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Moving moments at the NIVEA Award for Lifesavers 2019

“Life is a beach” in 17 Troplowitzstrasse, Hamburg, on November 27: Dune grass, beach bars and sea views decorated the foyer of the research center of Beiersdorf AG. Around 450 guests attended the large gala for the presentation of the NIVEA Award for Lifesavers 2019. And the motto of the event couldn’t fit better: “Dedicated. Courageous. Unique.” After all, the spotlight was on everyday heroes. Together with their long-term partner DLRG, the skin care brand recognized individuals and teams for saving people from drowning and for their volunteerism in Germany for the 31st time.

NIVEA Awards for lifesavers 2019

The prominent laudatory speakers were: Swimming legend Michael Groß bestowed the award, which is steeped in tradition, in the “Emergency assistance (DLRG member)” category. Laura Dekker was responsible for presenting the award for “Emergency assistance (non-DLRG member).” The 24-year old sailed around the world alone at the age of 16. And Edina Müller, the Paralympic champion and single-kayak world champion, honored the winner of the special prize “Seahorse supporters,” which is awarded to dedicated swimming instructors.

The DLRG regional group Worpswede took the stage first. They were recognized in the “DLRG organization” category for activities including lifesaving. “A few years ago, the team was close to being dissolved,” said Zhengrong Liu, the member of Beiersdorf AG’s Executive Board responsible for human resources, in his opening speech. “With energy and passion, the team has rediscovered itself in a notable way,” thus reviving the spirit of volunteerism at the gates of Bremen.

A small thank you for mother and child

Shortly thereafter, it was time for Sabine Schade to make her grand appearance. The 49-year old has been active in the DLRG as a swimming instructor for 37 years. Edina Müller stated: “Teaching children how to swim is important foundational work that thrives on the continuity and personality of the trainers. You have more than earned this recognition!” As a thank you, Sabine Schade brought a present: a swimming suit and towel for Edina’s baby, who was also allowed to draw in the beach atmosphere that evening.

NIVEA Awards for lifesavers 2019

Short breathing pause for the “Albatross”

Then the “Albatross” took the podium: Michael Groß told the dramatic story of the DLRG lifeguard Karsten Kirchgässler. “In a matter of seconds, he made the right decisions and saved the lives of two girls in a lake near Lüneburg.” Pause. “Now I had to take a moment,” he began again. Applause. The guests were moved by Kirchgässler’s save. He said of himself: “To be a lifeguard means everything to me.”

NIVEA Awards for lifesavers 2019

“It is a good feeling to have saved a life”

Mohammad Albahrawi and Oday Ebrahim seemed a bit timid in front of such a large audience. “We were a little excited,” they admitted later. The 15- and 16-year-old school students from Syria saved a woman from the Elbe river near Magdeburg in the summer. Before the eyes of their visibly proud fathers, Laura Dekker gave them the lifesaver prize. “Water can be a dangerous element,” she said. “These two have done a true heroic deed.” Do they see themselves as heroes? “No. But to know that we saved a life is a good feeling,” they said with a sympathetic modesty.

The NIVEA Award for Lifesavers 2019 was full of moving moments again this evening. All award winners, who had already joined in christening the rescue boat donated by the skin care brand on behalf of the DLRG with the name “NIVEA 144” that morning, received standing ovations. As moderator and member of the Supervisory Board, Manuela Rousseau closed the emotional event: “We are humble before your moral courage and your commitment.”

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About the editor: Martina Perez

Martina has been part of the Corporate Communications team for many years as a PR consultant and knows the media scene very well. And the journalists know Martina. She coordinates and answers media inquiries, supports filming projects, and she is our contact person for daily press reviews and continuous media monitoring. In addition, she is responsible for the conception and organization of selected press conferences, for example for the successful long-term cooperation project between NIVEA and DLRG.