UNICEF will light up both New York and Beverly Hills this weekend with the help of some celebrity friends.
Lucy Liu will light the UNICEF Snowflake at a special ceremony on Thursday, November 19, in front of the Louis Vuitton Fifth Avenue store in New York, followed by a similar event at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills featuring Rebecca Mader on Saturday, November 21.
“The UNICEF Snowflake is a special symbol for the world’s most vulnerable children,” said Caryl Stern, President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “Every day 24,000 children die of preventable causes. These iconic snowflakes—at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York and on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills—hang as a reminder of UNICEF’s commitment to reach a day when zero children die from preventable causes.”
Mader will flip the switch to illuminate the brilliant UNICEF Snowflake on Rodeo Drive that will soar over the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel. The Beverly Hills Snowflake contains 12,000 crystals, is 17 feet wide and over 14 feet tall, weighs 1,600 pounds and is illuminated by 125 steady-burning and 300 high-powered flashing LED lights. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display across the sky above the hotel, which is home to the west coast UNICEF Snowflake.
“The UNICEF Snowflake is the centerpiece of an ambitious program to raise funds for UNICEF’s programs providing immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation for children in need,” said actress and UNICEF supporter Rebecca Mader. “I am honored to participate in the Beverly Hills lighting ceremony by illuminating the UNICEF Snowflake and helping spread its message of hope, peace and compassion for children worldwide.”
In New York, Lucy Liu is also excited about the event.
“As a native New Yorker I always look forward to seeing the UNICEF Snowflake light up Fifth Avenue,” said actress and UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu. “It reminds me that every day, there are 24,000 children worldwide dying from preventable causes. I am especially proud to support UNICEF and their commitment to change that number to zero.”
Appointed a UNICEF Ambassador in 2004, Liu has used her influence as a force for the survival, protection and development of children worldwide. She has traveled to Lesotho, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire and Peru to witness UNICEF’s lifesaving work and to advocate on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Snowflake. Donated by the Stonbely Family Foundation in 2002, the UNICEF Snowflake has become an iconic fixture in New York City during the holiday season, hanging high above the intersection of 5th Avenue and 57th Street. 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. The UNICEF Snowflake ceremony is open to the public and will be illuminated for the entire holiday season.
The evening’s celebration, which will be telecast live to the Spectacolor CNN billboard in Times Square, will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a festive recital by Broadway Kids Care, a group of children from current and past Broadway shows who come together to participate in a variety of charitable works. Following their performance, Lucy Liu, Caryl Stern and Daniel Lalonde, President and CEO of Louis Vuitton North America, will take the stage and flip the switch to illuminate the UNICEF Snowflake. Immediately following the ceremony Louis Vuitton, proud sponsor of the UNICEF Snowflake lighting this year, will host a reception to celebrate the lighting in their flagship store on 5th Avenue.
“We are honored to have Lucy light the UNICEF Snowflake and kick off the giving season in New York City,” said Caryl Stern, President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “She is a great friend to UNICEF and a dedicated supporter of our mission to reach a day when zero children die from preventable causes.”
In Beverly Hills, festivities will begin at 3:00 PM with the official lighting at 7:00 PM. Visitors to this famed dream drive will enjoy free entertainment – from balloon artists to jugglers, caricature artists to musicians. The streets are ripe with photo opportunities as well, with striking new holiday decor, lights and banners throughout the Golden Triangle and complimentary pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus.