Macy’s “Believe” Campaign Continues To Help Make Wishes Come True For Children Across America This Holiday Season

ANNUAL CAMPAIGN INVITES BELIEVERS TO MAIL THEIR LETTERS TO SANTA TO BENEFIT MAKE-A-WISH® AND BRINGS THE SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON TO STAGES, TELEVISION SCREENS AND COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE

THROUGH DECEMBER 7, CUSTOMERS WHO POST A PHOTO OR VIDEO FROM MACY’S BELIEVE STATION IN-STORE USING #MACYSBELIEVE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO BE INCLUDED IN A MACY’S TELEVISION COMMERCIAL

The holidays are a time for giving, and Macy’s is again offering its customers a chance to unite in the season’s spirit of believe_logo (2)generosity through its annual Believe campaign benefiting Make-A-Wish. Beginning today, kids of all ages can drop their stamped letters, addressed to Santa at The North Pole, in the Santa Mail letterbox at their local Macy’s. For each letter received through Dec. 24, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Now celebrating its sixth season, Believe has become Macy’s signature holiday program, garnering support and participation from customers from coast-to-coast and resulting in more than $6.5 million in donations to Make-A-Wish.

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Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 226,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2012 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.

New this season, customers who share a photo or video of their moment mailing a letter to Santa at Macy’s Believe Station to Instagram, Twitter or Vine using #MacysBelieve will be considered for the opportunity to be in a Macy’s television commercial airing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In addition, “Believers” can join in the spirit of the holidays through other Believe elements, including a school musical program, a nationally televised animated special, activity guides for teachers and the return of the fifth annual National Believe Day.

Macy’s Believe campaign, benefiting Make-A-Wish, has surpassed our expectations ever since we introduced the program six years ago,” said Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer for Macy’s. “Year after year, we are astounded by the outpouring of support our customers show for this campaign as our Santa Mail letterboxes overflow with letters. Families, schools and community organizations rally to write letters, bringing the campaign’s message of giving to life.”

The inspiration for Macy’s Believe Campaign was the heartwarming true story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897 asking if there really was a Santa Claus. The paper’s editor, Francis P. Church, responded with what has become the most reprinted editorial ever to run in any newspaper in the English language stating, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist ” More than 115 years after that famous essay was penned, Church’s words still resonate and remind us all to believe in the power of childhood wonder, hope and generosity – cornerstones of the Believe campaign.

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Key elements from the 2013 Macy’s Believe campaign will include:

#MacysBelieve Television Commercial

Now through Dec. 7, Macy’s is inviting all “Believers” to share a photo or video of the special moment they mail their letter in Macy’s Santa Mail letterbox in-store via Instagram, Twitter or Vine. By including #MacysBelieve, posts will be considered for inclusion in a national, crowd-sourced television commercial airing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The selected elements will be edited into a video montage that will feature magical moments from customers across the country. Continue reading

Del Frisco’s Grille Launches “Man Up Stache Up” Coast-to-Coast to Participate in Movember and Raise Awareness for Men’s Health Issues

“Moustache Mondays,” $10 Gift Cards, and a Special Movember Menu Featuring the “Stiff Upper Lip” and the “Food Man Chew” at Del Frisco’s Grille

Gentlemen, start your moustaches!  Del Frisco’s Grille is pleased to announce that they are participating in “Movember” with a variety of events to raise awareness for men’s health issues. The festivities kicked off on November 1, as all of the restaurants from Manhattan to Santa Monica offered complimentary shaves to guests who wanted to start the month with a close shave, before growing a moustache.

Richie the Barber gives James Ryan a clean shave at Del Frisco's Grille in Santa Monica to start Movember.  (PRNewsFoto/Del Frisco's Grille)

Richie the Barber gives James Ryan a clean shave at Del Frisco’s Grille in Santa Monica to start Movember. (PRNewsFoto/Del Frisco’s Grille)

Movember was launched in Australia in 2003 as a fun and visible way to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer.  Today, millions of men around the world start November 1 with a clean shave and grow moustaches for 30 days while they raise funds and awareness for men’s health-related charities through the Movember FoundationDel Frisco’s Grille is participating as an official team and anyone who helps raise money will be helping Del Frisco’s Grille climb the Movember Team Leaderboardhttp://us.movember.com/leaderboards/team/

Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group CEO Mark S. Mednansky, who normally sports a goatee, even jumped in the barber chair at Del Frisco’s Grille in Dallas on November 1 and shaved off the bottom half of his goatee. He is growing out his moustache along with the staff at Del Frisco’s Grille, who are typically clean-shaven.

