Voting Open For Women of Worth

Public online voting for the Women of Worth National Honoree is now open on womenofworth.com.

The honoree that receives the most consumer votes will win an additional $25,000 from L'Oreal Paris for her cause.

The voting period for the 2009 Women of Worth National Honoree is open now through November 24th. Visitors to the site will choose one of the ten exceptional honorees, which they feel has made the biggest community impact through their devotion, community achievement and volunteerism.

All ten Women of Worth honorees will be publicly recognized at the CNN Inspire Summit, held in New York City on December 8.

The ten honorees represent women from all across America, dedicated to a range of causes and are extraordinary examples of the power of grassroots activism.

L'Oreal Paris will recognize the Women of Worth honorees by making a monetary donation of $5,000 to the nonprofit organization they work with and a matching monetary donation of $5,000 will be made in the name of each winner to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the twelve-year charitable partner of L'Oreal Paris.

The Women of Worth honorees were chosen from nearly 3,000 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'Oreal Paris spokesperson; Elizabeth Howard, 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'Oreal Paris.

The Women of Worth initiative is inspired by L'Oreal Paris' iconic brand philosophy, "Because You're Worth It," and recognizes, celebrates and supports women who are making a difference in their communities. To date, the L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth initiative has recognized 40 women for their outstanding commitment to their causes and willingness to get involved. The 2009 honorees work tirelessly to empower women, mentor children, help survivors heal and motivate troops overseas.

"We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to honor this year's honorees," said Karen Fondu, President, L'Oreal Paris. "These women truly embody the spirit of volunteerism that brings to life L'Oreal Paris' unwavering belief that every woman has the power to make a difference in the world."

The nominees are:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Maimah Karmo, Aldie, VA, established Tigerlily Foundation, which provides meals, financial assistance, empowerment and inspiration to younger women affected by breast cancer.
    5. Shannon Lambert, Minneapolis, MN, founder of Pandora's Project, a community where women who have survived rape can connect and support one another.
    6. Brenda Murray, Chevy Chase, MD, has been transforming conditions and providing educational opportunities for thousands of women behind bars for the past 20 years.
    7. 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.
    8. Carol Reza, Whitter, CA, founded Bridge of Faith to provide families of incarcerated women with mentoring and social service referral services.
    9. Halle Tecco, San Francisco, CA, created Yoga Bear, an organization that provides free yoga classes to cancer patients.
    10. 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 L'Oreal Paris division of L'Oreal 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'Oreal Paris brand encompasses the four major beauty categories - haircolor, haircare, skincare and cosmetics - and includes such well-known brands as Preference, Excellence and Feria haircolors; EverPure, VIVE Pro, Studio Line and L'Oreal 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'Oreal 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'Oreal Paris made a long-term commitment to raising awareness for ovarian cancer, which continues to build. To date, L'Oreal Paris has helped raise over $18 million dollars to further research and build awareness with fundraising efforts such as the L'Oreal Legends Gala and L'Oreal's annual Color of Hope cosmetics collection.
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