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Global travel is about to get safer. On May 18, 2017, hundreds of Minnesota residents and business leaders will get their first glimpse at what’s supporting this change during the sixth-annual Around the World Safely benefit. The event supports Depart Smart, the trusted third-party, nonprofit resource for transformative tools and information to help people, especially students, make informed decisions so they return with rewarding experiences in a $7 trillion  self-regulated travel and tourism industry.

“More than 35 million people, of whom more than two million are students, travel outside the U.S. each year, with only a vague awareness of the dangers they might encounter. Few people are prepared to assess and manage risks. Most people do not purchase adequate travel insurance. Even fewer know what to do if they find themselves in harm’s way,” says Depart Smart Founder and Minnesotan Sheryl Hill. 

At this year’s event, Depart Smart will give attendees first access to its new online safe travel course co-developed with students from Design U. It is the first standardized global travel safety training to help people, specifically parents and students prepare, identify and mitigate risks.

“This course is like a tutorial, similar to driver’s education. It’s teaching preventive safety as well as appropriate actions should something happen,” comments Hill. “We’d never buy a house without understanding the neighborhood. But we send our kids into a foreign country without understanding how to find the nearest hospitals, etc. We teach our kids the emergency number and how to ask for help when they are in kindergarten. But few understand the number is not 911 in most countries. We travel without insurance or proper vaccinations. This course reviews tactical strategies to make travel awesome in life-saving ways.” 

This year’s gala honors Tyler Hill with a celebration of Japan 

Depart Smart is founded by Allen and Sheryl Hill after the preventable death of their 16-year-old son, Tyler, on a People to People trip to Japan in 2007. “Our family has a decade of travel safety advocacy since Tyler’s death,” Hill explains. “This year, our nonprofit gala’s theme is Mindful Safe Travels. We are observing Japanese culture and the cherry blossom season, which celebrates new beginnings.” 

Guests will dine on gourmet Japanese cuisine, served in traditional bento boxes which can be taken home as mementos. Entertainment will include traditional Japanese dance and drumming by local group, Sansei Yonsei Kai. 

This fun gala will also include mystery dining and a live auction

The 2017 Around the World Safely event takes place on Thursday, May 18 at the Minneapolis Event Center, 212 SE 2nd Street, Minneapolis from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. 

This action-packed evening will include mystery dining, games of chance, a dessert dash and a live auction presented by Seattle’s renowned auctioneer Larry Snyder, who will give guests the chance to win: 

  • A gourmet Latin dinner for ten people prepared by award-winning chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, accompanied by fine wines, limousine escort and solo guitarist. 
  • A sunset cruise for eight, with heavy appetizers and cocktails, on Lake Minnetonka with Depart Smart founders Allen and Sheryl Hill. 
  • Adventure trips and more. 

Tickets for the Around the World Safely benefit 2017 are $75 each for dinner, open seating and cash bar or $100 each which includes open bar, dinner and VIP seating. Sponsors for this year’s event include AIG Travel Guard, Hubbard Broadcasting and Travel Leaders. To join in or sponsor this exciting event and experience the joy of helping others depart smart by raising money to help fund the first consumer-driven online travel safety course, go to the website here. Travel safety starts with  

Depart Smart dba ClearCause is the only nonprofit working to save lives and protect people, particularly students, who travel abroad in a $7 trillion self-regulated industry entrusted with their futures and lives. 

The Details
May 18, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
$75- $100