Company Selects 10 Charitable Youths Awards Prizes Totaling $75,000
ST. LOUIS (August 19, 2014) – Millions of extraordinary children have come through the doors of Build-A-Bear Workshop® stores over the years, and today, the Company honors 10 incredible children as its 2014 Huggable Heroes – a long-running Build-A-Bear Workshop initiative that recognizes and rewards charitable-minded youths who are making the world a better place.
“When you take a moment and absorb the selflessness, generosity, energy and compassion of our Huggable Heroes, one can’t help but feel optimistic about the younger generation and what they will build well into the future,” said Sharon John, Build-A-Bear Workshop chief executive officer. “It is truly inspiring to see what these 10 boys and girls have contributed to society at such a young age. Build-A-Bear is very proud to be associated with such warm, caring and accomplished individuals.”
Build-A-Bear Workshop is awarding each of the Huggable Heroes a $5,000 scholarship and a $2,500 donation to a charity of his or her choice. Since its inception in 2004, Build-A-Bear Workshop has invested more than $1 million in recognizing and honoring the heroic efforts of more than 100 “Huggable Heroes” in the United States, Canada and the U.K.
“Huggable Heroes is a rewarding program in every sense of the word,” said Gina Collins, Build-A-Bear Workshop chief marketing officer. “Our 2014 Huggable Heroes have given so much of themselves, and it seems only fitting for Build-A-Bear to award each of the winners scholarships which will benefit their future education, while still giving each of them the opportunity to once again help their very worthy cause.”
The 2014 Huggable Heroes contest was open to children ages eight to 18 in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Build-A-Bear Workshop received more than 500 nominations, which were narrowed down to 48 finalists in July. An independent judging organization oversaw the selection of the 10 Huggable Heroes.
Since 2004, more than 12,000 kids have been nominated for the Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes program. The 100-plus winners through the years have collectively raised more than $10.3 million and gathered 300 million items for their causes.
The Build-A-Bear Huggable Heroes “Class of 2014” is being honored for making an incredible impact through fundraising, volunteerism, granting wishes and lifting the hearts and spirits of the less fortunate in our society. From supporting children who are battling cancer to providing relief and appreciation to military veterans, to raising funds and awareness for issues faced by teenage girls around the world, this group of amazing young people has raised more than $800,000 in support of a variety of unique causes.
“Build-A-Bear is once again so pleased to be recognizing and honoring young social engineers who have proven – year in and year out – that energy and heartfelt determination can go a long way in bettering the lives of others,” Collins said. “The 10 winners are all very worthy of their newest and hard-earned accolade – 2014 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes.”
2014 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes
Zachary Abel, 14, Sewickley, PA
Zachary is a former Make-A-Wish recipient who created Make A Move for Make-A-Wish – a bike, walk and run event to support wish kids in his community. Now cancer free, Zack organized the Make-A-Wish fundraiser to give back to the organization that granted his wish for a T-Rex Dinosaur statue for his backyard when he was ill. To date, Zack has raised more than $65,000 for Make-A-Wish and helped grant 16 wishes for children battling cancer.
Michael Bervell, 16, Snohomish, WA
Michael started an organization called Hugs for Ghana to mobilize students in his community through volunteering, fundraising, and collecting in-kind donations. In 2013 and 2014, he organized two Ghanaian culture night fundraisers in his community and collected more than $12,000. Additionally, Michael partners with a range of organizations and dozens of schools to organize donation drives that have garnered more than $20,000 worth of sports gear and collected nearly 4,000 books, all to benefit Ghanaian youth.
Daniella Cohen, 16, Highland Park, IL
Daniella founded GIVE, a letter writing exchange, to promote cultural understanding and education. GIVE pen pals learn to empathize and interact with a different culture that they otherwise would not have been exposed to. GIVE has sent thousands of letters and flip-flops, signed with messages of hope, to schools in India, Uganda, Rwanda, Israel and Iraq. Daniella has also spearheaded an effort to provide Internet service and laptops to students in Uganda.
Sarah Gordon, 16, Portland, OR
Sarah’s passion for learning led her to motivate adolescent girls in her community to come together to raise funds and awareness for teenage girls around the world. Sarah brought the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign to Oregon. Girl Up gives American girls the opportunity to support UN programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls through education and inspiration. Thanks to Sarah, there are more than 200 students volunteering for the six different chapters of Girl Up in Oregon.
Izzi Hickmott, 16, Brighton, UK
Diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 10, Izzi became eager to share her experiences to help others. In addition to supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) through fundraising, Izzi has supported other young people with Type 1 diabetes by becoming an advocate in the Houses of Parliament. Additionally, Izzi has collaborated with local Council officials and representatives from the National Health Service to put in place relevant and proper support for young people with T1 diabetes in schools.
