ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - (August 9, 2016) - In observation of Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) National Celebrate Services Week, the Visit Albuquerque Convention Services Team collected donations for the Albuquerque Police Department and celebrated a year of excellence in convention and event service with colleagues in the city's hospitality industry.

More than 250 stuffed animals were donated by Albuquerque's event service professionals and given to APD as tools to enhance community outreach and foster goodwill.

"[These donations are] something that we know comforts kids, so this is a great opportunity for us to be able to share that compassion with these kids... It opens up a door to communicate with us," said Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden.

National Celebrate Services Week was established to create a week focused on getting local event service managers at hotels, convention centers, and convention and visitors bureaus together to create camaraderie and to celebrate what event service managers do for the hospitality industry. This year, ESPA's event theme was "We're All About Service," encouraging community service events.

"Each year during National Celebrate Services Week, members of ESPA take time to focus attention on the people who are key to the success of conventions in our cities," said Denise Suttle, CMP, Assistant Director of Convention Services for Visit Albuquerque and past ESPA President. "We are proud to be part of a vibrant hospitality community that gives back."

The event coincided with Visit Albuquerque's Convention Services Team being honored with Meetings & Conventions magazine's 2016 Gold Service Award. This is the 20th Gold Service Award received by the Convention Services Team.