L’Oreal Paris Awards Women with Big Hearts

Ten extraordinary women were celebrated at the award presentation, held at the Hearst Tower in New York City, for their incredible dedication to charitable causes and the milestones that they’ve reached to help others and give back to their communities.

The event held Thursday featured an awards presentation hosted by Karen Fondu, president of L’Oreal Paris and Cathie Black, chairman of Hearst Magazines. 

Special guest presenters included Viola Davis, Hoda Kotb, Linda Edelstein, Trisha Yearwood, Giada De Laurentiis and Kerry Washington. Former Women of Worth honorees were also invited to ring in the fifth annual awards.

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“The Women of Worth initiative is inspired by L’Oreal Paris’ iconic brand philosophy, ‘Because You’re Worth It.’ I am proud to celebrate these 10 extraordinary women who bring this mantra to life,” said L’Oreal Paris president Karen Fondu.

“Their dedication to their causes and their many achievements truly demonstrate that all women have the power to make a difference.”

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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. 

“I am extremely delighted to be honored as a L’Oreal Paris Woman of Worth and so proud to be named the 2010 National Honoree,” said Davis. “It is truly a privilege to be among the company of these 10 amazing women.”

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To commemorate their dedication, the 10 honorees have received $5,000 for their respective charitable cause and $5,000 in their name to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) – L’Oreal Paris’ primary philanthropic partner. To date, L’Oreal Paris has raised over $18 million on behalf of OCRF to honor its commitment to women.

The 10 honorees are:

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.

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The Women of Worth honorees were chosen by an elite group of judges including: Jacqueline Hernandez , Chief Operating Officer of Telemundo Communications Group; Karen Fondu, President of L’Oreal Paris; Anne Talley , former Senior Vice President of Marketing for L’Oreal 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 Women Of Worth honoree.

The awards announcement was made Friday, Dec. 10.

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Rakesh Raman