International businessman and philanthropist Henri Zimand lost his beloved wife of 25 years, Anda, to breast cancer in 2001. They loved each other and one of the ways they celebrated their romance was to travel to New York City every year for Valentine's Day and take a carriage ride through Central Park.
As a tribute to her, he has been offering free carriage rides through Central Park and for every carriage ride taken, donates $100 to breast cancer research and prevention.
"Every year, I would take my wife to New York on Valentine's Day for a carriage ride through Central Park," said Zimand. "I miss those romantic moments, and my wife, very much. I hope to not only help fight and prevent breast cancer, but also remind everyone that romance is very much alive. Despite all the terrible things happening in the world today, there is so much love and beauty; I want to help people celebrate their love for each other and remember the truly important things in life."
He also said, "My hope is to spread the message of how enduring love and support can get you through the hardest times. My wife Anda and I had one of the greatest love stories, being married for over 25 years and having three children."
Zimand also established an international Valentine's Day love letter contest. Fifteen winners are selected and each winner flown to New York with his or her spouse or significant other for a romantic Valentine's Day getaway.
One contestant from 2005, Cori Ivory, married for 11 years, said, "Love letters definitely have meaning in a relationship," Ivory added, even after more than a decade of marriage and children. "I always have to find time for these types of things. I mean, you always find enough time for work. You have to find time for each other as well."
This year was the second annual contest, which is announced in November, so keep your eyes open for this one! I'll make a post about this when it is announced again later this year. Visit www.loveanda.com for more information and to view the three grand prize love letters for this year.