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Nominate your community heroes at


through Jan. 15, 2006; Charitable contributions total $1 million


(NEW YORK) Dec. 8, 2005 – Want to make a positive impact on your community, but don’t know where to begin? This holiday season, let these tips from everyday heroes and past nominees in the Volvo for life Awards, an annual search for and celebration of everyday heroes, inspire you do good in your neighborhood.

  • Use your skills to help those less fortunate, like Dr. Francis Kleeman of Biddeford, Maine, who established Maine’s first free medical clinic, the Biddeford Free Clinic, after he realized that many people without health insurance often develop chronic illness and die earlier than people with insurance.
  • Turn your hobby into community service, like Bill Maynard, a green thumb from Sacramento, Calif., who helps people in low-income areas garden as a way to beautify their urban landscape while supplementing their diets with its fresh produce.
  • Focus on your hometown’s future: the kids. Barbara Mason of Alexandria, Va., opened a preschool for the children living in the Cameron Valley Housing Project who were struggling to pass kindergarten. Since 1985, Mason’s program has served more than 3,000 of Alexandria’s poorest children, preparing them for success in school and in life.
  • Turn tragedy into opportunity, like Abdul Hafiz, 13, from Staten Island, N.Y. After he lost his younger brother to a fall from an open fire escape, the junior high student lobbied politicians to pass a new law requiring special safety gates for fire escapes.
  • When news breaks your heart, do something about it, like Brittany and Robbie Berquist, of Norwell, Mass., who were surprised to learn about the large number of soldiers abroad that are unable to speak with their loved ones. To combat the problem, the Berquist sisters created Cell Phone for Soldiers and now collect used cell phones, monetary donations and pre-paid telephone cards to help soldiers deployed in the Middle East call their family and friends.


Because of their remarkable volunteer efforts, these individuals were honored last year in the third annual Volvo for Life Awards, an initiative that calls for people to nominate a hometown hero they know who is doing the extraordinary in the categories of safety, quality of life or environment. Nominations for the fourth annual Volvo for life Awards are now underway. Individuals may nominate their local heroes at by Jan. 15, 2006.


In March 2006, Volvo will announce the names of 100 semi-finalists and honor their individual accomplishments with a Certificate of Merit. Three finalists in each nomination category will then be selected.


A panel of distinguished judges representing some of the world’s foremost experts on conscience, care and character – including Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Richard Branson, Caroline Kennedy, Maya Lin, Paul Newman, Sally Ride, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and last year’s top winner Hope Bevilhymer - will name one winner for each of the three categories. The category winners will each receive $50,000 to be donated to the charities of their choice. The remaining six finalists will each receive a $25,000 charitable donation.


In April 2006 Volvo will honor the three category winners at the Volvo for life Awards Ceremony in New York City. Each year the event features top music entertainment and a celebrity host, as well as documentaries profiling the category winners. The grand award winner, selected by the judges, will be named “America’s Greatest Hometown Hero” and presented with a Volvo car every three years for the rest of his or her life.


To learn more or to nominate a hero, visit A Spanish version of the site can also be accessed at this address.





Kim McMartin

Haberman & Associates



Sören Johansson

Volvo Cars of North America




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