Dinner at the Hartford Marriott Downtown.
The Arthur Murray Studios had an employee appreciation night planned Saturday evening for 126 people at the hotel located next to the Connecticut Convention Center. When organizers decided to cancel it Saturday morning, they learned the hotel had a “no refund” policy for such a late decision on the paid dinners.
So the dance studio staff went to work finding someone who could enjoy the food rather than having it wasted.
But there was a catch. The banquet meals had to be eaten at the hotel. The food could not be transported to another location.
“We called around to different homeless shelters but they couldn’t allow clients to walk to the Marriott for the dinner,” said Jonathan Stangel, regional assistant chairman for Arthur Murray Dance Studio. “We were finally able to contact the city and make arrangements for the public works crews that had been out for so long plowing to eat dinner and were so glad to find someone who could appreciate the food.”
Stangel said the hotel was “dumbfounded” that there would be diners after all, especially because at the point, there was still a driving ban in effect.
“I told them we had drivers who had special permission to be on the road,” Stangel said laughing. “It really did turn into a nice donation to people who deserved it.”
Dinner will be available during a shift break from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
According to Mayor Pedro Segarra’s office, the majority of those who will get a hot meal were held overnight and have worked a 12-to-16 hour shift.
“The City is grateful and this certainly demonstrates how we are in this
together,” said a spokesperson for the mayor.