written by Chris Vaccaro 2/29/2012
Stranger safety benefit draws A-list crowd, helps raise more awareness.
Graff Diamonds President and CEO Henri Barguirdjian and his wife Marianne Lafiteau hosted The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation for a benefit on the upper east side of Manhattan Wednesday evening to further raise awareness about their cause of stranger safety.
A custom Rose Brucia pin was assembled by Graff with rubies and emeralds and auctioned off during the event, which was also attended by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, and Peter Lyden, the Chief Philanthropy Officer of the Museum of Natural History, among others.
“Marianne and Henri have become champions for our cause,” said Matthew J. Barbis, the founder and chairman of Rose Brucia. “They have embraced our mission and are wholeheartedly striving to bring more awareness to our program to all parents and elementary schools.
“It means the world to me that Marianne and Henri would think enough of our program and our mission that they would open up their home to us and their friends in order to further the reach of the foundation.”
Sue Herera, the national spokeswoman for Rose Brucia and a host at CNBC, spoke during the gathering about her involvement with the foundation.
“When I found out about the Rose Brucia foundation I immediately wanted to become involved,” she said. “It’s a grassroots effort.”
The overwhelming strides the foundation has taken in the last year, and its core mission of stranger safety had Barguirdjian anxious to help as soon as he attended a previous Rose Brucia function in the Hamptons last summer.
“It became dear to our hearts very fast,” he said, “and we said we have to continue the momentum.”
About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
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