This year’s Coverings, the largest international tile and stone exhibition in North America, included three charitable initiatives that aim to give back to the local community of Orlando, FL, where this year’s show took place at the Orange County Convention Center from April 9-12.
Art Tile Courtyard Dog Houses
Returning for the third year is the Art Tile Courtyard, a hotspot in the Tile Council of North America’s (TCNA) pavilion that contained 21 decorative tile doghouses, along with several adorable puppies who stole the show.
TCNA and 21 of its member companies hosted this year’s program in which custom dog houses are designed and built to showcase the healthy, durable and stylish benefits of tile products. All 21 dog houses are then put on display at the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard (Booth #4209) during Coverings, where attendees can see the craftsmanship and meet furry friends.
The booth is a notable spot each year for attendees to take a quick break and pet the pups between their busy show schedules. This year’s puppies were rescued from Puerto Rico and are available for adoption – several already found their forever homes before the show’s final day. After Coverings is over, the doghouses are donated to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, a nonprofit that each year helps thousands of animals in the surround community.
Hygiene Kits for Veterans
Coverings also established collaborative partnerships with exhibitors to help the Clean the World program and Habitat for Humanity. Mapei and Florida Tile, as well as the National Tile Contractors Association, Ceramics of Italy and Tile of Spain, partnered with Clean the World to assemble hygiene kits that will be distributed to in-need veterans in the Orlando area.
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The groups met during the first day of the show to assemble 1,600 kits onsite with daily items like toothpaste, shampoo, toothbrushes, lotion, lip balm and more. They hope to double the output of last year’s initiative and will include handwritten notes within each kit as a thank you to those who have served their country.
Building Materials for Affordable Housing
Coverings and Freeman will also donate tile and building materials to benefit Habitat for Humanity's mission of building affordable homes for those in need. Coverings, Freeman and Habitat for Humanity of Seminole Country and Greater Apopka will work together during the show breakdown to identify and collect usable tile and stone from exhibitor booths. Nearly 1,100 exhibitors set up booths throughout the 455,000-square-foot space.
“Coverings wouldn’t be possible without the support of our host cities, so it’s incredibly important that we give back to the communities that welcome us each year,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the management company for Coverings. “With so many industry professionals gathering in one place, we are honored to band together to benefit the area and build even deeper connections here.”
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