Hallmark Cards, Inc and Relief Riders International Named First Recipients of the 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards

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2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award recipients Hallmark and Relief Riders, were nominated by nonprofits and selected by a Voting Academy, comprised of highly respected United Nations NGOs.

"All of the nominees for the 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards are examples of how we can work together to positively impact the world," said Scott Pederson, president and CEO of Celebrate Positive.

Celebrate Positive announced the recipients of the inaugural 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards in the large and small business categories, Hallmark Cards Inc., and Relief Riders International, respectively. With all nominations being submitted by nonprofit organizations, these awards, viewed as a 21st century peace prize, honor and recognize organizations positively impacting their communities through corporate responsibility.

The Voting Academy for the United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards felt both Hallmark and Relief Riders showed excellence in the areas of self-regulation, employee relations, environmental stewardship and community involvement. Comprised of highly respected United Nations NGOs, such as Rotary International, Pathways to Peace and Sister Cities International, the Voting Academy used these and other established criteria, such as philanthropic giving and cause marketing campaigns, to evaluate the top 10 nominees and eventually, determine this year’s winners.

“Celebrate Positive congratulates Hallmark Cards Inc., Relief Riders International and the other nominees for exemplifying affirmative activities in all fields of human endeavor, which is proving to be the catalyst for a movement,” said Scott Pederson, president and CEO, Celebrate Positive. “Each nominee and nominating nonprofit are examples of how we can work together to positively impact the world.”

Hallmark Cards Inc. received nominations from the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri and the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation. Hallmark’s vision, community service and leadership solidified the company’s win in the large business category. Grace and caring are just two of the words used when describing the commitment both the company and the Hall family have toward non-profits in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri credit Hallmark for significant financial assistance in a broad range of programs, including building a troop house for their urban core girls as well as others at their local camp. Additionally, Hallmark has always had a high-ranking member on the Girl Scouts board, providing excellent leadership and vision. Hallmark’s charity also extended to Kansas City Sports Commission, where they have constantly provided grants over the years, helping with the operation of the office and helped launch new events/programs. Hallmark representatives also sit on the Commission’s board of directors along with event committees and employees have been event volunteers.

“Like the other organizations involved in the United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award initiative, our company helps bring people together,” said Donald J. Hall, Jr., president and CEO, Hallmark Cards, Inc. “It is an honor to be recognized for our caring corporate citizenship, as well as for the work that so many Hallmark employees do in support of organizations that make a positive difference in our community.”

Relief Riders International received two nominations, from Railroad Street Youth Project and Documentary Educational Resources. This unique humanitarian-based, adventure travel company leads relief missions on horseback through breathtaking areas in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India. During the last six-years they have held 10 successful Relief Ride missions, where they designed and developed far reaching medical and educational programs providing free school supplies, livestock, and medical care and cataract surgeries to rural communities in Rajasthan. To date Relief Riders International has treated over 16,000 people, 10,200 of which were children.

The organization offers "riders" the rare opportunity to participate in effective medical programs providing critical assistance to remote villages in India, while traveling by horseback experiencing the breath taking culture and landscape. Doctors and specialists ride along, bringing medical supplies, dental care and information on basic nutrition, as well as livestock for families who have no other source of income or agricultural resources. Through these relief rides, Relief Riders International brings compassion to and awareness of the under-served Indian communities.

“We are incredibly pleased to have been selected to receive a 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award. People are drawn to our trips because they love the idea of traveling with a positive purpose,” said Alexander Souri, executive director, Relief Riders International. “While our ‘riders’ enjoy immersing themselves in the culture, customs and beauty of India, they are even more appreciative to have an opportunity to give back to people living in remote locations who don’t often get the attention they deserve. We are very grateful the Voting Academy recognized our work.”

The other companies honored as top 10 large and small businesses included:

Large Business: Andrews McMeel Universal, Black & Veatch, Canon USA, Delta Air Lines, Honeywell International, Newell Rubbermaid, Publix Super Markets, Sprint Corporation, State Farm Insurance and Union Pacific Railroad

Small Business: Arrow Exterminators, Bibb County Chick-Fil-A restaurants, Carter Real Estate, Central States Beverage, Champion Windows, Gates BBQ, KC Southern Railroad, Speed Gel and Schutte Lumber Company

Nominations are currently being accepted in the categories of sports, entertainment and community. To submit a nomination, for more information on Celebrate Positive and positive news from around the country and world, visit: celebratepositive.com. To connect with positive people, you can also find us on Facebook®.

About Celebrate Positive
Celebrate Positive, in coordination with the United Nations and its non-government organizations like, Rotary International, Sister Cities International and Pathways to Peace provides a platform to recognize communities, businesses, schools, athletes and entertainers for the positive work to make a difference in the world. Celebrate Positive, along with their agency partners, Clickfarm® Interactive, CSE, Hero Sports & Entertainment, Inc., Walz Tetrick Advertising and YPN Companies; have created a destination website that provides positive news from around the world as well as efforts being made by the United Nations to promote peace globally. For more information on Celebrate Positive or the organizations and agencies they work with, visit celebratepositive.com.

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Robin Applebaum

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