For Immediate Release - Ovation Travel Group, one of the largest independently owned travel management companies headquartered in the U.S., today announced that its Chairman and CEO Paul Metselaar has received the Children’s Health Fund’s Founder’s Award, the organization’s highest annual honor. The award was presented last Wednesday evening at New York City’s Capitale as part of the Children’s Health Fund’s 2019 Annual Benefit, which celebrates children’s healthcare supporters and the organization’s advocates.
The Children’s Health Fund and Ovation became inextricably linked in 1992 after Irwin Redlener, MD – who co-founded the Children’s Health Fund in 1987 with singer/songwriter Paul Simon – saw a news account about Metselaar’s fledgling business. Redlener invited Metselaar to lunch and impressed his guest with the mission and scope of the Children’s Health Fund, resulting in Metselaar’s commitment to offer Ovation’s support for the organization.
“When I read about Paul Metselaar’s innovative new business some 25 years ago, I was intrigued,” noted Dr. Redlener. “And when I reached out to him to see if he might be interested in Children’s Health Fund and its mission, I discovered a compassionate humanitarian who cared about children and eventually became one of Children’s Health Funds’ new leaders, who will help guide and inspire us long into the future.”
“I was simply blown away by the mission of the Children’s Health Fund, as well as their stunning achievements in mitigating medical issues of disadvantaged children,” noted Metselaar. "Irwin’s captivating account compelled me to support this amazing organization. I take enormous pride in the collective Children’s Health Fund efforts undertaken in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Maria. But I’m especially proud of its ‘Healthy and Ready to Learn’ initiative, which works to give less privileged kids – including those right here in New York City – the same starting line as others. I feel extraordinarily blessed to be in a position to give back to help those less fortunate.”
Through the years, Metselaar has continually increased his level of commitment to the Children’s Health Fund, first serving on its advisory board and ultimately joining its board of directors. He now serves as the organization’s vice chairman. As a recognized leader within the travel industry, Metselaar has regularly enlisted volunteer and financial support for the Children’s Health Fund from Ovation employees, advisors and travel partners ranging from major airlines to top hoteliers.
Pictured are Paul Metselaar, Karen Redlener (wife of Irwin Redlener) and Irwin Redlener, MD, co-founder of the Children's Health Fund.