UNICEF AND PIER 1 IMPORTS HONOUR CANADIAN STUDENT AS WINNER OF ANNUAL GREETING CARD CONTEST

Student design to be featured nation-wide in 2011

TORONTO, May 17 /CNW/ - UNICEF Canada announced today that grade seven student Genice Chan of British Columbia is the grand prize winner of the 2011 Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF/Owlkids Greeting Card Contest.

Chosen from the hundreds of entries received, Genice's artwork will be reproduced as an official UNICEF holiday greeting card, and sold exclusively at all Pier 1 Imports store locations in Canada during the 2011 holiday season.  All of the proceeds from the sale of this card go to UNICEF Canada, as well as the proceeds from all other UNICEF cards sold throughout the country at Pier 1 stores.

Genice designed a card that depicts the warmth of a family working together to decorate their home during the festive season.  Besides receiving the award of having her design reproduced as an official UNICEF greeting card, Genice has won a $5,000 scholarship and $500 in art supplies for her school's art program.

This year's Greeting Card Contest included an inaugural Fan's Choice category. Selected through online votes from the top ten cards, Eclipse Galloway, a grade eight student from Edgewood, British Columbia has been awarded the title of Fan's Choice winner.  Eclipse has won $500 in art supplies for her card depicting the spreading of holiday cheer.

"The Greeting Card Contest is a creative way for children across Canada to become engaged in philanthropy from a young age, and we are happy to be part of it once again with Pier 1 Imports and Owlkids" said Dee Diaz, Director of Corporate Engagement, UNICEF Canada. "Genice has created a beautiful and inspiring design, reminding us all that every child around the world has the right to survival."

The card contest began in Canada in 2006 and this marks the 24th year of a partnership between the unique home furnishings retailer and the international children's organization in Canada.  In 1985, Pier 1 Imports began selling UNICEF greeting cards and since then, the company has raised over $29 million for UNICEF. Pier 1 Imports will continue its commitment toward UNICEF's goal of improving the lives of children around the world.

"We are excited to continue the tradition of this inspiring program with UNICEF.  It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm that Canadian students bring in wanting to contribute to UNICEF's mission," Jim Waechter, Vice President of Canadian Stores, Pier 1 Imports.  "The contest is a great way to help raise awareness among Canadian children about UNICEF's important work, while allowing UNICEF to deliver life-saving services to children around the world."

Proceeds from the sale of these cards will support vital UNICEF programs that provide lifesaving medicines, vaccines, nutritious foods, primary education, clean water/sanitation, and emergency relief for millions of children in more than 190 countries.

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 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, Inc. is the original global importer of unique home furnishings. The company began in 1962 with a single store in San Mateo, California. Since then, Pier 1 has grown to more than 80 stores in Canada, with over 1,000 locations companywide.  Pier 1 Imports' 48 years of experience has transformed the company into North America's largest specialty retailer of imported home furnishings and decor. More information about Pier 1 can be found at www.pier1.com.

SOURCE UNICEF

For further information:

Kristina Rikunova
Argyle Communications
(416) 968-7311 ext. 243
krikunova@argylecommunications.com

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