Mark S. Mednansky, CEO of Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, kicks off the "Movember" campaign at Del Frisco's Grille in Dallas with a clean shave, courtesy of The Gent's Place. The staff and guests at Del Frisco's Grille are growing moustaches throughout November to draw attention to men's health issues for the Movember Foundation.  (PRNewsFoto/Del Frisco's Grille)

Mark S. Mednansky, CEO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, kicks off the “Movember” campaign at Del Frisco’s Grille in Dallas with a clean shave, courtesy of The Gent’s Place. The staff and guests at Del Frisco’s Grille are growing moustaches throughout November to draw attention to men’s health issues for the Movember Foundation. (PRNewsFoto/Del Frisco’s Grille)

Celebrity stylist Carrie Butterworth gives Peter Hourihan a clean shave at Del Frisco's Grille in New York to start Movember.  (PRNewsFoto/Del Frisco's Grille)

Celebrity stylist Carrie Butterworth gives Peter Hourihan a clean shave at Del Frisco’s Grille in New York to start Movember. (PRNewsFoto/Del Frisco’s Grille)

Celebrity stylist Carrie Butterworth gives Daniele Polimeni a clean shave at Del Frisco's Grille In New York to start Movember.  (PRNewsFoto/Del Frisco's Grille)

Celebrity stylist Carrie Butterworth gives Daniele Polimeni a clean shave at Del Frisco’s Grille In New York to start Movember. (PRNewsFoto/Del Frisco’s Grille)

We are delighted to join with our guests to celebrate Movember and help change the face of men’s health,” said Mednansky.  “Philanthropy has always been a sincere commitment at Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, and so many of our guests are men.  This is a fun way for all of us to get involved, raise awareness and funding for men’s health issues, and show our guests how much we truly care.” Continue reading

Global Superstar And Bestselling Author Ricky Martin Launches “PiccoloUniverse.com”

THE NEW COMMUNITY WEBSITE IS A PLACE FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD TO CELEBRATE AND SHARE THE JOYS AND STRUGGLES OF RAISING KIDS Global superstar, philanthropist and bestselling author Ricky Martin announced today the launch of www.PiccoloUniverse.com, a multi-lingual community website giving parents and caregivers from all around the world a place to celebrate and share the joys and struggles of raising children.

Piccolo Universe launches new website for parents and caregivers.  (PRNewsFoto/Piccolo Artist, LLC)

Piccolo Universe launches new website for parents and caregivers. (PRNewsFoto/Piccolo Artist, LLC)

Piccolo Universe, founded by Martin, is a welcoming community where members can share experiences, offer tips, and give back. The website provides a convenient and centralized source of engaging information created by both Piccolo authors and community members focused on the day-to-day journey of life and raising children in the digital age.

The new website includes tips, how-to’s and expert advice through beautifully designed blogs, social media, videos, and photos. There is also a forum where community members can ask questions about child-rearing issues as well as help other members by contributing answers and viewpoints.

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With this important launch, Martin continues to follow his passion and commitment to the well-being of children around the world. For over 10 years he has continuously dedicated himself to the efforts of The Ricky Martin Foundation, which advocates for children around the world in critical areas such as education, health and social justice. Piccolo Universe and the Santiago book series are extensions of those efforts, and Martin is excited by the prospect of bringing together a worldwide community of dedicated parents.

The articles and blog entries, written by a talented and diverse group of contributors–including Martin–cater to the diversity of its members’ cultures, which are reflected in the topics and languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese) of the site.

Martin, a father of 5-year-old twins, Matteo and Valentino, was inspired by the boys to write his first children’s book, “Santiago The Dreamer in Land Among The Stars” to be released November 12th, 2013, and create the Piccolo community as a place where members can explore, contribute, and connect with other parents and caregivers.

These days, for me it’s all about finding the best ways to teach, inspire and nurture my family. It’s a big job but it’s the most rewarding role I’ve ever played–also the most collaborative. My friends and I learn so much when we share ideas, which is why I’ve launched Piccolo Universe.

