Somy Ali in Vanity Fair as L'Oreal's Woman of Worth
Tuesday night, at the Pierre Hotel, in N.Y.C., L’Oréal Paris and its president, Karen Fondu, gathered L’Oréal Paris brand ambassadors Diane Keaton, Andie MacDowell, Lea Michele, and Aimee Mullins, along with special guests Mika Brzezinski, Arianna Huffington, Hoda Kotb, Mary Alice Stephenson, and Trisha Yearwood, to pay tribute to many Women of Worth honorees and celebrate their charitable work.
But can you imagine having to narrow down the list to 10 finalists each year? With hundreds of nominations annually, it's an arduous task. However, with many important issues women face today, L’Oréal Paris's priority was to focus on women who have donated their time and efforts for education, health care, and helping the underserved.
The top National Women of Worth recognition went to Lauren Book of Aventura, Florida: Founder and C.E.O. of Lauren’s Kids, a nonprofit focused on preventing childhood sexual abuse and helping survivors heal. She was awarded $35,000 in total for her dedicated work.
The other 2013 Women of Worth are as follows. They will each be granted $10,000 to further push their respective organizations to light:
Somy Ali of Miami Beach: President of No More Tears, a nonprofit organization that works to eradicate violence in all its forms, through collaborative projects involving awareness, education, activism, and advocacy for victims both domestic and abroad.
Tricia Baker of Plainsboro, New Jersey: co-founder and co-director of Attitudes in Reverse, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating society about mental health and to combating negative perceptions about mental illness by promoting acceptance and fostering awareness about depression and suicide prevention.
Patty Boles of Vista, California: executive director of Straight from the Heart, Inc., a nonprofit resource center that provides critical support, mentoring, must-have items, and resources for foster children and their caregivers.
Maria D’Angelo of Santa Monica, California: founder, president, and C.E.O. of the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to serving and transforming the lives of homeless and at-risk children and families in Los Angeles through academic, social, and domestic support.
Kimberly Iverson of Scottsdale, Arizona: founder of the Bucket List Foundation, a nonprofit that grants end-of-life, or “bucket list,” wishes to the terminally ill, including swimming with dolphins, riding in helicopters, and meeting professional athletes, as well as arranging simple, heartfelt events, such as anniversary dinners and reunions with family members.
Lori Lee of Smithfield, North Carolina: founder of the Me Fine Foundation, a nonprofit founded in memory of her son Folden Lee IV, which provides resources and financial assistance to families with children being treated at Duke and U.N.C. children’s hospitals.
Estella Pyfrom of West Palm Beach, Florida.: C.E.O. of Estella’s Brilliant Bus, a state-of-the-art mobile learning center and network of opportunities, where children and families without home access to technology or the Internet can learn vital computer skills at no cost.
Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis of Greenwich, Connecticut: teacher and founder of Classes 4 Classes, Inc., a nonprofit organization developed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, with the mission that every student in the U.S. learns compassion, caring, kindness, empathy, and consideration.
Susan Garcia Trieschmann of Evanston, Illinois: executive director of Curt’s Café, a nonprofit restaurant that provides training and support for at-risk youth while offering the community a place to “dine with a purpose,” enjoying great food and giving back at the same time.
Karen Fondu put it simply: “These incredible entrepreneurs and philanthropists truly epitomize everything our Women of Worth program represents, and should serve as inspiration for women and men everywhere who strive to make a difference.”
And why? “Because you are worth it.” Merci, L’Oréal Paris, for that reminder.