Kylie Kuhns, 17, Mifflinburg, PA
After losing her sister to leukemia in 2005, Kylie wanted to help other children and families diagnosed with cancer. She founded Kelsey’s Dream, and recently developed and introduced Hopper the Cancer Crusher, a fluffy green frog play therapy toy for children undergoing cancer treatment. To date, the play therapy toy has been delivered to 24 hospitals throughout the nation, with a goal of distributing Hopper the Cancer Crusher to all pediatric oncology hospitals across the U.S. Kelsey’s Dream has mobilized 400 volunteers, raised approximately $265,000, and produced 8,000 therapy play toys to date.
Rachel Ley, 17, Stevens Point, WI
Rachel started Literacy for Little Ones, an early literacy program that encourages parents to read to their infants and provides book packages to newborns’ families. What began at Rachel’s local community hospital in 2009 has expanded to four additional hospitals in Wisconsin, one hospital in Minnesota, and one hospital in Nicaragua, impacting approximately 520 infants per month. Thus far, Literacy for Little Ones has distributed book packages to 7,400 families, and has over 700 volunteers.
Brodie Meredith, 13, Walsall, UK
Brodie and family launched Livvy’s Smile, a charitable endeavor in memory of Brodie’s sister Livvy. Livvy’s Smile’s mission is to create memory making days for children with disabilities, together with their families. Brodie does many things to help Livvy’s Smile including coordinating events and sending mailings. In addition to her own time and effort, Brodie inspires friends to fundraise and challenges them to support children with disabilities.
Casey Sokolovic, 16, Winterville, NC
Casey inspires at-risk students to get involved, raise awareness and learn the plight of the world’s sea turtle population through STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) environmental camps. She also hosts a year-round community calendar of learning and service activities. Over the last three summers, the camps have provided 340 at-risk youth opportunities to participate in STEM-focused, nature activities. In total, Casey’s efforts have raised more than $350,000 to help fund these camps and calendar of activities.
Alexis Werner, 18, Pittsburgh, PA
Alexis created an organization called Seeds of Hope, which provides relief for veterans and their families affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Through Seeds of Hope Alexis has planted 15 self-sustaining gardens nationwide, to provide veterans and their families access to fresh and healthy produce. She has also created a children’s book about veteran appreciation, and a documentary that describes the psychological effects of war.
For more information, please visit buildabear.com/huggableheroes.
About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. There are approximately 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and Mexico. The Company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the sixth year in a row in 2014. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $379.1 million in fiscal 2013.
For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the Investor Relations section of its Web site at buildabear.com®.
Embedding sustainability in product innovation and operations, while empowering employees results in cost, energy and resources savings
Davidson, N.C., August 21, 2014 – Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR), a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, released its annual Sustainability Supplement, an integrated part of the Annual Report that details the company’s advances in delivering solutions that lead to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results.
Ahead of the curve of a majority of U.S. publicly traded companies, Ingersoll Rand was among the first to explore the concept of linking sustainability to performance through integrated reporting. Ingersoll Rand’s 2013 Sustainability Supplement provides data showing how the enterprise strategy of pursuing excellence in growth, operations and culture is resulting in measurable successes.
“When building our map for continuous improvement in energy efficiency and sustainability, we identified several key impact areas,” said W. Scott Tew, executive director, Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability (CEES) at Ingersoll Rand. “Our performance goals focus on embedding sustainability into our DNA; addressing climate change; being truthful and transparent in communications;advocating for the right things; and building a winning culture.”
Embedding Sustainability in Our DNA – Company leaders create an environment where employees feel engaged, embrace sustainability and deliver results.The company’s Arecibo, Puerto Rico facility eliminated non-value added materials and reduced delivery stops of the inbound delivery route achieving a cost savings of $2 million.
The company’s global network of employee-volunteer Green Teams includes more than 4,600 employees at 116 sites. They created savings of more the $200,000 in environmental initiatives in 2013.
Addressing Climate Change – The company has reduced normalized energy consumption and normalized greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 36 percent over the last five years. In technology and innovation, Ingersoll Rand is on target for almost half of the global portfolio to be tailored toward providing energy efficiency solutions by 2020.
Transparent and Truthful – Ingersoll Rand has published an integrated annual report since 2010. The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute lists Ingersoll Rand as one of only seven companies on the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 that include statements on integrated reporting.
Resource Efficiency – Ingersoll Rand actively manages resource efficiency to advance our environmental performance. To address water conservation needs, employees in Monterrey, Mexico, created a system to treat and reuse waste water generated by the facility, decreasing the amount of water drawn from local wells by more than 1,000 gallons per day and decreasing the waste water discharged into the community.
Committed to a Winning Culture – Ingersoll Rand realized a substantial increase in employee engagement in 2013 as a result of leadership commitment to creating an inclusive environment where our employees are excited to deliver results, grow the business and have a positive impact on relationships with customers. The annual global survey shows that employees who volunteer on Green Teams were less likely to look for a job elsewhere and more likely to refer a friend to Ingersoll Rand for employment.
