GETTING HUGGED: About 200 industry executives attended the 11th annual HUG Awards at the Waldorf-Astoria last month to honor designer Betsey Johnson and Isaac S. Gindi, executive vice president of Century 21 Department Stores, who accepted the award for the independent retailer.

Both were cited for their community service and contributions to charities. The HUG (Help Us Give) event is sponsored by the Intimate Apparel Square Club, an organization that raises funds for chronically ill children at The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Medical Center in Manhattan.

This story first appeared in the December 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“This really means a lot to me,” said Johnson, who did her signature cartwheel to the podium. “Being blessed with a wonderful daughter and two healthy grandchildren, I consider this award an opportunity to play a part.…Charitable giving is a personal decision, but this is an organization which deserves your careful consideration. I’m going to hang out with the kids at the hospital twice a month, make them smile, make them happy.”

Gindi said, “Day-in and day-out, the physicians at The Rusk Institute make a difference, giving hope and second chances to at-risk children. You and I may not be doctors; we’re just ordinary people. But together, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.”

The IASC has raised more than $6 million in the past decade.

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