I can’t wait for you to meet the moms and dads who will contribute to the site, bringing you into their lives and daily joys and struggles. Most of all, I’m excited to hear from you. Don’t be shy, comment on the articles and share your thoughts in the forum, and know that I’ll be reading, watching and commenting as well. Thank you for visiting and being part of the family of Piccolo Universe,” said Piccolo Universe’s Chairman and founder Ricky Martin.

Piccolo Artist, LLC is the vision of CEO Ricky Martin. The company is dedicated to offering products and services designed to entertain, educate and bond children with caregivers and families. www.PiccoloUniverse.com is the flagship property from Piccolo Artist along with Martin’s “Santiago the Dreamer” children’s book series, which will be released in November 2013 by Penguin.

Consumers Digest Names 2014 Automotive Best Buys

Thirty-seven vehicles and eight companion models received Best Buy ratings from Consumers Digest for the 2014 model year. The ratings, which are published in the magazine’s December issue (on sale now) and are available at www.ConsumersDigest.com, span 12 categories: Subcompacts, Compacts, Family Cars, Luxury Cars, Sporty Cars, Hybrids, Minivans, Compact SUVs, Midsize SUVs, Full-size SUVs, Luxury SUVs and Pickups. The Best Buys—based on behind-the-wheel driving experience, safety ratings, ownership costs, warranty, price, comfort, ergonomics and amenities—reflect CD’s view of which 2014 vehicles offer exceptional all-around value for the money.

Consumers Digest and www.ConsumersDigest.com are designed to inform and educate readers, so they can buy with confidence, no matter the product or service. The editorial team is committed to providing practical advice, factual evaluations and specific recommendations that lead consumers to exceptional values in today’s complex marketplace. Like the December issue, www.ConsumersDigest.com includes the profiles of CD’s Best Buy vehicles as well as other elements that assist in the car-shopping experience, not the least of which is the Complete Interactive New Car Guide. In the Guide, consumers will find: articles based on investigations of what automakers are doing to increase passenger and cargo space; the trade-offs of purchasing a hybrid or electric car versus cost of ownership; and the Ultimate Auto Showroom, which provides data on vehicle standard features, options, MSRPs, dealers’ invoice pricing and warranties.

2014 Automotive Best Buys

3 “Subcompacts”: Chevrolet Sonic, Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta

3 “Compacts”: Ford Focus, Kia Soul, Mazda3

7 “Family Cars”: Chevrolet Impala, Ford Fusion/Lincoln MKZ, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima, Mazda6

4 “Luxury Cars”: Audi A6, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, Chrysler 300

5 “Sporty Cars”: Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Ford Mustang, Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ

3 “Hybrids”: Ford Fusion Hybrid/Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Toyota Prius

3 “Minivans”: Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey

4 “Compact SUVs”: Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5

3 “Midsize SUVs”: Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder

5 “Full-size SUVs”: Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia, Dodge Durango, Mazda CX-9

3 “Luxury SUVs”: Acura MDX, Acura RDX, Infiniti QX60

2 “Pickups”: Ford F-150 and Ram 1500

Value, as we see it, is based on purchase price and ownership costs relative to quality, performance and subjective factors, such as comfort and design,” says Randy Weber, CD’s publisher.

Performance characteristics that were evaluated include starting and acceleration, shifting, steering and handling, braking, ride quality and fuel economy. Design factors that were considered include interior ergonomics, seating configuration and flexibility, accessories and amenities, fit and finish and cargo space.

Of note among CD’s Best Buys for the 2014 model year, the automakers from Japan and Korea combined to garner a 10 percentage point increase in the number of Best Buys that their vehicles were awarded (18) over the number of 2013-model-year recommendations that their vehicles received. The 40 percent of 2014 CD Best Buys for the Asian automakers is the largest percentage for the group since its vehicles represented 42 percent of all Best Buys for the 2009 model year.

The percentage of Best Buys that were awarded to 2014 vehicles that were manufactured by U.S. automakers dipped to 53.3 percent from 60.5 percent for the 2013 model year.

Despite the slide by the Americans, vehicles that were made by General Motors received 10 Best Buys. Ford Motor vehicles received eight recommendations, and the Chrysler family of brands received seven.

