May 30, 2011 SECAUCUS, NJ The night belonged to the professional groomers. Chuck Simons, inventor of the Groomers Helper® and newly named Public Relations Officer of GroomTeam USA, launched the inaugural Groomys. The Groomys awards professionals in the industry who have gone above and beyond and those who have made great contributions, so others may follow in their foot steps. The Groomys Gala event was produced in conjunction with Intergroom, with many thanks to Christine DiFillipo, Producer of Intergroom.
The Groomys was conceived by Chuck Simons several months prior to the event when he found out that the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards was moving to Las Vegas and would no longer be held at Intergroom. Chuck’s first response was, “Hey, that’s enough. First Miss America… now the Cardinals”. Chuck’s mind went into to overdrive and that was when he came up with the idea to keep the focus in New Jersey, at Intergroom, and that is how the Groomys was born.
The Groomys is presented by “GIVE A GIFT”, which stands for Grooming Industry Vendors Excellence Association and the philanthropic arm, which is the Grooming Industry Foundation Trust. The foundation of “GIVE A GIFT” is to increase the awareness of professional groomers to the general public, to champion the grooming industry and the professional groomers through awards and recognition and to support the efforts of GroomTeam USA. “GIVE A GIFT” will also do its best to assist groomers in a time of need, through financial assistance and industry support.
The Groomys Gala and Awards Ceremony were held at the Holiday Inn Meadowlands. The program included cocktails, dinner, live music and of course, the awards. The first ever Groomy Awards, the GroomTeam USA Pinnacle Awards, were presented to Irina “Pina” Pinkusevich, Veronica Frosch, Lindsey Berry, Greta Dalrymple and Komoko Tonaka for their clean sweep in Germany and bringing home all of the Gold Medals at the World Cup Grooming Competition in 2009. The next Groomy, the GroomTeam USA Spirit Award, went to an emotional Linda Claflin, past Executive Director of GroomTeam USA. The GroomTeam USA Spirit Award for a competitor was then presented to Kendra Otto for embodying the “Spirit” of GroomTeam USA.
The first Peggy Harris Humanitarian Award was presented to the late, Peggy Harris and was accepted by the “Queen of Color”, Miss Dawn Omboy. The second Peggy Harris Humanitarian Award went to, groomer to the stars, Jorge Bendersky, for his efforts in helping many pet charities. The Vendor Excellence Award went to Robert Thompson from Governor Insurance for over 25 years of dedicated support to the grooming industry. The first Life Time Achievement Award went to Shirley Kalstone, for being one of the Founders of GroomTeam USA and her lifetime of dedicated support to the grooming industry. She was unable to attend, so Christine DiFillipo accepted for her.
The final award was the second Life Time Achievement Award and that went to Jerry Schinberg. Jerry, a founder of GroomTeam USA and father of creative grooming, spent a few minutes reflecting on the beginnings of GroomTeam USA. He concluded his remarks with, “You are all champions”. Whether it was being recognized within their peer group or applauding the accomplishments of their peers, it was a great night for everyone. The Groomys demonstrated that we are all one family dedicated to grooming excellence.
“I was happy and proud of the industry when I called and asked them to support an event that was to benefit GroomTeam USA”, explained Chuck Simons. The companies that sponsored The Groomys were: Andis, WAHL, Governor Insurance, The Paragon School of Pet Grooming, Shark Fin, Groomers Helper, NEPGP, ISCC, Atlanta Pet Fair, SuperZoo, All American Grooming Show, Precision Sharp, EZ Groom, Show Season, South Bark Dog Wash and Electric Cleaner. “We could have never had this great event if it wasn’t for these fantastic sponsors”, noted Chuck Simons.
With a successful first event underneath his belt, Chuck Simons is already thinking about “The Groomys 2012”. A video tribute to The Groomys has been completed and is posted on the website (www.TheGroomys.com). Chuck has also setup a Groomys Facebook page and will use that to keep the grooming community updated. For more information about the Groomys or to support GIVE A GIFT, you can contact Chuck Simons at Chuck@TheGroomys.com.
GroomTeam USA will compete at the World Cup Grooming Championships during Groomania in Kortrijk, Belgium on September 17 & 18, 2011. Support GroomTeam USA with your generous contributions at www.GroomTeamUSA.com. Let’s bring back all the gold medals again in 2011. Go GroomTeam USA – You Are #1!