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Sep 01st

Sherri Shepherd hosts reception celebrating extraordinary women volunteering to help others in need

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sherriselect3WE tv and Ladies' Home Journal held the first annual WE Do Good Awards on 11/16/10 in NYC. As part of WE tv's public affairs initiative, WE Volunteer, the event honored three women who have made a positive impact through volunteerism. Hosted by The View's Sherri Shepherd with special presenters including actresses Kelly Rutherford and Andie MacDowell, and a special appearance by Academy Award® winner, Marlee Matlin.

The winners are:

“Travelocity’s Travel For Good” Award – This program encourages sustainability through green travel and voluntourism. The award recognizes a dedicated volunteer who is passionate about exploring the world around her.

The winner is Charyn Pfeuffer of Seattle, Wash. As a travel writer, Charyn has visited luxury destinations around the world. On many of her trips, she was upset by the extreme poverty just outside the gates of the resorts, which motivated her to get involved with The Global Citizen Project. In just three months, she raised enough money from independent donors to fund her volunteer effort, where she will serve in 12 different community projects in 12 countries over 12 months.

“It’s hard to rationalize the fact that some women who live in these countries would need to work an eight- hour shift to afford a single fruity cocktail,” she says. “It makes you rethink what it means to lead a ‘rich’ life.” Thus far, she has helped teach and care for underprivileged children in Honduras, protected sea turtles from poachers and released hatchlings in Mexico. In January, she will go to Haiti.

Charyn will receive a grant of $5,000 to cover the cost of a volunteer vacation with one of Travelocity’s official “voluntourism” partners.

sherriselect2“Women on Their Way by Wyndham Worldwide” Award – Women on Their Way is the hospitality industry's longest-running program entirely dedicated to female travelers, giving women the online tools they need to plan and book their next trip. This award recognizes a woman who has made a measurable impact in her career and through charitable efforts.

The winner is Theresa Lucas of Anderson, Ind. Though she was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare disorder that affects the joints and severely impedes her mobility, Theresa is a watercolor artist whose paintings have won local awards. But she never wanted to paint in front of people because she was self conscious about her unique way of holding a paintbrush— with her teeth. That changed five years ago when she attended the first convention for AMC Support, a nonprofit that provides help for families dealing with AMC. Theresa is now the group’s president and travels to schools around the Midwest to share her story—and her technique—with children.

“I help show the kids that everyone is different,” she says, “and I help them understand that being different is okay.”

Theresa will receive a three-day/two-night all-inclusive vacation for two to the Playacar Palace Wyndham Grand Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico including 160,000 Wyndham Rewards points for roundtrip airfare and a $10,000 donation to a charity of her choice that benefits children.

sherriselect4“WE Do Good Award” – Presented by WE Volunteer and Ladies’ Home Journal, this award recognizes women who have dedicated a significant amount of time to volunteering for their favorite charity or non-profit organization.

The winner is Hilari Scarl, an independent filmmaker from Los Angeles, Calif. Hilari was inspired to work and volunteer in the deaf community after seeing a performance at the New York Deaf Theater in the ’90s.

“It completely changed my life,” she says. “It showed me a whole new dimension of communication and art.”

In 2007, she began making her first feature-length documentary, “See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary.” The film focuses on four deaf performers: a comic, a drummer, an actor and a singer. Hilari, who is not deaf herself, is currently touring the county promoting the film.

Hilari will receive a $2,500 donation to the charity of her choice from WE tv, and a prize package from Ladies’ Home Journal featuring gift cards to Bloomingdales, American Express, Ticketmaster and BR Guest restaurants.

 

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