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Volvo For Life Award Nominations Top 1500

More Than 1,500 Hero Nominations Representing 50 States Submitted To Date For The Volvo For Life Awards



Less than One Week Remains to Nominate a Hometown Hero at


$1 million to be provided to winners and charities; Top winner receives a Volvo car for life

IRVINE, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2003) - More than 1,500 nominations of local heroes, representing the 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have been submitted to date in the first-ever Volvo for Life Awards, one of the largest-ever searches and celebrations of everyday heroes.


Individuals have until Feb. 28, 2003 to nominate a local hero they know who is making an outstanding contribution to his or her community at


Developed by Volvo Cars of North America, the Volvo for Life Awards is a national public service program that seeks out and celebrates ordinary people doing extraordinary things - such as building a neighborhood center for needy kids, developing recycling programs for their schools or helping save the life of a perfect stranger. Volvo will make more than $1 million in financial contributions to heroes and charities as part of the initiative.


“We were expecting a few hundred nominations in the Volvo for Life Awards’ inaugural year,” said Vic Doolan, president and chief executive officer for Volvo Cars of North America. “Having 1,500 to date has far exceeded our expectations for this grassroots program, and we’ve been inspired by the amazing stories and the unsung heroes who have been nominated. Our nominees are as diverse as the country itself - representing all ages, races, lifestyles, income, and, as of just a few days ago, every state and district in the nation.”


In March, Volvo will select 50 semi-finalists. From the 50, Volvo will select 10 finalists, who each will receive $10,000. A distinguished panel of judges - Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Dr. Jane Goodall, Caroline Kennedy, Maya Lin, Paul Newman, Dr. Sally Ride, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver - will name three winners, who each will have a $50,000 donation made to the charities of their choice. The winners will be flown to New York on April 16 to be honored at the first-ever Volvo for Life Awards ceremony, to be held at Times Square Studios, Ltd. The top winner will receive a Volvo car for the rest of his or her life.


Examples of heroes nominated to date include:


Thelma Harrison, Norfolk, Va.: An 87-year-old woman who dedicated much of her life to the civil rights movement, Harrison now leads “Mama, I Want to Read!,” a local public service program that teaches reading skills to inner city pre-schoolers, helping them prepare for kindergarten.


Sandy O'Neill, Tualatin, Ore.: An 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, O’Neill saved the lives of her parents and their dog by screaming for help after they fell through thin ice on Thanksgiving Day 2002.


Francisco Jimenez, Santa Clara, Calif.: A child of migrant farmers, Jimenez is a professor of Modern Languages at Santa Clara University and an acclaimed author. At the global level, he creates awareness about the plight of migrant farmers through books and presentations. At the local level, he touches the hearts and souls of his students’ everyday by encouraging them to achieve their dreams, just as he has done.


Charity Bell, Brookline, Mass.: A full-time Harvard University student, Bell has provided emergency foster care to nearly 40 infants who are born addicted to drugs and have nowhere else to go. She takes the kids with her to class and to the library, and is currently studying to find ways to fix problems she considers inherent in the foster care system.

To read more hero nominations and to nominate a hero, visit


Eric Davis, Haberman & Associates, 612-338-3900

Sören Johansson, Volvo Cars of North America, 949-341-6719

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