Announcing the Winner of the 2012 Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF/Owlkids Greeting Card Contest

TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - UNICEF Canada is pleased to announce 14-year-old Samantha Hoogstins of Kamloops, British Columbia is the winner of the 2012 Pier 1 Imports®/UNICEF/Owlkids Greeting Card Contest. Samantha's design will become an official UNICEF greeting card sold exclusively at Pier 1 Imports' stores across Canada during the 2012 holiday season. This year's Fan's Choice Award was given to 12-year-old Annie-Kim Rainville of Boisbriand, Quebec.

Pier 1 Imports donates 100 per cent of greeting card sales to UNICEF's work ensuring the most vulnerable children worldwide have opportunities to thrive in the future. The annual contest was launched in Canada in 2005.

"This contest provides Canadian children with a unique opportunity to use their creativity to help other children around the world" says UNICEF Canada's President and CEO David Morley. "Proceeds raised from this year's winning design will help support UNICEF's work providing lifesaving medications, nutritious food, primary education, clean water and improved sanitation facilities."

With the theme Peace on Earth, more than 500 children from across Canada entered this year's competition, a record number since the contest began. Samantha's winning design depicts two white doves perched on holiday garland creating a heart shape between their bills. Along with having her design turned into an official UNICEF greeting card, Samantha also won a $5,000 scholarship, $500 worth of art supplies for her school, and a year subscription to either Chirp, chickaDEE, or OWL magazine.

The Fan's Choice award by Annie-Kim depicts a creative interpretation of a hand in a peace sign coloured with flags from around the world. Annie-Kim also won $500 worth of art supplies.

The Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF/Owlkids Greeting Card Contest has helped raise awareness about UNICEF's important work for children around the world and has inspired kids from coast to coast to use their creative talents in a meaningful way. To see the 2012 winning designs, please visit http://www.unicef.ca/en/press-releases.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

About Pier 1 Imports
Pier 1 Imports is the original global importer of imported decorative home furnishings and gifts. Information about the Company is available on www.pier1.ca.

About Owlkids
Owlkids, a division of Bayard Canada, publishes award-winning children's magazines and books that have been entertaining and enlightening kids for more than 35 years. For more information, please visit www.owlkids.com.

SOURCE UNICEF Canada

For further information:

Melanie Sharpe, UNICEF Canada; 416-482-6552 ext. 8892 cell: 416-806-2764  msharpe@unicef.ca
Brian Bell, Pier 1 Imports Canada; 817-252-8834 bbell@pier1.com


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