In Memoriam: Lúcia Moreira Salles, Philanthropist, Nonprofit Leader and Fashion Icon

photo of Lúcia Moreira Salles and Peggy Dulany
Above: Lúcia Moreira Salles (left) and Peggy Dulany at a Global Philanthropists Circle event in South Africa
Below: Kids in daycare supported by Projecto Brasileirinho, an initiative of Riovoluntário, an organization Lúcia Moreira Salles led until her death
photo of Lúcia Moreira Salles and Peggy Dulany

Lúcia Moreira Salles of Brazil passed away on Saturday, January 24, 2009 in São Paulo after a courageous struggle with cancer.

Lúcia was a long-time supporter of Synergos and a member of Synergos Board of Directors from 2003 until her death.

She was president of Riovoluntário, a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Rio de Janeiro that recruits and trains volunteers and then places them with other NGOs. Founded in 1997, Riovoluntário also launched “Projecto Brasileirinho,” an initiative to improve the quality of daycare for children from newborns to four years old. Under Lúcia’s leadership, the organization gained national and global recognition as a symbol for voluntarism.

As a founding member of the Synergos’ Global Philanthropists Circle (GPC), Lúcia shared her experience with Riovoluntário and in promoting philanthropy with other philanthropists and leaders at events in Brazil, South Africa and the United States. In looking back at her work with Lúcia, Peggy Dulany, Synergos’ Chair, says, “I treasured our friendship, and I was profoundly grateful for her being such an stalwart and active member of our board and of the GPC.”

Before Lúcia Moreira Salles’ successes in the nonprofit world, she was a very successful fashion model, working with designers such as Valentino Garavani and Coco Chanel.

Synergos President Robert H. Dunn says that, “Lúcia will be missed for her wisdom, her guidance, and for the passion she held for helping children, particularly in Brazil.”