Sustainability Governance – Individually Ingersoll Rand’s employees champion sustainability. The Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand (CEES) was formed in 2010 to lead the integration of sustainability into all facets of the Ingersoll Rand business strategy and culture. As champions for sustainability thought leadership, CEES assembles an external Sustainability Advisory Council, including global sustainability thought leaders in infrastructure, energy policy and technology. This council provides Ingersoll Rand with a better understanding of emerging global issues leading to a reduced operational footprint and more innovative products and solutions for customers.
Addressing Global Challenges – Ingersoll Rand helps solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges—including the unsustainable demand for energy. Supported by the company’s leadership, employees take an active role in addressing climate change through stakeholder engagement, partnerships and affiliations, product innovation, customer collaboration, and footprint reduction initiatives. Employees are committed to making sustainability part of their everyday jobs, for the betterment of their local work environments and communities, the company, and global issues.
1,400 Mile Supported Bike Ride from Austin, TX to Denver, CO During National Prostate Awareness Month
DENVER, CO (August 21, 2014) — 1,400 miles seems like a long way in a car, how about riding 1,400 miles on a bike to probe the difficult conversation about prostate health. 1400 Miles is not just about riding your bike, it is about getting men, and their loved ones to open up about men’s health. What better way to do that than beer and bikes. Partnering with microbreweries in Austin, Albuquerque and Denver, some of the largest cities in the country with microbreweries. PROSTATE CANCER IS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF CANCER DEATH IN AMERICAN MEN and is largely preventable. Prevention is easy, but it starts with being comfortable talking about it and getting tested.
1400 Miles was born from Davis Tucker’s inspiration from his Brewmaster and longtime friend, Don Thompson at NxNW Restaurant and Brewery in Austin and his recovery from Prostate Cancer. He decided to create an annual 1400 Mile trek from Austin to Denver arriving in time for the Great American Beer Festival… on his bike.
“I’ve been lucky in life. I have never been infected with any form of cancer. Prostate Cancer nearly took the life of my friend and brewing mentor, Don Thompson. If facing the daily challenge of pushing cadence on the bike for 1400 miles can save the life of one father, brother or friend, I will feel I have done my part and opened the door for more conversation and action,” Comments Davis Tucker, Founder of 1400 Miles.
Starting on Sunday, September 14th – Ending on Sunday, September 28th, the 1400 Miles ‘Big Ride’ is a fully supported journey of a lifetime on a road bike spanning 1,400 miles from Austin, Texas to Denver, Colorado. 5 legs comprised of 3 days for each leg, averaging 100 miles/day. You can either participate in the whole ride (all 1400 miles, 5 legs), or break your journey down to 1 or a series of legs. Each team can have up to 5 riders or you may select to do all 1400 miles solo.
The money raised for PCEC will go towards Men’s Health Blood Test Screenings: “Men’s Health Blood Testing Value: Each man being screened at a 1400 Miles/PCEC Men’s health screening are receiving over $800 in free blood testing including: PSA, Lipids, Testosterone and Glucose”.
FREE prostate health assessments will be available in Denver on September 23rd and 25th and October 8th and 9th and in Austin, Texas on September 23rd. Visit 1400miles.com under events for more details.
If 1400 Miles or even one leg is too much, join us in Austin, Albuquerque and Denver for community rides. Choose from 14, 28, 42 or 76 miles. All donations are tax deductible.
More details on community rides are available on 1400miles.com
More About 1400 Miles
1400 Miles uses a bike and a beer to spark difficult conversations with stubborn guys about prostate health.
How are we making the conversation more comfortable? We are pedaling 1,400 miles on a bicycle from Austin to Denver. Along the route, we are hosting Community Rides and Refueling Parties. All proceeds will be split between Pints for Prostates and the Prostate Conditions Education Council.
Want to get involved? You can sign up for The Big Ride, participate in a Community Ride, attend the Refueling Parties, support a Big Ride Rider or Team by funding a mile or become a Virtual Rider and raise money!
Ranks No. 463 on the 2014 Inc. 500 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 1,024%
Richmond, Virginia, August 20, 2014 – Inc. magazine ranked Impact Makers No. 463 on its Inc. 500, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs.
Impact Makers’ rank is based on three-year sales growth of 1,024%. This is the third consecutive year that Impact Makers has made the list. In 2013, the company ranked 514th with 887% growth and in 2012, the company ranked 360th with 1,030% growth. This growth is especially significant due to the company’s social entrepreneurship model: Impact Makers is a for profit company but has no shareholders and contributes all profits to local charities.
“Impact Makers is honored to be named to the Inc. 500 for the third year,” says CEO and founder Michael Pirron. “This three-peat proves that companies can be doing well while doing good. Impact Makers is successful because of our model, not despite it. We create goodwill for clients and economic value through social impact.”
