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The Votes are in for WOW: Women of Worth

By Susan Carey Dempsey on November 20, 2010No Comment

Do you think she’s worth it? Oh yes, the public has spoken: the winner of the WOW: Women of Worth Award is Taryn Davis, who was awarded $25,000 for her charity – The American Widow Project.

 L’Oreal Paris nominated 10 American women to be recognized for their grassroots voluntarism and contributions to causes ranging from literacy to hunger to healthcare. The public was asked to cast their votes for these women, with voting open until Wednesday, Nov. 24: visit womenofworth.com for more information on the nominees. 

L’Oreal Paris made a long-term commitment to ovarian cancer research in 1997, and will make a $5,000 donation in honor of each nominee to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, its primary philanthropic partner. Each nominee will also receive $5,000 for the cause to which she dedicates her efforts.

Here’s a look at the nominees whose work is being recognized: 

  • Lynn Gaubatz – Falls Church, VA; Founded AdoptALibrary.org, providing thousands of books for tribal colleges, reservations, prisons and schools across the nation and around the world.
  • Robin Steele – Eagan, MN; Founded Cheerful Givers to help less fortunate families give birthday presents to their children.
  • Lisa Williams – Peachtree City, GA; Established Circle of Friends and Living Water for Girls to provide safe refuge for American girls and advocate against commercial sexual exploitation.
  • Sue Kutz – Rock Hill, SC; 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 – Boulder, CO; 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 – Buda, TX; Founded The American Widow Project, a non-profit organization offering support and healing to this generation’s military widows across the United States.
  • Ethel Paley – New York, NY; 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 – St. Louis, MO; Created stlouisvolunteen.com to inform teens about the many volunteer opportunities available in the area, and to motivate them to act.
  • Berni Barta – Los Angeles, CA; Founded Kid Flicks, an organization that donates new and gently used age appropriate DVDs to children in hospitals and pediatric departments.
  • Pauline Olsen – Farmington, CT; 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 health care system.

The Women of Worth honorees were chosen by judges from several fields, including: Jacqueline Hernandez, Chief Operating Officer of Telemundo Communications Group; Karen Fondu, President of L’Oréal Paris; Anne Talley, former Senior Vice President of Marketing for L’Oréal Paris; Soledad O’Brien, CNN Anchor; Lisa Oz, President of Ozworks, a media and investment consulting company; Cathie Black, Chairman of Hearst Magazines and Shannon Lambert, Founder of Pandora’s Project and 2009 Woman Of Worth honoree.

In addition to honoring Ms. Davis, the ten Women of Worth honorees were recognized at an awards ceremony and dinner hosted by Hearst Magazines and L’Oréal Paris at the Hearst Tower in New York City on December 9th.

The contest tracks with the dominant trends in the philanthropic sector today, with corporations choosing a philanthropy that aligns well with their product and target audience, and being strategic about trying to make an impact for that cause, rather than supporting pet projects of corporate leadership. And the call for grassroots votes to select the winner reflects the use of online, interactive support that is engaging more and more donors in causes they care about.

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