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Furniture Industry Support Builds For Spirit of Life Cruise Around Manhattan in September

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Simon Kaplan of Value City to be honored aboard Cornucopia Yacht on September 10th by City of Hope

Following with the recent announcement that Simon Kaplan, President of Value City Furniture, will be honored at the first annual Spirit of Life Cruise around Manhattan on September 10, 2011, City of Hope's National Home Furnishings Industry's Northeast Event Committee reported that support from prominent industry leadership has exceeded expectations.
"We've had tremendous interest so far from many of the major players who plan to attend this event, Including the principals of Art Van and Broyhill," said Patrick Cory, Managing Partner at Cory Home Delivery Service and chairman of City of Hope’s Northeast region.  “And it's not only from retailers, manufacturers, reps and suppliers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. As soon as news of the event was announced, we heard from major retailers as far away as Boston, Michigan, even California, who plan to come to New York City to honor Simon, support a great cause and take advantage of not only the cruise, but also optional fun weekend activities we have planned."
The Saturday evening cruise will include fine dining, dancing, entertainment and an auction for 300 people. Guests aboard the Cornucopia Yacht will see views of lower Manhattan including the first completed sections of the new World Trade Centers, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Governor's Island, South Street Seaport, and the Brooklyn ridge. On hand for those who are interested, will be tour guides to answer questions and present a wealth of information on the stories behind the sights.  The cruise, which will closely coincide with the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2011, attack on the World Trade Center, will incorporate a memorial into its programming.
City of Hope has reserved a block of rooms at a local hotel and tickets for a Broadway show, for those who want to plan a weekend vacation in the Big Apple.
"We are grateful to the industry for bringing to life this exciting event in support of City of Hope. The proceeds from this event will ensure that City of Hope will continue its efforts to detect, treat, and cure cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases,” said Eddie Massood, president of Thomasville Home Furnishings of New Jersey and a chair of the NHFI's Northeast Event Committee. “We are continuing this industry’s 47-year tradition of support for City of Hope from the National Home Furnishings Industry, which has raised more than $40 million to date.”

The proceeds from this event with go to support City of Hope. Nearing its centennial, the institution has been a model for scientific discovery and compassionate care for those facing cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Among many breakthroughs, City of Hope’s research has led to new, more effective cancer drugs and synthetic insulin used by millions with diabetes.

If you would like to receive more information on attending the Spirit of Life Cruise around Manhattan, please contact Beth Ida Stern at City of Hope at 213.741.7192 (office), 626-560-9432 (cell), or bstern@coh.org.

About City of Hope: City of Hope is a leading research, treatment and education center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest honor bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope's research and treatment protocols advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, and is ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” in cancer and urology by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics. For more information, visit www.cityofhope.org or follow City of Hope on facebook, twitter, youtube or flickr.

About Simon Kaplan: A World War II veteran and recipient of numerous medals including the Purple Heart, Simon Kaplan has proved himself on the battlefield and in the business world. The core values of honor, loyalty, truthfulness, commitment, and dedication have defined his life and career.  Mr. Kaplan, chief executive officer of Crest Furniture, Inc., dba Value City Furniture, founded the retail furniture company in 1971. Under his leadership, what started as a single store has expanded to include seven retail locations and four Ashley Home Stores.  Throughout the years, Mr. Kaplan has executed a strategic plan committed to steady profitable growth. In addition to overseeing all aspects of the business, he serves as a mentor to his associates and fosters an environment of success.

Mr. Kaplan played an active role in the formation of the Furniture Marketing Group (FMG) serving as co-president and later president of this member-owned association. Under his leadership, the organization grew in membership and expanded to become one of the largest volume furniture-buying cooperatives in the nation.  Today, FMG has 79 members with more than 500 retail locations with a combined retail annual volume exceeding $2.5 billion. In 2000, Mr. Kaplan participated in a campaign through FMG to raise more than $80,000 to support High Point University.

In 1998, Mr. Kaplan was recognized by the Metropolitan Furnishings Association of New Jersey. In 2000, he was honored by FMG for his leadership. In 2005, Mr. Kaplan was named “Man of the Year” by the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association, and in 2002, he received the “Greatest Employer Award” from his own team of associates. Mr. Kaplan is active in the communities around his stores and supports numerous charities personally and through his company. His service in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 had a profound effect on his life, and he maintains an ongoing relationship with those with whom he fought during the war.  His constant focus is, and always has been, the well-being of his family, his business, his associates and all those around him.

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