A founding Certified B Corporation, Impact Makers also was honored for the second year in a row as a ‘Best for the World’ company by the nonprofit B Lab, for creating most overall positive social and environmental impact.
“These two distinctions show Impact Makers success by both pure capitalist metrics and also by social enterprise standards, where we have been successful at making a community impact,” says Pirron.
Founded in 2006, Impact Makers is a management and technology consulting company, providing Management and IT Consulting, Program and Project Management, Digital Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Healthcare Solutions.
See Impact Makers’ Inc. 500 profile: http://www.inc.com/profile/impact-makers.
To see the complete Inc. 5000, visit: http://www.inc.com/inc5000/index.html.
About Impact Makers
Impact Makers is a management and technology consulting company based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide Management and IT Consulting, Program and Project Management, Digital Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Healthcare Solutions. We are a for profit company whose corporate charter requires us to contribute 100% our net profits to local nonprofits. For more information, visit www.impactmakers.com.
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 6,000,000 today. For more information, visit www.inc.com.
[Berkeley, CA] — For the first time, seasoned entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Iran will convene to explore the opportunities and challenges of high tech entrepreneurship in Iran and its impact on the country’s ongoing economic development. Bridge 2014 [www.bridge2014.org] will raise awareness about the critical need to build educational bridges and promote the culture of “Entrepreneurs without Borders”.
The Bridge 2014 conference (September 6, 2014 at the UC Berkeley Wheeler Auditorium) is predicated on the notion that the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation is the indispensable key to sustainable growth. This gathering will be part of a global effort to draw attention to “High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran: Opportunities and Challenges.” This tagline represents the Bridge 2014 vision of calling upon change makers and thought leaders both in Silicon Valley and Iran. According to Kamran Elahian, Chairman and Co-Founder of Global Catalyst Partners, “We believe Silicon Valley and Iran’s thought leaders can empower aspiring young entrepreneurs that are striving to make a difference in this world.” “We envision this conference to be a precursor to future international events where highly accomplished executives will coach/mentor their aspiring counterparts from Iran.”
Conference participants will educate each other about the issues impacting high tech entrepreneurship in Iran, the prevailing conditions in the country that deviate from the “global innovation model,” and the steps that should be taken to reduce this gap. Bridge 2014 complies with sanctions and corresponding laws. According to Kamran Elahian, “During this gathering, these key influencers with diverse backgrounds will share their vision, experiences, and perspectives for creating a better world through the power of innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. This conference explores the role of high tech in economic development: “where change is the catalyst and choice is unlimited”.
The issues that will be explored in this educational conference include: the attraction of venture capital, cultural attitudes towards entrepreneurs’ failure, existence of innovation clusters, the ease of starting businesses, and the availability and accessibility of mentors and role models. According to Dariush Zahedi, Director of the Berkeley Program on Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East, “We will examine the circumstances under which high tech entrepreneurship and innovation can emerge as engines of inclusive growth, reducing the country’s dependence on extractive industries, expanding the size of its middle class, reversing the flight of capital, and promoting the circulation of the brain-drain.”
Bridge 2014’s activities are hosted and sponsored by UC Berkeley. More than thirty companies, non-profit organizations and community leaders have provided support and donations for this event. For the list of sponsors, please see: www.bridge2014.org/donation
About Bridge 2014
Bridge 2014 – “High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran: Opportunities and Challenges” conference and additional activities, including subsequent conferences, research and publications are under the supervision/auspices of the UC Berkeley Program on Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East: bped.berkeley.edu
C. Wonder offers customers an opportunity to donate gently used clothing items through Fashion Project, with proceeds from the resale going to help improve the self-esteem and quality of life of women undergoing cancer treatment
(Boston, MA) – August 20, 2014 – C. Wonder today announced a partnership with Fashion Project, the leading online clothing donation and resale destination, to raise awareness and funds for Look Good Feel Better, a public service program dedicated to helping women living with cancer manage the appearance side effects of treatment and thereby improve their self-esteem. The promotion runs through Thursday, September 18, at eleven C. Wonder stores nationwide and online at www.fashionproject.com/cwonder.
Donate to Help Women Look Good and Feel Better
Here’s how consumers can get involved and join us in making fashion a force for good:
“Giving back and bringing happiness to every corner of life is not only an integral part of our brand DNA; it is also very meaningful to our customers. The opportunity to partner with Fashion Project and Look Good Feel Better to help women dealing with the challenging appearance side effects of cancer treatment regain confidence, hope and a sense of self is a win/win for everyone,” remarked Harlan Kent, CEO of C. Wonder.
To celebrate the partnership, C. Wonder will host events at each of the eleven participating locations on Wednesday, August 27 from 6:00-8:00 PM featuring light bites, sips and styling tips. Ten percent of the sales at participating C. Wonder stores that evening will be donated to Look Good Feel Better. Additionally, any guest attending will receive 20% off their purchase during the event. Participating locations include:
“C. Wonder is a brand that understands a huge part of looking good and feeling good is giving back,” says Anna Palmer, CEO of Fashion Project. “We couldn’t be happier to bring these two organizations together to make a difference in the lives of people in need.”
