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Driving Force Behind Choice Hotels International Stewart Bainum, Sr.
Honored for Decades of Charity Work in Montgomery County, Maryland

Former Longtime President Receives Prestigious Philanthropy Award for Lifetime of Philanthropy

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SILVER SPRING, Md., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- It all started with a hitchhiking trip to Montgomery County, Maryland from Cincinnati in 1936 as a high school dropout with only three dollars in his pocket.

Ever since that time, Stewart Bainum, Sr. has worked tirelessly and selflessly to improve his local community, helping to build a stronger and brighter future for the residents of his home county. Thanks to his charitable efforts, Choice Hotels International is pleased to recognize its former longtime president and chief executive officer, Stewart Bainum Sr., who received the 2009 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year from the Montgomery County Community Foundation for the work as founder of the Commonweal Foundation. Mr. Bainum will be officially recognized with this honor at the organization's annual Celebration of Giving event on the evening of Tuesday, November 17th.

Building two successful Montgomery County-based companies, Quality Inns International, Inc. (which became Choice Hotels International) and Manor Care Nursing Homes, Mr. Bainum and his wife took advantage of their business success in 1968 to found the Commonweal Foundation.

"Commonweal" means "for the common good" and the Foundation works to give back to the community where the Bainums live by emphasizing the importance of family, hard work, perseverance and education as the cornerstone of life success.

"I could not be more proud of my father and the great work that he has done to improve the lives of so many Montgomery County residents, as well as children and families around the globe," said Stewart Bainum, Jr., chairman of the board, Choice Hotels International, Inc. "Giving back to this community, his community, has always been the primary focus of my father in his work and will continue to be for our entire family. We hope many will follow his example."

The work of Mr. Bainum's Commonweal Foundation reaches children and families nationally and internationally, as well as helping to build a stronger and brighter future for the residents of Montgomery County, through a number of local programs. First known as The College Fund, Commonweal's original purpose was to provide loans to financially needy students for college tuition. In the 1980s, the Foundation acquired its new names and a few focus - the support of secondary education. Today, the Commonweal Foundation continues to provide education and social support to financially needy students in the form of widely expanded services, including grants, scholarships, and learning assistance programs.

"We at Choice Hotels are truly inspired by Mr. Bainum, both professionally and charitably," said Steve Joyce, president and chief executive officer, Choice Hotels. "He has been an inspiration for the philanthropic work of this company and is an exemplary man who knows the true meaning of hospitality."

The Montgomery County Community Foundation's annual Celebration of Giving event serves to raise the profile of charitable giving by county residents and businesses, and especially to encourage all people to "give where they live." The Celebration of Giving event, where Mr. Bainum will accept his award as 2009 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year, will be held on Tuesday, November 17th beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the Chevy Chase Trust building in downtown Bethesda.

For more information, please visit www.mccfoundation.org.

About Commonweal Foundation
The Commonweal Foundation supports educational programs and projects assisting disadvantaged youth. The Foundation focuses on secondary and, to a lesser extent, elementary education. The Foundation also considers grants for educational research and, to a limited extent, health care. For more information, visit www.cweal.org.


About Choice Hotels

As of June 30, 2009, Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchised more than 5,900 hotels, representing more than 479,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. On September 22, 2009, the company announced it had opened its 6,000th franchised property. As of June 30, 2009, more than 800 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 64,000 rooms, and an additional 110 hotels, representing approximately 8,700 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 other countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels..

Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels  Web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.

Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.
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Contact:

Rocco Loverro
Tel:  (301) 592-6719
rocco_loverro@choicehotels.com

 
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Also See: Choice Hotels Names Todd Davis as Chief Technology Officer / September 2009

Choice Hotels International Opens 38 New Hotels in August / September 2009

Choice Hotels International Opens 52 New Hotels in April / May 2009

Choice Hotels Ascend Collection Program Targets Historic, Boutique and Unique Independent Hotels / October 2008

Choice Hotel's Ascend Collection Offers an Affiliation for Hotels Wanting to Keep Own Names and Identities / June 2008

Choice Hotels Rebranding its Clarion Collection as the 'Ascend Collection', Providing More Independence for the Hotel Owners / May 2008
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