New York -
celebrated this week its ninth annual charity gala, which was recently renamed Samsung Hope for Children, bringing out a group of top celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Matthew McConaughey in addition to some usual favorites.
The enhanced philanthropic initiative, which replaces the Four Seasons of Hope program, is said to increase the company's cause-related marketing focus to have greater impact on the two areas most affecting children: health and education.
Beginning in 2002, Samsung started working with several elite athletes, including sport legends Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Arnold Palmer, Eli Manning and NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson, in addition to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and many of Samsung's business and retail partners, to raise more than $25 million for more than 300 schools, community-based foundations and charities throughout the U.S.
Samsung said it decided to step up its charitable efforts after seeing recent studies showing that one in five children in the United States suffer from a chronic illness, ranging from asthma to cancer and developmental disabilities, and that 25 percent of secondary school kids cannot read or understand the material in their textbooks.
"These statistics prove that there are a large amount of today's children who are going to be less productive than they could be as adults and Samsung believes it can continue to help make a difference," the company said in a statement.
This year, Samsung said it introduced the Dedicated to Wonder marketing campaign for all of its consumer electronics products aiming to provide the wonder of Samsung products to its customers.
The company said it will use a similar strategy to take the existing charitable initiatives to the next level and Share the Wonder with those who need it most.
The Samsung Hope for Children program will "strategically focus its efforts on programs dedicated to helping children live, learn, and thrive. This emphasizes Samsung's long-standing commitment of raising national awareness and funds for deserving foundations, hospitals and schools that make a noticeable difference in communities," Samsung said.
In that spirit, the company also unveiled a new visual brand identity and website:
"Samsung has been at the forefront of actively addressing social issues in our communities by improving technology in classrooms to partnering with sports, entertainment, and political notables for over nine years," said C.S. Choi, Samsung Electronics America president and CEO. "Samsung Hope for Children will be a natural extension of our corporate philanthropic initiatives by making an investment in the future of one of our country's most important assets - our children."
The event was hosted by Regis Philbin and featured American actress, singer, record producer and fashion designer Jennifer Lopez, and her husband, five-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Marc Anthony.
Other celebrities included Matthew McConaughey, who promoted the j.k. livin foundation - which becomes part of Samsung's education platform and is dedicated to helping teenagers lead active lives and make healthy choices.