The appearance changes women undergo while coping with cancer treatment – like beauty itself – are far more than skin deep. These changes can impact a woman’s self-esteem, sense of confidence and hope at a time when she needs them the most. Look Good Feel Better offers free workshops and other educational resources that teach beauty and styling techniques to women who are undergoing cancer treatment to help them manage the appearance side effects, including hair loss and skin changes.
“We are thrilled to team up with C. Wonder and Fashion Project to raise awareness and funds for Look Good Feel Better,” says Louanne Roark, Executive Director of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the originator, and one of three national collaborators that work together to make Look Good Feel Better available nationwide. “We are proud to offer our beauty and styling resources to women going through cancer treatment entirely free of charge and it is through support from consumers, the cosmetic industry, beauty professionals, and generous corporate partners such as C. Wonder and Fashion Project, that make that possible.”
To learn more or donate, visit: www.fashionproject.com/cwonder.
About C. Wonder
C. Wonder offers women’s clothing, footwear, jewelry and accessories; housewares and home decor, great gifts, and delightful surprises at every turn. Our design teams create a wide-ranging assortment of beautiful, versatile and spirited products for all areas of our customer’s life. C. Wonder is one of several lifestyle and consumer products brands being developed by J. Christopher Burch, founder and CEO of Burch Creative Capital, an entrepreneur and active investor across a wide range of industries for nearly thirty years. Mr. Burch has been a strategic investor in multiple technology and luxury brands, including Aliph (Jawbone), NextJump, PowerMat, Voss Water and Tory Burch. C. Wonder currently operates 30 stores across the country and three stores in the Middle East, in addition to a full-service e-commerce boutique. Additional stores will open across the country and internationally in 2014 and beyond. For more information or to shop online, please visit: www.cwonder.com.
About Fashion Project
Fashion Project is the industry leader in online clothing donation. Since its founding in 2012, Fashion Project has worked with over 300 non-profit partners and powered donation programs for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Joie, Milly, Helmut Lang, and more. By focusing on maximizing the value of every item donated, Fashion Project can raise up to 100x than an average thrift store. For more information on Fashion Project, visit www.fashionproject.com.
About Look Good Feel Better
The U.S. Look Good Feel Better program is a collaboration of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, a charitable organization established by the Personal Care Products Council, the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry; the American Cancer Society, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to saving lives from cancer; and the Professional Beauty Association, the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons/spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals. For more information about Look Good Feel Better free workshops and other services available across the country, visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.
Look Good Feel Better® is a registered trademark of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation.
Donations from special promotions mentioned herein will go to the Personal Care Products Council Foundation to benefit the Look Good Feel Better program.
The Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Inc. and the Professional Beauty Association do not endorse any specific products and/or services.
Truvia® Business Announces Year Two Results of its $1 Million Partnership With World Food Program USA
WAYZATA, Minnesota, August 20, 2014 – Today, the Truvia® business announced it has helped to feed 49,705 Bolivian schoolchildren in the first two years of its three-year partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, a collaboration made possible by World Food Program USA, a non-profit organization that connects the U.S. private sector with humanitarian partners to solve global hunger. The Truvia® business launched its “Sharing a Sweet Future” $1 million charitable initiative in 2012 to help reduce childhood hunger in Bolivia.
With nearly 40 percent of the Bolivian population unable to afford adequate food for a healthy life and 65 percent of all rural households unable to afford the minimum recommended caloric intake, the Truvia® business launched its “Sharing a Sweet Future” initiative to help improve these communities through better nutrition, safety and education.
“By providing two meals a day to children in schools, we are providing nutrient-rich meals and motivating children to come to school and learn,” said Matthew Jacobs, international product line manager of the Truvia® brand. “The goal of this initiative is ultimately to help establish a self-sufficient community and the best way to do that is through better nutrition and education.”
The Truvia® business is encouraging consumers to visit www.sharingasweetfuture.com to view five videos that tell the stories of children, families and farmers living in Bolivia. Consumers can share these videos on Facebook and Twitter using #SweetFuture in an effort to raise awareness for and combat childhood hunger.
In the first two years of its partnership with World Food Program USA, the Truvia® business has provided 97 metric tons of vitamin-fortified vegetable oil through its funding. Truvia® business donations also contributed to the building of 125 fuel-efficient stoves in rural schools, which 750 parents and school employees were trained to build and use. These cleaner stoves replaced traditional cook stoves, allowing users to make food with safer stoves that use less fuel. The new stoves also generate less harmful smoke, which will benefit over 17,000 children in the years to come and minimize environmental destruction.
