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2003 Volvo For Life Awards Fact Sheet








In its inaugural year, the Volvo for Life Awards is the largest-ever national search and celebration of everyday heroes, with Volvo Cars of North America providing more than $1 million in awards and contributions.


Launched December 2002, the program called for individuals nationwide to nominate a hometown hero they know at Volvo received 2,036 nominations over three months representing all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.


The initiative culminates with the April 16, 2003, Volvo for Life Awards Ceremony, held in New York at Times Square Studios, Ltd.




The Volvo for Life Awards program was developed by Volvo Cars of North America to honor and celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their communities in the areas of safety, quality of life and the environment.




Nominations for the 2003 Volvo for Life Awards were accepted through Feb. 28, 2003. In March, Volvo selected 50 semi-finalists, who each received a Certificate of Merit honoring their accomplishments. From those 50, Volvo selected 10 finalists, who each received $10,000. From those 10, a distinguished panel of eight judges selected the program's three winners, who are being honored at the Volvo for Life Awards Ceremony. Each winner will have $50,000 donated to the charity of his or her choice. The top winner, to be unveiled at the ceremony, will receive a Volvo car for the rest of his or her life.




Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Dr. Jane Goodall, Caroline Kennedy, Maya Lin, Paul Newman, Dr. Sally Ride, Eunice Kennedy Shriver




The program's 10 finalists are:

  • Shelly Cofield, 31, Brooklyn, N.Y., founder of "The Mommy Place," which mentors and supports girls whose mothers have died.
  • Laurie Dooley, 49, East Amherst, N.Y., who after losing her best friend to breast cancer created a boat-racing team of 45 breast cancer survivors.
  • Thelma Harrison, 88, Norfolk, Va., an 88-year-old woman who co-created the "Mama I Want to Read" tutoring program for inner city pre-schoolers.
  • Sandy Irle, 43, Warrensberg, Mo., a homemaker who organized 800 volunteers to restore a city park built for African Americans during the segregation era.
  • David Mehnert, 37, Malibu, Calif., who has helped free a mentally handicapped boy trapped in a sightless world by providing piano lessons.
  • Alexandra Scott, seven, Wynnewood, Pa., a girl with cancer who has for three years sold lemonade to raise money for cancer research.
  • Pamela Stack, 48, Miami, Fla., a domestic abuse survivor who is Miami's leading advocate against family violence.
  • Tom Walz, 69, Iowa City, Iowa, who has helped create a collection of businesses owned and operated by people with disabilities.
  • Bao Xiong, 37, Wausau, Wis., a mother of six who volunteers her time to provide job placement and skills assistance to Hmong refugee women in Wausau.
  • Robert Young, 41, Bellevue, Wash., who has dedicated his life to helping impoverished Native Americans build adequate housing out of straw bales.




From the 10 finalists, the distinguished panel of judges selected the program's three winners:

  • Pamela Stack, 48, Miami, Fla.
  • Bao Xiong, 37, Wausau, Wis.
  • Robert Young, 41, Bellevue, Wash.




The first-ever Volvo for Life Awards Ceremony is being held April 16, 2003, from 7 to 11 p.m. ET, at Times Square Studios, Ltd., in New York City.

Hosted by Jim Belushi.

Music by the Wallflowers, Los Lobos and Heather Headley.

Presentations by program judges Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Dr. Jane Goodall, Maya Lin, Dr. Sally Ride, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.


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

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

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