Consumers Digest’s Automotive Best Buys report includes invoice pricing, standard features and performance traits that support the models’ Best Buy recommendation in the collective opinion of CD’s veteran automotive editors: Dan Carney has reviewed vehicles for Motor Trend and Popular Mechanics, among others, and is a former president of Washington Automotive Press Association; Susan Carpenter has reviewed vehicles for the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register; Jim Gorzelany has served Consumers Digest readers for 27 years; Marlon Hanson is president of Texas Automotive Media Association; award-winning reporter Jim Mateja writes a weekly Chicago Tribune automotive column; Courtney Messenbaugh has written reviews for MotherProof.com and other websites.

Pandora Launches Pandora Essence Collection

Starting today, women can purchase the PANDORA ESSENCE COLLECTION at Concept Stores in select markets around the world. Featuring a slender sterling silver bracelet with an accompanying assortment of charms, hand-finished from precious metals and semi-precious stones, the new and meaningful collection taps into current trends for personal expression and emotional connection.

The slender sterling silver PANDORA ESSENCE COLLECTION bracelet features the signature PANDORA lock, and is the perfect backdrop for the collection’s expressive and ornamental charms. Charms are designed specifically for the collection’s bracelet and slide and secure in place thanks to an innovative solution based on a flexible silicone grip built inside the sterling silver core of each charm. In this way, women can take total control of their styling and expression, taking PANDORA’s commitment to jewellery customization and inspiring individuality even further.

Symbolizing meanings that enable women to express their true inner self and beliefs, the collection of 24 sterling silver charms is crafted from symbolic materials, colors and patterns that represent key values such as joy, trust, passion, confidence, love, courage, faith, wisdom and many more.

Founded on extensive research compiled with the help of thousands of women across the globe, PANDORA ESSENCE COLLECTION is created by women to inspire women, and deciphers the values that matter most to women in today’s world. “Now women can not only celebrate their unforgettable moments in life with their bracelet, they can also express their inner values,” says PANDORA’s Chief Creative Officer, Stephen Fairchild.

Let There Be Light: Zondervan announces release of much anticipated collaboration from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nancy Tillman

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nancy Tillman have unveiled their collaborative work, the new premium picture book, Let There Be Light. With themes of love and light, Archbishop Tutu and Tillman retell the biblical story of creation, vividly portraying the wonder and beauty of God’s creation on each of the seven days.

In Let There Be Light Nancy Tillman, New York Times bestselling author, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu combine their extraordinary talents to retell the story of the creation of the world.  (PRNewsFoto/Zondervan)

In Let There Be Light Nancy Tillman, New York Times bestselling author, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu combine their extraordinary talents to retell the story of the creation of the world. (PRNewsFoto/Zondervan)

Using Archbishop Tutu’s lyrical text from the Children of God Storybook Bible and Tillman’s remarkable illustrations, Let There Be Light brings the story of creation to life for readers young and old. Children and kids at heart will enjoy Archbishop Tutu’s warm and joyful storytelling style as well as Tillman’s stunning artwork.

Nancy Tillman is the author and illustrator of the bestselling picture book On the Night You Were Born; its companion journal, The Wonder of You; The Spirit of Christmas; and the New York Times bestsellers Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You and The Crown on Your Head. She also created the mischievous cat Tumford from Tumford the Terrible and Tumford’s Rude Noises, and illustrated It’s Time to Sleep, My Love, by Eric Metaxas. Nancy’s mission in creating her books is to convey to children everywhere that “You are loved.” She lives in Portland, Oregon. You can visit her online at www.nancytillman.com and at www.Facebook.com/Nancy.Tillman.Collection.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu's lyrical text and Nancy Tillman's remarkable illustrations for Let There Be Light brings the story of creation to life for readers young and old.  (PRNewsFoto/Zondervan)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s lyrical text and Nancy Tillman’s remarkable illustrations for Let There Be Light brings the story of creation to life for readers young and old. (PRNewsFoto/Zondervan)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his lifelong struggle to bring equality, justice, and peace to his native country of South Africa. He is the author of numerous books including the Children of God Storybook Bible, God’s Dream, and Desmond and the Very Mean Word. From 2007 to 2013, Tutu was the founding Chair of the Elders, a group of global leaders who are working to promote the shared interests of humanity. In 2013 he received the Templeton Prize for advancing spiritual progress in the world. He lives in South Africa with his wife, Leah. They have four children and seven grandchildren.

Zondervan is a world-leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zonderkidz, the children’s division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As a leader in Christian children’s communications, it creates products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids under 16. Zonderkidz is also publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader’s Version) Bible translation, the 3rd grade reading level edition of the NIV. For additional information, please visit www.zonderkidz.com. Zondervan, as part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.