The “Sharing a Sweet Future” campaign is one element of the Truvia® brand’s comprehensive corporate responsibility program. As the leading stevia brand, the business is committed to sourcing responsibly, stewarding natural resources and working to improve communities. Consumers can visit www.sharingasweetfuture.com to learn more about “Sharing a Sweet Future” and to tell the Truvia® brand what organization they’d like to see the brand partner with next year.
About the Truvia® business
Truvia® natural sweetener is a great tasting, zero-calorie sweetener made with the best tasting part of the stevia leaf. Truvia® natural sweetener is #1 in its category of zero-calorie natural sweeteners in the U.S. and is also available to consumers in Europe and Latin America. Truvia® stevia leaf extract is also a versatile sweetening ingredient used to reduce calories and sugar in foods and beverages. The Truvia® business uniquely manages its stevia supply chain from Field to Table having established a global agricultural standard for stevia. For more information, visit www.truvia.com.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. Through its longtime, $14 million partnership with World Food Programme, Cargill is working to improve the health and nutrition of people in need around the world. For more information, visit http://www.cargill.com/corporate-responsibility/food-security/index.jsp
About The United Nations World Food Programme
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, reaching more than 80 million people in 75 countries with food assistance in 2013.
About World Food Program USA
World Food Program USA works to solve global hunger, building a world where everyone has the food and nutrition to lead healthy, productive lives. World Food Program USA builds support for the UN World Food Programme through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. To learn more, visit www.wfpusa.org.
Projects Abroad Volunteers Touch the Lives of Thousands of Students by Helping Peruvian Teachers Improve English Skills
A Projects Abroad volunteer teaches an English class in Urubamba, Peru
NEW YORK – August 20, 2014 – In the developing world, an education is the gateway to employment and a better quality of life. Add the ability to speak English and a booming tourism industry to the mix, and creating sustainable development becomes a reality! This is especially true in Peru, where international volunteer organization Projects Abroad is working toward sustainable futures by developing education and helping local teachers and students.
Projects Abroad have worked hand-in-hand with the Peruvian Ministry of Education to design and implement an English curriculum that will benefit schools long-term in the Sacred Valley area of Peru. With a wealth of resources to draw on and the support of Projects Abroad staff (including former UNICEF education specialist and current director of Projects Abroad Peru, Tim DeWinter), volunteer teachers are able to build upon the work of volunteers before them and ensure that students have a meaningful classroom experience. This is a great project for volunteers new to teaching who feel they need more guidance and support.
For experienced teachers who want to volunteer abroad, we run an innovative teacher training program for improving local teachers’ English skills during school vacation. This program takes place over six weeks, with volunteers working in conjunction with the Ministry of Education to help develop education in Peru. This training is crucial as it is often the only in-service training that local teachers will receive all year. It is an excellent opportunity for teachers to learn from fellow professionals and share ideas and classroom techniques, as well as develop their Spanish skills.
“Both volunteers and the teachers benefit from our teacher training program,” says Rachel Macmillan, a Program Advisor for Projects Abroad USA. “The volunteers leave with a huge confidence boost from teaching in a classroom and learning from fellow teachers and a unique experience in Peru that touches the lives of thousands of students. Local teachers leave the program with improved English, new classroom techniques, and knowledge that they can impart on their students.”
The teacher training program runs for six weeks at the start of January each year, while regular projects run throughout the year. For more information, visit www.projects-abroad.org/volunteer-projects/teaching/volunteer-peru/.
Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.
Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 29 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States.
For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org
Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Jon Hamm, Kiefer Sutherland, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Mark Harmon, Rob Lowe, Eric Stonestreet, Danny McBride, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and More Among Stars To Be Featured in One-Hour Broadcast, with Special Performances by The Who, Jennifer Hudson, Lupe Fiasco & Common, Ariana Grande, and Dave Matthews
Stars Will Reach Out to Supporters from On-Stage Digital Lounge Hosted by Katie Couric — “We’re Calling You”; Facebook is SU2C’s Primary Social Media Partner
Event Airing on 31 Broadcast and Cable Networks; Streaming on Hulu and Yahoo 8:00 PM ET AND PT / 7:00 PM CT
LOS ANGELES / NEW YORK — August 20, 2014 –The Hollywood community is once again uniting to support Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), which will stage its fourth biennial fundraising telecast Friday, September 5 (8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT). Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Jon Hamm, Kiefer Sutherland, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Mark Harmon, Rob Lowe, Danny McBride, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tony Hale, Dane Cook, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Marg Helgenberger, Matt Passmore, Rob Riggle, Italia Ricci and Bree Turner will appear in the broadcast, with special performances by The Who, Jennifer Hudson, Lupe Fiasco & Common, Ariana Grande, and Dave Matthews. Additional stars and performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Paltrow and Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions will co-executive produce the Sept. 5 broadcast, live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, along with ABC Family, American Forces Network, Bravo, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, E!, Encore, Encore Espanol, EPIX, ESPNEWS, FOX Sports 2, FXM, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, LMN, Logo TV, MLB Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, Palladia, Pivot, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, TNT and VH1 are donating one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the nationally televised fundraising special on Friday, September 5, to be broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The show will stream live on both Hulu and Yahoo.
