(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). (Article provided by the Intimate Apparel Square Club) Industry traditions are hard to maintain but the Intimate Apparel Square Club (IASC), a volunteer organization dedicated to helping sick children, continues its long-running mission while adapting to today’s circumstances. Founded in 1955 by charitable leaders of intimate apparel companies and their suppliers, the IASC focuses its fundraising efforts on pediatric rehabilitation and to date has raised over $5 million to support pediatric services at Rusk and Tisch Hospital, part of the Hassenfeld Pediatric Center at NYU Langone.
In 1998, the group christened its annual gala the H.U.G. Award, standing for Help Us Give. The intimates industry embraced the rebranding and flocks to the gala every year during the November market. Past honorees have included iconic brands such as Maidenform, Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s, among countless others. At the November 4 event, this exclusive group will be joined by Heather Thomson, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Yummie by Heather Thomson and one of the stars of Bravo’s hit reality series “The Real Housewives of New York City,” International Intimates Founder and President Rene Rofe and celebrated intimates industry fit model Dorothy Galligan.
While heritage is a big part of the IASC, innovation is a new focus as the group broadens its membership base and embraces new ways of supporting its heartfelt work for the children at Rusk and Tisch. Support for the group comes from all sectors of the intimates industry, ranging from classic brands like Maidenform to chic fashion houses such as Chantelle, but its newest volunteers hail from industries as diverse as financial services, insurance and communications. Although contributions utilizing specialized skills are highly welcome, what’s more important is a desire to contribute in a collegial atmosphere of good will for children.
“There are good charities, and not-so-good charities,” says IASC President Michael De Prisco, who is a financial services executive. “The IASC’s philosophy is not to keep the lion’s share of charity donations. In fact, roughly 78 cents for every dollar raised, or 78 percent, goes directly to our healthcare partners to deliver the best rehabilitative care for disabled children. Alignment of our mission and resource allocation is a requirement for our organization.”
Several new members echo De Prisco’s passionate stance on the club’s commitment to its mission. Julia B., Creative Director of Julia B. Studio, was introduced to the IASC by industry colleague Michael Floru three years ago and deeply appreciates the interaction with the children undergoing treatment at Rusk and Tisch during the club’s frequent holiday parties there.
“At the last Christmas in July party we through at the hospital, I had the pleasure of helping a young girl make some fun Hawaiian jewelry for her cousin. She was in a wheelchair, barely able to move from a gunshot wound, and we were there to surprise them with gifts and shower them with love and kindness,” she says.
Chantelle Vice President of Sales Deborah Eaton has attended the H.U.G. Awards gala for many years and was also drawn to the IASC after hearing about the holiday parties for the kids from Macra Lace Account Executive Walter Costello. An IASC member for over a year, Eaton credits the club for its focus on its mission.
“The work is so important because the needs for the children must be met,” she says. “So why not us, or anyone else in our industry and others, to help make a difference. So I said to myself, step up and do something bigger than yourself in this world.”
Lizette DeBaptiste, a three-year IASC member who works in the apparel market, admires the dedication of its volunteers for doing good despite challenging economic times.
“It’s a great group of passionate, results-oriented people who focus on supporting the organization,” says DeBaptiste. “It’s like a family; you get it all from our meetings: mostly inspired, feelings of joy, lots of laughter and sometimes disappointment. You are clear everyone is there to support the mission and raise funds for the children we support.”
By all accounts, the group has an open door for those searching for a personal and meaningful way to give back. Whether helping to raise funds, planning events or volunteering at the hospital with the children, members find joyful fulfillment in public service through the IASC.
For more information about joining the IASC or to purchase tickets for the November 4 H.U.G. Gala, call 845-758-5752 or visit www.thehugaward.org.
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