The International SPA Association (ISPA) announced singer Jewel as recipient of the 2014 ISPA Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award. This award will be presented at the 24th annual ISPA Conference & Expo to be held at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. from Oct. 13-15, 2014.
“ISPA is thrilled to recognize Jewel for her philanthropy work,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “Jewel has such a passion for giving and music, we are excited to hear her inspirational stories and songs as our keynote speaker this year.”
The award is named in honor of the late spa pioneer, Alex Szekely. It is designed to recognize an individual who acts as a respected contributor to overall well-being, encouraging the renewal of mind, body and spirit - all of which are characteristics embodied by ISPA members worldwide.
“I feel an affinity for Jewel and her upbringing in the Alaskan wilderness, where she was the granddaughter of homesteaders and her parents lived far from town with no running water and no heat. I experienced a similar childhood in Tahiti,” said Deborah Szekely, mother of Alex Szekely. “I believe in resilience, for it gives you the strength to give back. Jewel is an enormous talent, and her songs and actions run deep with the compassion she has for others.”
Jewel was chosen by the ISPA Board of Directors based on her extensive work for her charity Project Clean Water, which raises funds and awareness for global access to clean water. Project Clean Water was inspired by Jewel’s personal experience with homelessness as a teenager.
Past Humanitarian Award recipients include Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS, journalist Lisa Ling and Dr. Maya Angelou.