Instead of the traditional phone bank staffed by celebrities, the Sept. 5 telecast will feature a “digital lounge” on the set, hosted by Yahoo News Global Anchor Katie Couric. Stars in the digital lounge will reach out to viewers via phone, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms through an exciting new campaign called “We’re Calling You” that SU2C’s supporters can sign up for, as of today, at werecallingyou.org.
“Since we started Stand Up To Cancer in 2008, social media has exploded, creating a whole new way to connect,” said Couric, a Stand Up To Cancer Co-Founder. “So in an unprecedented way, we’ll have plenty of stars reaching out to donors via social media, thanking them through Facebook messages, digital shout outs, Instagrams and tweets. In other words, this year, we are so 2014!”
Facebook has collaborated with Stand Up To Cancer since its first telecast in 2008 and is now SU2C’s primary social media partner. Over the years, SU2C has continued to expand on its relationship with Facebook through various initiatives to inspire and engage people and connect them with SU2C celebrity ambassadors. With the “We’re Calling You” activation, Facebook and Instagram will enable supporters and fans to engage directly with their favorite stars. See more at werecallingyou.org.
In the on-stage digital lounge, Katie Couric will tap into the Facebook Mentions Box, which allows supporters to share their connection to cancer and receive real-time responses from celebrities. Other celebrities in the digital lounge will participate in Facebook Q&As, using their own pages to respond live to fan questions. Facebook and Instagram will also have a presence on the star-studded red carpet on Sept. 5 with a photo experience that will capture the stars as they make their way into the Dolby Theatre, sharing those images and videos with fans. All of this, and much more, can be followed on Stand Up To Cancer’s social media feeds (facebook.com/su2c | Instagram: @SU2C | Twitter: @SU2C).
In addition to Facebook, an array of digital and social media platforms and influencers — ranging from reddit, Nerdist, Tumblr, Yahoo, Hulu, AOL, and The Huffington Post – are helping support SU2C this year.
“Cancer affects us all,” said Paltrow, who lost her father, Bruce Paltrow, to oral cancer in 2002, “and each and every person can help the scientists who are working 24/7 to save more lives. We want to get that message out in as many ways as possible, so we’re excited to use social media to reach supporters from all over who are helping to grow the Stand Up To Cancer movement, and hopefully, get even more people to stand up with us.”
This star-studded appeal continues to help build public support for SU2C’s groundbreaking translational research that can provide patients with new therapies to save lives now. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines across institutions and international boundaries to collaborate on finding new treatments for a wide range of cancer types.
For the first time, there will be a Canada-inclusive co-broadcast of the 2014 telecast, which will air simultaneously on all four major English-language Canadian networks: CBC, City, CTV and Global, along with Canadian services AMI, CHCH, CHEK, Fight Network, and Hollywood Suite. All funds received from the Canadian general public during the broadcast will be directed towards the creation of collaborative research teams, as well as education and awareness programs conducted in Canada.
“It is such an honor to be part of this extraordinary event and movement. Everyone is joining together: the artists are volunteering their talents, the broadcast and cable networks are giving us the time, and the great online community is helping us reach millions of people. It is a powerful and hopeful moment to see so many stand united to turn every cancer patient into a survivor,” said Gallen.
The first three SU2C telecasts took place on September 5, 2008, September 10, 2010 and September 7, 2012, and were made available to more than 190 countries. To date, more than $261 million has been pledged to support SU2C’s innovative cancer research programs. Since 2008, SU2C has funded 12 “Dream Teams” of researchers and two translational research teams, as well as 26 young innovative scientists whose high-risk, potentially high-reward projects are aimed at ending cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death worldwide.
SU2C was founded on the belief that collaboration would play an integral role in advancing cancer research. To date, Stand Up To Cancer has brought together more than 750 of the best and the brightest research scientists from 112 institutions in six countries to work together in order to save lives now. SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 140 clinical trials.
Researchers supported by SU2C are investigating a wide variety of new approaches to various malignancies, including cancers of the breast, ovary, endometrium, lung, prostate, pancreas, and colon; metastatic melanoma; childhood cancers including leukemia and lymphoma; and cancers resulting from human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, among other forms of cancer.
Work by SU2C-supported researchers has led to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a new combination treatment for pancreatic cancer, as well as FDA “breakthrough therapy” designation—intended to expedite development of especially promising medicines—for a new breast cancer drug.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer, is the official Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer. In the United States, AACR is responsible for administering the grants and providing scientific oversight in conjunction with the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, chaired by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Vice chairs of the SAC are Arnold J. Levine, Ph.D., Professor, Institute for Advanced Study and Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore.
