(NEW YORK) – Jewelry Information Center (JIC), the consumer education arm of Jewelers of America (JA), has announced the winners of its Gems Among Us Contest, the nationwide essay contest that recognizes the individuals who make our world a better place. Carlene Sperry of Maine, a seven-year breast cancer survivor and advocate, has been chosen as the grand-prize “Gem Among Us” by America’s vote. Nearly 10,000 votes were cast for the 10 finalists during the voting period, which took place from November 1st through November 22, 2010, at www.JIC.org/gemcontest.
Carlene was nominated in an essay written by her husband, Mitchell Sperry. Republic Jewelry and Collectibles of Auburn, ME, is the Participating Retailer that referred Sperry to the Contest. The Sperrys and Dan Cunliffe II, owner of Republic Jewelry and Collectibles, have all won grand prizes.
The nationwide Contest promotion was a great success resulting in the submission of nearly 700 essays honoring loved ones who have battled illness, inspired those around them through their selfless actions, and/or have given of themselves fully without restraint.
As the grand-prize “Gem Among Us,” Carlene won a trip for two to the Aventura Spa Palace Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, courtesy of Cosmopolitan magazine. As the grand-prize essay writer, Mitchell won a $5,000 jewelry shopping spree at a Contest Participating Retailer of his choice, courtesy of GE Money. He has elected to go to his referring jeweler, Republic Jewelry and Collectibles, for his $5,000 jewelry shopping spree.
More than 130 JA Retail Members signed up to be Participating Retailers of the Contest – and all had the chance to win prizes for themselves and their sales associates. As the retailer who referred the grand-prize winners to the Contest, Dan Cunliffe II has won a trip for two to Las Vegas during the 2011 jewelry trade shows, courtesy of GE Money. The prize package includes: coach airfare for two, four nights of hotel accommodations and $500 for spending money. Cunliffe is also thrilled that his store, Republic Jewelry & Collectibles, is the recipient of the Sperry’s $5,000 shopping spree.
“In the winning essay, Carlene Sperry was defined as ‘rare, precious and beautiful.’ She, along with all of the Gems Among Us nominees, exemplifies the shining qualities that make her a true ‘Gem Among Us,’” explains Amanda Gizzi, Consumer Communications Director for Jewelers of America. “We are thankful for all of the Contest participants, especially our Participating Retailers for continually establishing the relationship between jewelry and life’s most special moments.”
The Gems Among Us Contest is part of JIC’s consumer marketing initiative developed to inspire enthusiasm among consumers for fine jewelry and direct them into the doors of JA-Member companies. It provided Participating Retailers with a platform to reach out to customers in the run-up to the Thanksgiving holiday. Sponsors of the Gems Among Us Contest include: American Gem Trade Association, Cosmopolitan magazine, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, GE Money, The Loving Heart Collection™ by Jean Schnaak., Onewed.com, Parlé and Stuller. To read the essays of the winners and other finalists or see complete Gems Among Us Contest rules, visit www.JIC.org/gemcontest.