hotel is 15 minutes from San Jose International Airport and 45 minutes from San Francisco and Monterey.

Dolce Hotels and Resorts, headquartered in Montvale, N.J., and Paris, is majority-owned by Broadreach Capital Partners and employs approximately 4,000 worldwide. Its portfolio of iconic hotels, resorts and conference centers also includes The Thayer Hotel at West Point, N.Y.; Lakeway Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas; Dolce Sitges in Barcelona, Spain; Seaview, near Atlantic City, N.J.; Dolce Chantilly in France; and Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, Colo.

Dolce Hotels and Resorts has earned a reputation for creating inspiring working and learning environments through its superior cuisine and amenities, productive facilities and design, and dedicated, personalized customer service. Additional information is available at