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Longines, Town&Country create halo effect with awards ceremony

September 9, 2011

Town&Country Publisher Valerie Salembier and Stefanie Graf


NEW YORK Swiss watchmaker Longines and Hearst’s Town&Country magazine partnered to seek out and award three women who make a difference in the lives of children around the world.

The two brands worked together to find and award Ann McGee of Miracle Flights, Gracie Cavnar of the Recipe for Success Foundation and Ann Tisch of the Young Women’s Leadership Network. The three women were awarded with a dinner and ceremony this week at the Hearst Towers in New York.

Town&Country and Longines had placed an ad in the magazine earlier this year calling for readers to nominate a women making a difference in their community.

Watching out

Longines ambassador and former star tennis player Stefanie Graf was the honorary award receiver and special guest for the night.

Ms. Graf was recognized for her organization Children for Tomorrow, which provides support in the form of shelter, food and healthcare for children and families living in war zones and other dangerous areas.

CBS sportscaster Bill Macatee served as the master of ceremonies for the evening and presented Ms.Graf with her award.

Fox 5 Newscaster Ernie Anastos was also a presenter that night, introducing honoree Ms. McGee.

Bill Macatee, Valerie Salembier, Stefanie Graf and Longines' brand manager Jennifer Judkins

Ms. McGee was honored for her foundation Miracle Flights for Kids, which has provided 70,000 free commercial flight tickets to sick children who need to travel to different cities or even countries to see a specialist.

In addition, Ms. Cavnar was awarded the second recognition of the night for her foundation Recipe for Success, which works with famous chefs to provide elementary schools with gardens and nutritional classes to fight child obesity.

Lastly, Ms. Tisch was recognized for starting the Young Women’s Leadership Network, which provides same-sex education for girls and boys in urban areas, and places an emphasis on college.

Since the program’s inception in 2001, all of the students have graduated and gone to college.

A short film dedication was played for each nominee that further described the foundation and showing clips of the women in action.

The event was held on the 44th floor of the Hearst Building in New York’s Columbus Circle Sept. 7.

Valerie Salembier, Stefanie Graf, Gracie Cavnar, Ann McGee, Anne Adler (accepting for Ann Tisch) and Jennifer Judkins

Going long

Each honoree received a Longines watch along with her plaque.

In addition, the three women will be featured in a special section of the Town&Country February issue.

Longines donated $25 per guest to one of the four charities honored that night.

Guests were asked to fill out a card on their table and check off which charity they felt deserved the money most.

The idea of involving consumers in a company’s donation decision making is normal for luxury brands, who often align themselves with charities to connect with affluent consumers.

For example, skincare brand Kiehl’s used a similar strategy with its Kiehl’s Cares initiative earlier this year (see story).

Many luxury brands have been associating themselves with charities as of late, likely to build the brand’s corporate responsibility – something that is becoming expected by affluent consumers.

For example, German automaker Mercedes-Benz has dedicated itself to preforming 125 social cause actions this year for its 125th anniversary (see story).

Final Take
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York