At a glance: United States of America

Rihanna joins UNICEF Snowflake lighting ceremony in New York

UNICEF Image
© US Fund for UNICEF/2008
The UNICEF Snowflake, donated by the Stonbely family, has become an iconic fixture in New York City during the holiday season.

NEW YORK, USA, 20 November 2008 – The US Fund for UNICEF and Grammy Award-winning musical artist Rihanna were on hand to celebrate the UNICEF Snowflake lighting ceremony last night at Grand Army Plaza in New York City. 

A strong supporter of UNICEF, Rihanna is also a multi-platinum MTV Award, Video Music Award and American Music Award winner. She has now joined UNICEF’s fight to decrease the number of children dying from preventable causes worldwide.

"We are thrilled to have Rihanna take part in the lighting ceremony in New York City," said US Fund for UNICEF President and CEO Caryl Stern. “She has tremendous enthusiasm for helping those in need and is the ideal person for spreading the UNICEF Snowflake’s message of hope, peace and compassion for children around the world.”

The UNICEF Snowflake, donated by the Stonbely family, has become an iconic fixture in New York City during the holiday season. It was handcrafted by German lighting designer Ingo Maurer and is adorned with 16,000 Baccarat crystal prisms. At 23 feet in diameter, over 28 feet in height and weighing 3,300 pounds, the UNICEF Snowflake is the largest outdoor chandelier of its kind. It will be illuminated for the entire holiday season.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF video/2008
Grammy Award-winning musical artist Rihanna was on hand to celebrate the UNICEF Snowflake lighting ceremony last night at Grand Army Plaza in New York City.

Campaign to benefit UNICEF

Joining Rihanna and Ms. Stern at the ceremony was Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini. Ms. Giannini has designed a unique collection of products specifically for the fourth annual Gucci Holiday Campaign to Benefit UNICEF, which was launched in connection with the lighting ceremony.

For this year’s initiative, Ms. Giannini created a special version of the 'Tattoo Heart Collection' featuring a stylized heart along with the iconic Gucci symbols on a wide range of accessories. Rihanna will star in the first magazine advertising campaign dedicated to this campaign, which will debut in magazines in December.

After Rihanna flipped the switch to illuminate the magnificent UNICEF Snowflake, onlookers watched a live performance by Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. Broadway Kids Care, a group of children from current and past Broadway shows who come together to participate in a variety of charitable works, joined the festivities with holiday songs.

Also in attendance was Sesame Street Muppet and UNICEF 'Champion for Children' Kami – a 'five-year-old' who is living with HIV and appears regularly on the South African co-production of Sesame Street called 'Takalani Sesame'. Kami teaches children valuable lessons about education, respect and understanding. In her role as 'Champion for Children', Kami helps promote age-appropriate messages concerning HIV and AIDS.


 

 

Video

19 November 2008:
Grammy Awards-winning musical artist Rihanna and other special guests lend their support at the annual UNICEF Snowflake lighting ceremony in New York.
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