As SU2C’s founding donor, Major League Baseball has provided both financial support and countless opportunities to build the Stand Up To Cancer grassroots movement by encouraging fans all over the country to get involved. In addition to MLB, SU2C’s “Visionary” donors include Cancer Treatment Centers of America, MasterCard, and The Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. All current members of the CFA were co-producers of the 2012 televised special. The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced both the Sept. 5, 2008, and Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C’s president and CEO since 2011.
In addition to “Visionary” donors Major League Baseball, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, MasterCard, and The Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research, other major donors and collaborators that are currently engaged with SU2C include Genentech, Prostate Cancer Foundation, American Cancer Society, The Safeway Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, KWF (The Dutch Cancer Society), St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Lustgarten Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Sean Parker Foundation, Fox Family Cancer Research Funding Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Melanoma Research Alliance, Cancer Research Institute, Room Key, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Laura Ziskin Family Trust, Farrah Fawcett Foundation, Siemens, HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation, and The V Foundation.
For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit standup2cancer.org
About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves as the collective philanthropy for the television and film businesses. EIF has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health, education and social issues. For more information, visit www.eifoundation.org
About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 34,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates in more than 90 countries. The AACR convenes more than 20 conferences and educational workshops every year, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. The AACR publishes eight peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers and funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of SU2C, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual grants. For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org.
Scientists overcame equipment failure, space constraints and shark-infested waters to do real-time DNA sequencing in a remote field location.
SDSU graduate student Yan Wei Lim exploring coral reefs in the southern Line Islands.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (August 19, 2014) — Daylight was breaking over the central Pacific and coffee brewing aboard the MY Hanse Explorer. Between sips, about a dozen scientists strategized for the day ahead. Some would don wetsuits and slip below the surface to collect water samples around the southern Line Islands’ numerous coral reefs. Others would tinker with the whirring gizmos and delicate machinery strewn throughout the 158-foot research vessel. All shared a single goal: Be the first research group to bring a DNA sequencer out into the field to do remote sequencing in real time. Against an ocean of odds, they succeeded.
This three-week, five-island expedition took place last year with a research crew including San Diego State University computer scientist Rob Edwards, biologist Forest Rohwer, postdoctoral scholar Andreas Haas and graduate student Yan Wei Lim. They were accompanied by several other researchers from the San Diego region and around the world. The researchers published an account of their trip and methods today in the journal PeerJ.
Line Island investigations
Biologists and computer scientists at SDSU have been traveling to the Line Islands for the last decade, collecting and analyzing the coral habitat to better understand what organisms live there, how they compete for resources, and what effects their presence has on the reef’s ecosystem. It always bothered Edwards that they had to wait until they were back home, on the other side of the world, before they could look at their data and develop new hypotheses.
“If only we had had that data out in the field, we could have asked those questions there and then,” Edwards said.
That inkling grew into an ambitious plan to somehow, some way bring out to sea a cumbersome and expensive piece of equipment designed to analyze a sample’s DNA makeup and spit out detailed information about its genome.
The project initially had its doubters.
“People are a little bit hesitant to take a half-million-dollar piece of equipment into the middle of the Pacific if you’re not sure it’s going to be coming back,” Edwards said.
Undeterred, he and his colleagues devised a protocol for how to run a DNA sequencer on a ship. Finally, the team headed to Tahiti with a sequencer provided by San Diego–based biotech company Life Technologies. As the Explorer headed south en route to an eventual rendezvous with Antarctica, it picked up the researchers and their sequencer and set course for the Line Islands.
Problems and solutions
The problems and hurdles were manifold.
First, the touch screen needed to operate the machine broke during transit. Edwards had to hack into the sequencer’s software to make it operable with his laptop.
Next, they had to find room for all the various pieces of equipment. They set up the sequencer itself in the laundry room because it was the lowest point in the ship and it would sway the least as the Explorer rocked. The microbiology lab was set up on the upper aft deck. The DNA isolation station found its home in a cabin. The mess deck (or dining room, to landlubbers) hosted the PCR machine used to amplify the DNA samples into analyzable chunks.
Once everything was in place, Lim, a doctoral student, was tasked with calibrating the sequencer. Normally, this takes about 15 minutes in a lab. Due to the boat’s sway, however, it took about five hours.
Then there were the sharks. Lim recalls that every time the researchers dove to the reef to collect samples, she counted between 20 and 30 curious sharks milling about.
“I wasn’t afraid,” she said. “They would just swim away if you got too close.”
Despite the setbacks, the researchers managed to make it all work. They successfully collected samples, sequenced their DNA, and developed new research questions on the fly. In all, 26 bacterial genomes were sequenced, along with two metagenomes, which take into account all the DNA present in a given region.
Not a bad haul for a proof-of-concept voyage, but Edwards said next time they hope to collect even more data and develop and test more complex hypotheses out in the field.
“At the end of the day, we were able to come up with the data we needed,” Edwards said. “But when we go back next time, we’re going to be better prepared.”