TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - September 22, 2014) - Sunwing Vacations confirmed this week that its Facebook campaign that was launched August 26, 2014 to promote the company's Ice Bucket Challenge generated a $10,000 donation to ALS Canada in less than 24 hours.

The campaign, which invited Facebook friends of the tour operator to share a video where nine of the company's Toronto-based executives met with a cascade of frigid water cooled off by over 20 kgs of ice, pledged a $10 donation each time their status update was shared; rising to a maximum of $10,000. The goal of $10,000 was achieved in the first 11 hours that this video was posted on Facebook.

The campaign was significant for the company, as it was the first time that its social media channels had been employed to assist with charity fundraising.

Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Dawson commented, "ALS is a devastating illness that has touched the lives of many of our employees to differing degrees. So, when we were approached as an organisation to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, we were keen to spread the message as far as we could, and encourage not only our employees, but also our customers and their friends to make a donation. We believe that by pledging our donation through this social campaign, we have been successful in doing so."

In addition to the $10,000 donation to ALS Canada, to offset the use of water during the Ice Bucket Challenge, the company also presented a cheque for a $2,000 donation to its regular partner OneXOne, which coordinates a number of water projects across Africa.

Dawson was joined by Group Vice President, Lawrence Elliott, and company Founder and Chairman, Colin Hunter, together with members of staff from the tour operator's head office that had helped coordinate the challenge last month for a photo to commemorate the donations raised.

About Sunwing Vacations' Ice Bucket Challenge

Sunwing Vacations' Ice Bucket Challenge took place at the company's head office in Toronto on August 26, 2014. The challenge was formally accepted by Lawrence Elliott, Group Vice President. Elliott was joined by company Founder and Chairman, Colin Hunter, and Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Dawson along with a further six executives: Brian Gocool, Director of National Sales Centre; Alvin Chau, Chief Information Officer; Ram Sud, Vice President, Payload; Jennifer Perry, Director of Product; Cristina Caponi-Davis, Vice President, Inventory/Costing/Destination Services; and Deana Murphy, Vice President, Retail Sales.

Following their challenge the company invited representatives from several national tourist boards to join in the campaign in support of ALS; namely Paul Strachan, Director, Canada Bahamas Tourist Board; Eloy Govea, Director of the Cuba Tourist Board; Abdalah Castillo, Director of the Dominican Republic Tourist Board; Philip Rose, Director of Tourism Jamaica Tourist Board and Rodrigo Esponda, Director of Canada Mexico Tourist Board.

Sunwing Vacations then announced that they would be donating $10 to ALS Canada for each time their Ice Bucket Challenge video posted at was shared via social media using the following hashtags #icebucketchallenge #StrikeOutALS #champagneserviceONICE, with a total donation of up to a maximum of $10,000. They also the pledged an additional donation to their regular charity partner OneXOne in support of their water projects to help offset the water used in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge awareness campaign.

About Sunwing Vacations

All Sunwing Vacations packages include award winning Sunwing Airlines' Champagne Service, which features a complimentary glass of champagne, hot towel service, Hot & Fresh Bistro meals™ served with a choice of wine at lunch and dinner, and complimentary in-flight entertainment, including first run movies and a generous 20 kg free baggage allowance. For just $40 more per flight segment, travellers can upgrade to Sunwing's Elite Plus service, which features advance seat selection, separate check-in at a majority of airports, advance boarding, 30 kg baggage allowance, priority baggage handling, and extra legroom seats.

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Rachel Goldrick
Corporate Communications Manager
Sunwing Vacations