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More than $3 million raised at annual K.I.D.S. gala 

Gary Evans -- Home Textiles Today, December 12, 2008

New York – Thousands of families in need will be helped this year thanks to a partnership fundraising event with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) and its charity partner Fashion Delivers. The annual gala raised more than $1.3 million and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg served as special guest at the event on Dec. 2. More than 740 executives from the fashion, children’s, financial and retail-related industries attended and gave their support.

The event also honored three fashion industry leaders for outstanding philanthropic commitment. This year’s honorees include: Michael Balmuth, vice chairman, ceo and president of national off-price retail chain Ross Stores, who received the Retailer Award; Rick Darling, president of LF USA, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based leading sourcing company for consumer goods Li & Fung Limited, was honored with the Fashion Has a Heart Award; and Matthew McCauley, ceo of children’s clothing retailer The Gymboree Corporation, received the K.I.D.S. Lifetime Achievement Award. According to Janice Weinman, president, K.I.D.S., “The event was the most successful fundraiser to date, and we are truly honored by the incredible industry support and turnout.”

In his speech, Mayor Bloomberg commented that at a time when New Yorkers are struggling with financial challenges, it is wonderful to be part of two organizations that are giving back by providing new products to people in need. He also said that he was particularly grateful to K.I.D.S. for distributing to the New York public schools new books to help in the goal of making each child reach his or her full academic potential.

“We are proud to recognize these industry leaders for their unwavering support and commitment to helping children and families in need,” said Rick F. Schaub Jr., Senior vp, Learning Curve Brands, Inc. and chairman of K.I.D.S. “Through their efforts, K.I.D.S. and Fashion Delivers are able to continuously provide disaster relief and enhance the quality of life of those less fortunate,” added Allan E. Ellinger, chairman of Fashion Delivers Charitable Foundation, Inc. 

K.I.D.S. is a twenty-three year old global charity of leading retailers, manufacturers, and licensors of children's and youth products committed to helping improve the lives of children and their families who are ill, living in poverty, or are the victims of natural disasters. Fashion Delivers is a three year old not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide products from all parts of the fashion and related industries to victims of natural disasters and those in need. Fashion Delivers and K.I.D.S. work with a network of 1,000 local agencies to distribute products quickly and directly to recipients. During 2007, they distributed over $62 million worth of product. The evening will serve as a celebration of the impact industry donors have made to those living in need.

(Reported by HTT sister publication Kids Today.)

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