Let There Be Light will release on December 19, 2013 with a January 7, 2014 on-sale date.  The 32-page full color premium picture book will be available in a jacketed hardcover. In conjunction with this release, a spring author tour featuring Nancy Tillman will be announced with a full list of cities and locations.

To view the trailer for Let There Be Light, please type the following web address into your internet browser: http://youtu.be/kH50EpmsPZQ.

Celestial Seasonings® Enables Fans To Share The Flavors Of The Holidays

BELOVED TEA BRAND HELPS FANS SEND HOLIDAY JOY WITH SURPRISE DELIVERIES OF HOLIDAY TEAS

Nothing marks the start of the holiday season quite like CELESTIAL SEASONINGS® HOLIDAY TEAS. So, to help tea drinkers immerse themselves in the holiday spirit and share the magic of the season, CELESTIAL SEASONINGS will enable 25,000 fans to surprise a special someone anywhere in the country with a special delivery of Celestial Seasonings holiday teas as part of its “FROM ME TO YOU” PROMOTION. Read More

“Our holiday teas have become a whimsical, festive staple in so many households since we first introduced Nutcracker Sweet® black tea in 1995,” said JENNIFER STOLTE, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AT CELESTIAL SEASONINGS. “Each holiday season, our fans tell us how much delight our holiday teas bring them. So we came up with a way to help our fans send a little holiday magic in the mail to the people they care about, all for free.

The CELESTIAL SEASONINGS brand offers six handcrafted, all-natural holiday teas that capture the traditional

Celestial Seasonings: Candy Cane Lane Cocoa

Celestial Seasonings: Candy Cane Lane Cocoa

flavors of the season – including gingerbread, sugar cookies, candy canes and more. Each holiday blend offers a full sensory experience, with unique aromas and tastes that help thaw away the winter chill.

To make this holiday season even more jolly, the CELESTIAL SEASONINGS team developed festive new drink recipes featuring three holiday teas. Whether it’s the right moment to calm your soul with a warm CANDY CANE LANE® COCOA, wrap up in blanket with a NUTCRACKER SWEET® LATTE or get festive with a SUGAR COOKIE SLEIGH RIDE® MARTINI, there’s a delectable recipe for every holiday occasion.

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Martini Serves 2

•6 oz. Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride infused vodka (see below)

•3 ounces half & half

•1 tsp. agave nectar

•Ice

•Sprinkles for decorating rim

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Martini

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Martini

 PREP: Combine all ingredients except sprinkles in a cocktail shaker. Shake until cold.

Candy Cane Lane Cocoa (Serves 2)

•2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

•½ oz. dark chocolate

•2 Tbsp. honey

•2 bags Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Holiday Green Tea

•2 Tbsp. peppermint schnapps (optional)

•Whipped cream

•Candy canes

 PREP: Combine 2 cups water, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, honey and tea bags in a saucepan. Bring to boil, simmer 5 minutes and remove tea bags. Stir in peppermint schnapps (if using) and pour into two mugs. Top with whipped cream, add a candy cane stir stick and enjoy.

Nutcracker Sweet Latte Serves 1

•2-3 bags Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet Holiday Black Tea

Nutcracker Sweet Latte

Nutcracker Sweet Latte

•1 cup milk

•1/8 tsp. vanilla syrup

•Pinch cinnamon

PREP: If you have an espresso machine: Clean your machine’s coffee basket thoroughly. Cut open 3 tea bags, pour tea into basket and compress as if it were coffee. Brew a single “shot” and pour into coffee mug. Steam milk using wand and pour over brewed tea. Add vanilla syrup, stir and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Without espresso machine: In a medium saucepan, gently heat milk over low heat until very warm but not boiling. Add 2 tea bags and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, remove tea bags and add vanilla syrup. Using a whisk, beat milk until it foams. Pour into coffee mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Alternate: For a spicier version, try using Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Holiday Black Tea. Wet the tops of two martini glasses, then dip into sprinkles. Pour martini into glass, top with more sprinkles and enjoy.

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Infused Vodka

•6 oz. premium vodka

•3 bags Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Holiday Herbal Tea

 PREP: Combine vodka and tea bags in a one-liter glass jar (or similar container) with lid. Steep for 1 hour and remove tea bags. Continue reading