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Monday, April 23, 2012

DEF's "Diamonds At The W" Support Education


April 2012, New York, NY—The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) will host a special ‘Diamonds at the W’ party at the W Hotel South Beach in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, April 26 from 8:30pm to 11:30 p.m., during the American Gemological Society’s (AGS) Conclave. Transportation to and from Conclave headquarters Doral Hotel and the W South Beach will be provided free of charge, as is the party.

A ‘Raffle for Education’ will be held during the event, to support DEF’s mission of empowering African youth through education in diamond producing nations. Among the prizes are two highly-sought-after tickets to Russell Simmons’ famed, celebrity filled ‘Art for Life’ benefit at his home in Southampton, New York; a four-night stay during JCK Las Vegas at THEHotel, complete with a luxurious spa treatment, donated by JCK; two tickets to the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona including a ‘behind the scenes garage tour’ by the Chip Ganassi Racing team compliments of the Gordon Group. Unique raffle items will also be available by media sponsor Haute Living. Attendees can purchase raffle tickets at the door or through DEF’s website,

Cathy Calhoun, a DEF governing board member and president of AGS, says, “Both the AGS and DEF understand the importance of education and promoting ethical business practices. AGS members develop superior skills and knowledge that ultimately helps protect the consumer. Through our industry’s support of DEF, student scholars are developing the skills and knowledge to be the next generation of leaders in Africa.”

Russell Simmons, DEF founder and advisory board chairman adds, “Access to education is critical for sustained progress, economic growth and prosperity in diamond producing countries. Diamonds are a precious resource, and through good governance by the industry they can contribute to the development of Africa’s other precious resource, its people.” Simmons was recently voted as the number one Social Change Agent in JCK’s Top 50 Power List of Movers, Shakers and Tastemakers in the Jewelry Industry.

Phyllis Bergman, DEF president, adds, “We are so pleased to be able to offer AGS attendees an opportunity to get to know DEF a bit better in such a fun, ‘ready for spring’ venue…and to aid our three beneficiaries is a wonderful statement to the industry’s generosity."

DEF’s beneficiaries include: CIDA City Campus, a business college in Johannesburg, South Africa, that is free to attendees with the requirement that they return to their native villages and teach for a period of time after graduation. The second is the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg that draws students from all 54 countries in Africa, and emphasizes leadership skills, African History, and entrepreneurial skills. DEF provides scholarships to all students from diamond-producing nations.  The third beneficiary is the Botswana Top Achievers program that selects the top high school students countrywide in Botswana, and affords them the opportunity to study at a university of their choice anywhere in the world. Graduates then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development.

Sponsors for the event include, W Hotel South Beach, Bombay Sapphire, Haute Living, JCK, RideCentric and special thanks to the GIA. DEF is proud to share part of the proceeds from the ‘Raffle for Education’ with Jewelers for Children...together making a difference.

Founded in 2007, The Diamond Empowerment Fund™ (D.E.F.) is a non-profit international organization with the mission to raise money to support education initiatives that develop and empower economically disadvantaged people in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource.

The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) envisions a future when poverty in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource is dramatically reduced through successful fund raising initiatives by the diamond jewelry industry to support projects that educate and empower Africans locally. D.E.F. envisions an effort involving the following:

* Diamond jewelry industry supporting D.E.F. through the sale of their products with
   donations to the Fund;
* People donating to the Fund and also choosing to purchase diamond jewelry products that
   support D.E.F’s mission;
* African individuals, educational and service organizations, and government entities 
   addressing poverty and education in keeping with D.E.F’s mission.

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