This month 11 is the magic number for luxury goods brand Montblanc. The company recently announced its partnership with Best Buddies International and will make sizable donations to support the global non-profit organization. March 1st-11th, participating boutiques across the nation will donate 11% of its proceeds from each sale to raise awareness and support the organizations' fight against mental illness.
“Montblanc has always believed in the importance of inclusion and having a secure life base, with friends and employment as the foundation of every individual. We are proud to support Best Buddies, a unique organization that assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and educates others about their abilities. By actively supporting their program, we will make a positive difference in the lives of many.” offers President and CEO of Montblanc North America Jan-Patrick Schmitz.
On March 1st in Los Angeles at the Montblanc Rodeo Drive boutique, philanthropist, novelist and motivational speaker Katherine Schwarzenegger hosted the launch event. Friends and supporters of the organization came together for the shopping event, indulging in everything from fine writing instruments to watches, leather goods and fragrances all superior products that Montblanc has become famous for over the years.
Katherine, who has worked with Best Buddies since she was a child-shared her excitement for the partnership, “I am here tonight on behalf of my uncle who started the Best Buddies organization. As he is in New York also hosting events, I wanted to be a part of the effort and promote awareness here in Los Angeles. Montblanc is an amazing brand and the money that is raised for the 11 days during this promotion, will go to helping people with disabilities which I think is great. I am very happy that Montblanc has partnered with Best Buddies and am very grateful of their support."
Her last name should clue you in on who she is and why her influence is so massive. As the daughter of former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver; she has followed in their footsteps as a supreme talent and activist for human rights. Her Uncle Anthony Shriver, founded the Best Buddies organization in 1989 and has since then expanded its reach as a global organization. As early as she can remember Best Buddies has always been apart of her life from charity bike rides to working one on one with children suffering from mental illness.
“My family is very passionate about helping the community and I want to continue the work that they are doing. We have many organizations that we support but this partnership with Montblanc will increase awareness and hopefully assist in educating people on metal health issues." offers Katherine.
The college sophomore has a hectic schedule. Between classes at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications, Katherine tours the nation speaking about women’s rights and youth issues as well. She is also a businesswoman who does everything with the purpose of giving back. Her accessory line “Vida Bags” was created to benefit the research of Maternal Mortality an effort she started with "The White Ribbon Alliance” and “CARE”.
At 21 years-old, Katherine is also a published author. She penned “Rock What You've Got” just last year. It's a book dedicated to empowering and educating young women on body issues, a topic that she feels is very hush-hush in her industry.”I wanted to help young girls in Middle School and High School who are forced with negative images in the media. I felt it was great target age for those coming into womanhood to openly discuss body image and how to overcome their insecurities. We are all beautiful and hopefully by sharing my own personal stories, it will make an impact in a positive way.”Rock What You’ve Got” is a New York Times Best Seller and can be found on Amazon.Com.
Katherine has plans to continue spreading her message of hope and acceptance far and wide. She wants people to get out of their comfort zone so that they can truly deal with issues of the day. “In my experience most people are scared to face their fears. My advice is to get involved with organizations like Best Buddies. Log-on to www.bestbuddies.org and make a monetary donation or you can donate by giving your time. Partnering with someone who has a disability is also a great way to make an impact. Educating yourself is the key.” You can keep up with Katherine on twitter at www.twitter.com/KSchwarzenegger or support Vida bags at www.vidabags.org
The Montblanc and Best Buddies campaign will end on March 11th, with the final contributions from all participating stores presented at the Best Buddies Gala in Palm Beach, Florida on March 18th, 2011. In the meantime visit a Montblanc boutique in a city near you. Participating locations include King of Prussia, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, Tampa, Houston, Dallas, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. More details about these locations can be found at www.montblanc.com