L'Oréal Paris, Hearst celebrate Women of Worth

NEW YORK — L'Oréal Paris celebrated the Fifth Annual Women of Worth Awards at a special event in New York that was hosted by Karen Fondu, president of L'Oréal Paris, and Cathie Black, chairman of Hearst Magazines.

"The Women of Worth initiative is inspired by L'Oréal's iconic brand philosophy, 'Because You're Worth It.' I am proud to celebrate these 10 extraordinary women who bring this mantra to life," stated Fondu. "Their dedication to their causes and their many achievements truly demonstrate that all women have the power to make a difference."

Special guest presenters at Thursday's award presentation, held at the Hearst Tower in New York, included Viola Davis, Hoda Kotb, Linda Edelstein, Trisha Yearwood, Giada De Laurentiis and Kerry Washington. Former Women of Worth honorees also were invited to ring in the fifth annual awards.

Consumers had an opportunity to visit WomenOfWorth.com and cast their vote for the honoree and charity that inspired them most. Taryn Davis, who founded The American Widow Project, received the most online votes and was awarded an additional $25,000 at the ceremony.

To commemorate their dedication, the 10 honorees received $5,000 for their respective charitable causes and $5,000 in their name to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, which is L'Oréal Paris' primary philanthropic partner. To date, L'Oréal Paris has raised more than $18 million on behalf of OCRF. The 10 honorees included:

  • Lynn Gaubatz of Falls Church, Va., who founded AdoptALibrary.org, providing thousands of books for tribal colleges, reservations, prisons and schools across the nation and around the world;

  • Robin Steele of Eagan, Minn., who founded Cheerful Givers to help less-fortunate families give birthday presents to their children;

  • Lisa Williams of Peachtree City, Ga., who established Circle of Friends and Living Water for Girls to provide safe refuge for American girls and to advocate against commercial sexual exploitation;

  • Sue Kutz of Rock Hill, S.C., who is an activist for Back the Pack, a program that discretely identifies undernourished students and provides them with nutritious food on weekends to alleviate symptoms of chronic hunger;

  • Jill Tappert of Boulder, Colo., who has made countless strides in the treatment and support available to families with autistic children through her work with Autism Society of Colorado;

  • Taryn Davis of Buda, Texas, who founded The American Widow Project, a nonprofit organization offering support and healing to this generation's military widows across the United States;

  • Ethel Paley of New York, who is the first executive director of FRIA, a group dedicated to making sure seniors get proper care, services and treatment from nursing homes in New York;

  • Simone Bernstein of St. Louis, who created StLouisVolunteen.com to inform teens about the many volunteer opportunities available in the area and to motivate them to act;

  • Berni Barta of Los Angeles, who founded Kid Flicks, an organization that donates new and gently used age-appropriate DVDs to children in hospitals and pediatric departments; and

  • Pauline Olsen of Farmington, Conn., who helped to create Malta House of Care Mobile Free Medical Clinic, which delivers totally free primary health care to a diverse population with no other means of accessing the healthcare system.

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