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How Dan DeBord and the Team at Hilton Suites Magnificent Mile, IL, Saved Christmas.

Dan DeBord spends his days keeping guests safe and the hotel secure, but it’s not hard to see that the Director of Security is a light and warmth teddy bear. He and the team at Hilton Suites Chicago Magnificent Mile, IL, made sure that everyone’s holiday travel was special, but none were as memorable as one cotton-brained guest named Teddy.

When the Wargowsky family returned home after a pre-Christmas getaway in early December, they realized their two daughters, Katie, 8 and Ella, 5, had forgotten their beloved stuffed toys. A phone call to the hotel revealed that Katie’s baby doll had been rescued, but Ella’s teddy bear was MIA.

“Multiple phone calls were placed – detailed descriptions provided, emergency telephone numbers given, requests to move furniture made,” mom Leanne Wargowsky remembers. “The staff assured us they were go to great lengths to find Teddy.”

The team took ownership and discovered the fuzzy, oatmeal-colored escapee two days later. Teddy had slipped down the laundry chute and taken a tumble through the wash. Dan called the Wargowskys to assure them that Teddy was clean and safe, and promised to mail the bear back home.

“But what Dan did next made it so incredible,” says Leanne. Dan said he’d email a picture of Teddy –swathed in a Hilton robe from his day at the “spa” – so Ella could have proof that her buddy was safe.

When the picture arrived in Leanne’s inbox, so did a note from Teddy.

SUBJECT: HI GUYS! Look, it’s me!!! I am okay!

Hi everyone!! I am safe and sound!!! I had such a great time here that I jumped into the sheets on our last day and have had this awesome adventure!!!! I took a ride down this long slide!!! It was dark, but I was brave because you all taught me how to be brave.

Once I landed at the bottom, these nice people took very good care of me. They held me, brushed my fur and gave me a nice spa day with a warm bath and gave me this wonderful robe to relax in! They also took a nice photo of me lounging at the Hilton Suites!

Now, I really do miss you guys back home, so I will be jumping in a cool box and will take another adventure on a cool brown truck home to my family The truck will take me home to you guys so we can enjoy a wonderful holiday season!!!!!!

Be brave and I will be home before you know it safe and sound!!!

See ya real soon!!!!!

Teddy was back in Ella’s arms just days later.

“I cannot believe what Dan went through for my family,” says Leanne. “I whole heartedly thank all of the staff at Hilton Suites Magnificent Mile – I do believe this was the very best Christmas gift any of us received this year.”

Besides rescuing wayward bears, Dan exemplifies hospitality and teamwork throughout the hotel. He often assists the Front Desk during peak check-in times and is the driving force behind the hotel’s Juvenile Diabetes Walk.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012

Topic(s): Department-Specific Recognition, Hilton Worldwide Values, Hotel Safety and Security, Recent Recognition Ideas

Denise Ludtke-Zuver says

Super cute story! I bet there are other “Teddy’s” who have had adventures but never made it back home. Good job Dan!

Commented on August 1, 2012

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