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L'Oréal Paris Honors Women of Worth at Special Ceremony in New York City

Ten Women Recognized for Making a Difference in their Communities with Special Guests including Mary J. Blige, Holly Robinson Peete and Erica Hill

Shannon Lambert Named Women of Worth National Honoree by Public Vote

New York, NY (December 9, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — L’Oréal Paris’ fourth annual Women of Worth program honored ten women for their exceptional achievements and tireless volunteerism efforts at the CNN Inspire Summit in New York City. The event was held last night in celebration of the ten 2009 L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth honorees and featured an awards presentation by Karen T. Fondu, President, L’Oréal Paris Division. Special guests speakers included, Mary J. Blige, Holly Robinson Peete, and Erica Hill. The Women of Worth honorees represent a wide range of causes including education, female and youth empowerment, military support and healing for survivors of cancer and sexual violence. Each of the ten honorees received $5,000 from L’Oréal Paris for their charitable organizations, plus a $5,000 matching donation made in their name to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the twelve-year charitable partner of L’Oréal Paris.

Women of Worth program

The Women of Worth initiative celebrates women who passionately embody the spirit of volunteerism. The initiative empowers and celebrates women everywhere and brings the L’Oréal Paris "Because I'm Worth It" philosophy to life.

“We are so honored to welcome each of the 2009 Women of Worth honorees to this very special community,” said Karen T. Fondu, President, L’Oréal Paris Division. “Each of these amazing women embodies the L’Oréal Paris philosophy and supports our unwavering belief in every woman's worth and in her power to make a difference in the world.”

Women of Worth Honorees

The ten 2009 L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth honorees are dedicated to a range of causes and are phenomenal examples of the power of volunteerism. Each honoree is an extraordinary community leader representing and inspiring women all across America.

  • Brittany Berquist, Norwell, MA, established Cell Phones for Soldiers, Inc. to keep toxic waste out of landfills and provide phone cards for troops serving throughout the world.
  • Lillian Collins - Clinton, OK, founded Eastside Academy to assist African American children who need help in reading and math, providing a positive after-school program.
  • Anne Ginther - Sammamish, WA, founded RandomKid, which provides staff and services to youth of all backgrounds and abilities for the development, management and accomplishment of their goals to help others.
  • Maimah Karmo - Aldie, VA, established Tigerlily Foundation, which provides meals, financial assistance, empowerment and inspiration to younger women affected by breast cancer.
  • Shannon Lambert, Minneapolis, MN, founder of Pandora’s Project, a community where women who have survived rape can connect and support one another.
  • Brenda Murray - Chevy Chase, MD, has been transforming conditions and providing educational opportunities for thousands of women behind bars for the past 20 years.
  • Ora Rakestraw - Sacramento, CA, tutors third graders with special needs, helping these young people have a chance to experience success and stay committed to their education.
  • Carol Reza - Whitter, CA, founded Bridge of Faith to provide families of incarcerated women with mentoring and social service referral services.
  • Halle Tecco - San Francisco, CA, created Yoga Bear, an organization that provides free yoga classes to cancer patients.
  • Rhonda Ulmer - Denton, MD, provides local community resources to parents in her school to obtain their GED, housing, food and health assistance, transforming the school into the hub of the community.

The Women of Worth honorees were chosen from nearly 2,500 applicants by an elite group of judges, which includes Jacqueline Hernandez, Chief Operating Officer of Telemundo Communications Group; Soledad O’Brien, CNN Anchor; Dayle Haddon, L’Oréal Paris spokesperson; Elizabeth Howard, former Chief Executive Officer of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund; Cindy Kerr, Founder and President of ConKerr Cancer and Anne Talley, Senior Vice President of Marketing for L’Oréal Paris.

Women of Worth National Honoree

The National Honoree, Shannon Lambert, recognized for her work with Pandora’s Project, which provides support, information and resources to sexual violence survivors received an additional $25,000 from L’Oréal Paris as a result of a national online vote at womenofworth.com.

It is estimated that at least one in six individuals will experience rape or sexual abuse in their lifetime, and for many, the aftermath of sexual violence is isolating and devastating. Pandora’s Project offers an online resource moderated by a team of volunteers that provides peer-to-peer support for male and female victims of sexual violence. The organization also operates a free sexual assault lending library, maintains resource lists for those in need of face-to-face support, and organizes retreat weekends for women ready to take their healing one step farther.

“I am delighted to be honored as a L’Oréal Paris Woman of Worth,” said Lambert. “The support L’Oréal Paris has given to Pandora’s Project will enable us to continue to help victims of sexual violence and to support their recovery.”

For more information about the Women of Worth program and honorees, please visit womenofworth.com

About L'Oréal Paris—

The L'Oréal Paris division of L'Oréal USA, Inc. is a total beauty care company that combines the latest in technology with the highest in quality for the ultimate in luxury beauty at mass. The L’Oréal Paris brand encompasses the four major beauty categories – haircolor, haircare, skincare and cosmetics – and includes such well-known brands as Preference, Excellence and Féria haircolors; EverPure, VIVE Pro, Studio Line and L'Oréal Kids haircare; Revitalift, Age Perfect, Skin Genesis, Collagen, Sublime Bronze and Men’s Expert skincare; and the Colour Riche, True Match, Infallible, Bare Naturale and HIP High Intensity Pigments cosmetics collections, along with a portfolio of mascara including Voluminous, Double Extend and Telescopic among many others.

L'Oréal Paris is dedicated to women around the world and the company has been inspired to give back and make a difference in their lives. In 1997, L’Oréal Paris made a long-term commitment to raising awareness for ovarian cancer, which continues to build. To date, L’Oréal Paris has helped raise over $18 million dollars to further research and build awareness with fundraising efforts such as the L’Oréal Legends Gala and L’Oréal’s annual “Color of Hope” cosmetics collection.

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Michael Trese
L'Oréal Paris
212-984-4101
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