Diamond Empowerment Fund Hosts Record 2018 Diamonds Do Good Awards
Las Vegas, NV—The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) hosted its most successful Diamonds Do Good Awards to date during the recent Las Vegas jewelry week. The Diamond Do Good Awards were held May 31 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas.
Funds raised will be used to provide higher education scholarships and assistance to empower young people living in diamond producing countries or where the diamond industry does business; and to help communicate this ‘diamonds do good’ impact to consumers.
Botswana Top Achiever student and recent Yale graduate, Opelo Matome, represented D.E.F’s Student Scholars. She said, “I am ever grateful for the opportunities I’ve been granted through the support of organizations like the Diamond Empowerment Fund and my country’s prioritization of education, truly one of the most powerful catalysts for change”.
The success of the event was aided by the first-ever industry “Balloons For Good” appeal. Emceed by Caryl Capeci, event chair and president of Hearts On Fire, and JCK news director Rob Bates, the on-site appeal helped raise additional dollars beyond the totals brought in by ticket sales and the commemorative journal.
Rob Bates and Caryl Capeci (top center and right) emcee'd the Balloons For Good appeal, while Peter Engel, CEO of Fred Meyer Jewelers (bottom left), worked the audience and drove up donations.
Diamonds Do Good awards were presented to Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, for his role in accelerating the professional advancement of women, and to the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) of Canada, for its responsible diamond mining development policies. Premier Bob McLeod accepted for the GNWT.
Bruce Cleaver, second from left, prepares to bid on a balloon, while Anna Martin, center, and Bob McLeod, center right, hold up their bids. Cleaver and McLeod were honored for their empowering work as leaders of De Beers and the Goverment of the Northwest Territories of Canada.
“Advancing women is an industry-wide issue,” noted Cleaver. “We all have an interest in strengthening the sector by making it more diverse, in making sure the benefits that diamonds can have are felt in the communities from which they come.”
McLeod said, “Our government has made it a priority to ensure the multi-billion dollar diamond industry would benefit the NWT economy and residents, and protect the land, water, and wildlife for future generations.”
D.E.F. president Anna Martin, also senior vice president of GIA, said, “The recipients of this year’s Diamonds Do Good Awards truly reflect the ongoing positive impact being fostered by the diamond industry around the world. Sharing these stories with our consumers is not only good for business, it is a responsibility for the entire industry.”
Lead sponsors of the event included the De Beers Group of Companies, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, Signet Jewelers, Dominion Diamond Mines, Le Vian, Rosy Blue, Hearts On Fire, and Forevermark.
The D.E.F. board gathers for a photo before the main event.
Jewelers for Children Celebrates 20 Years; Honors Bill Luth and Jeffrey Cohen
Las Vegas, NV—The 20th annual Jewelers For Children Facets of Hope event raised $1.95 million to support its charity partners in the year ahead, bringing its cumulative total to $55.5 million donated on behalf of the industry to help children in need.
The event, held June 3 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, was chaired by Pam Mortensen of JC Penney and honored Bill Luth, executive general manager/executive vice president of Kay Jewelers division of Signet Jewelers, and Jeffrey Cohen, president and CEO of Citizen Watch America.
Back row, left to right, Joe Thompson, Hodinkee, Jeffrey Cohen, Citizen Watch America, Bill Luth, Signet Jewelers, Ltd., Seb Hobbs, Signet Jewelers, Ltd. Front row, left to right, Pam Mortensen, JFC Board chair, Pamela Heisler, Abby Richins.
“What an amazing milestone for the charity, and particularly for our industry, said Mortensen, JFC board chair. “I don’t think any of us could have imagined 20 years ago that we would be marking this occasion and to be announcing such an amazing number.”
During the event, the organization heard updates from some of the children who appeared at previous Facets of Hope events including Abby Richins, representing St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (who was present in 2004); Paige, representing Make-A-Wish America, who appeared and performed in 2005; and Pamela Heisler, representing the National CASA Association, who appeared in 2006. They shared amazing stories of their happy, healthy lives today—and how the support of JFC helped them and others like them.
The evening also included a watch giveaway as well as a silent and live auction. Attendees bid on original paintings by talented artist Reena Ahluwalia and Shreya Mehta. A gold and diamond replica of the Star Wars droid BB-8 was also auctioned.
For the third year in a row, Hallmark Jewelry sponsored an afterparty featuring dessert, coffee, and after-dinner cocktails and a tequila tasting. Bulova sponsored a performance by Calum Scott, a British recording artist and contestant on Britain’s Got Talent.
Mortensen announced JFC’s 2018 commitments: $425,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; $525,000 to Make-A-Wish America; $425,000 to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; and $375,000 to the National CASA Association. Also announced was a commitment of $75,000 to Make-A-Wish International for wish granting in India, and $25,000 to the Santa-America Fund.
JFC also is setting aside $50,000 for its Local Grants social media voting campaign to be held later this year. In addition, the charity will make a $50,000 donation to the Organization for Autism Research, a new charity for JFC and the start of a new relationship.
Top image: Artist Reena Ahluwalia donated an original diamond painting and some limited edition prints to JFC. The 5-feet painting, The Portrait of Perfection, features a highly nuanced, hyper-realistic diamond with ultra-magnified facets, which took 500 hours to complete.