For Immediate Release
March 6, 2017
Nancy Orem Lyman
Phone: (212) 359-4219
Mobile: (914) 319-9141




Retailer to Receive the Diamonds Do Good Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award


New York, NY; March 6, 2017 – The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) will honor iconic retailer Helzberg Diamonds with the Diamonds Do Good Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award. The retailer will be one of three honorees at D.E.F.’s Diamonds Do Good Awards gala, June 4 at the Four Seasons Ballroom in Las Vegas.


D.E.F’s “Diamonds Do Good” Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award reflects the actions taken by a corporation to better the lives of the local community while making a difference on the global stage. For over 100 years, Helzberg Diamonds has epitomized this ideal.


With roots in the Midwest, Barnett Helzberg’s good business skills and sense of community responsibility led to his growing the company even during the Great Depression, and sponsoring the ‘Helzberg Sweetheart Hour’ radio program that provided uplifting entertainment to listeners each week. He made himself and the interests of the community one and the same, providing counseling for the Girl Scouts, support for the Kansas City Zoo, and establishing the Diamond Council of America.  When his son Barnett Jr. took over this tradition continued. Barnett Jr. developed the ‘I am loved’ line and button promotion while proposing to his wife Shirley. This simple, but powerful line became a hallmark campaign of goodwill sent to celebrity ‘heroes’, military men serving in the Vietnam War, children in hospitals and eventually translated into more than 11 languages.


After a chance meeting on the streets of New York City, Barnett Jr.—ready to retire in 1995—sold the company to Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet who then hand-picked Beryl Raff to take over the leadership of Helzberg Diamonds in 2009. In 2012, Helzberg established “Helzberg Helps” to honor the company’s philanthropic traditions. The organization is made up of Helzberg Diamonds Associates with a passion to give back in their local communities. The mission is to lead fundraising efforts and organize volunteer activities primarily for charitable entities that support the benefit of children and families in need, such as Make-A-Wish, Salvation Army, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and more. Since 2009, Helzberg’s largest charitable efforts have been in support of Make-A-Wish America, helping to grant the wishes of children throughout the country.


For more information and to purchase tickets/sponsorships for the Diamonds Do Good Awards gala, please visit diamondsdogoodawards.org


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About the Diamond Empowerment Fund:


The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a global non-profit based in New York City and co-founded by Russell Simmons and leaders in the diamond industry in 2007 to empower diamond communities around the world.  Its beneficiaries include: the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg, South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable development on the continent and drawing students from all 54 countries in Africa, the Botswana Top Achievers program that provides the top high school students countrywide the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide. Graduates then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development; Veerayatan, a model for encouraging development of responsible citizens who are educated, have strong integrity and a motivation to give back to their community. D.E.F  supports students attending its colleges of Pharmacy, Business Administration and Engineering.  D.E.F also supports the Diamond Development Initiative’s mobile school program in the Democratic Republic of Congo and high school scholars in Tanzania through the Flaviana Matata Foundation.