Contact: Elise Demboski
Impressions Marketing
770-649-7699 /


DALTON, GA, June 17, 2008—The first Benefit Gala for the Joyful Heart Foundation—an organization founded by Emmy Award-winning actress and Karastan 2007 “Statement Maker” Mariska Hargitay—was held in New York on May 20. Joining Hargitay as co-host was two-time Academy award-winner, Hilary Swank, who greeted more than 350 celebrities, business leaders and philanthropists on red carpet donated by Karastan.

The Joyful Heart Foundation was established by Hargitay in 2004. The organization’s mission is to heal, empower and educate survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and to help shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. Hargitay’s interest in this cause stemmed from her role as detective Olivia Benson on the NBC series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where she became more conscious of just how difficult the healing process can be after a sexual attack. By working hand-in-hand with rape crisis centers, counselors and wellness practitioners, the Joyful Heart Foundation synthesizes all of the components of the healing process into their pioneering retreat and wellness programs.

“Karastan was proud to sponsor Mariska’s Benefit Gala and to support such a worthy cause,” says Connie Berry, director of marketing for Karastan. “We contributed red carpet for the entry and donated an 5 x 8 Plum Blossom rug for a library-themed auction package. The item was so popular that we agreed to donate another rug for a second package. Along with the rug, the package included a private party for four friends hosted by best selling crime novelist Linda Fairstein. The author is naming characters in her next novel after both winners, each of whom bid $16,000 for the literary package.”

Support of Mariska’s cause was evident by the many celebrities attending the event. Actors and actresses, such as Chris Meloni, Joely Fisher, Marcia Gay Harden, Stephanie March, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Elizabeth Reaser, Shawn Colvin and Jill Hennessey were just some of the attendees who helped raise more than $1.2 million dollars for the Joyful Heart Foundation.

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Actress Mariska Hargitay (center) shares the stage with David Duncan, vice president of residential marketing for Mohawk Industries, Inc. (left) and Connie Berry, director of marketing for Karastan (right).

Karastan is part of Mohawk Industries, a leading supplier of flooring for both residential and commercial applications. Mohawk offers a complete selection of broadloom carpet, ceramic tile, wood, stone, laminate, vinyl, rugs and other home products. These products are marketed under the premier brands in the industry, which, in addition to Karastan, include Mohawk, Ralph Lauren, Lees, Bigelow, Dal-Tile and American Olean. Mohawk’s unique merchandising and marketing assists customers in creating the consumer’s dream. Mohawk provides a premium level of service with its own trucking fleet and over 250 local distribution locations.

508 East Morris Street
Dalton, GA  30721
Press Contact: Elise Demboski
770-649-7699 /