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LET THESE HEROES INSPIRE YOU IN 2006

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Volvo for life Awards heroes share stories of conscience, care and character

 

Everyday hero nominations accepted at www.volvoforlifeawards.com through Jan. 15, 2006; Volvo to provide $1 million in financial contributions

 

(NEW YORK) Dec. 20, 2005 –– The holiday season is a time to reflect on the year past and to look toward improvement in the year ahead. Hoping to make a positive impact on the world in 2006?

 

Each year, Volvo Cars of North America (VCNA) calls on people nationwide to nominate and share stories of heroes they know at www.volvoforlifeawards.com. Now in its fourth year, the Volvo for life Awards initiative is the nation’s largest search for and celebration of everyday heroes. Winning heroes will receive $1 million in financial contributions, including a Volvo car every three years for life awarded to the top winner, “America’s Greatest Hometown Hero.”

 

Here are several stories of Volvo for life Awards heroes nominated thus far in 2005 to inspire you in 2006:

  • Compassionate girl makes difficult times more manageable for others: Lauren Moynihan of West Hartford, Conn., created “Blankets with Heart.” She brightens kids’ days with heart-related diseases by sending handmade blankets, afghans and gifts to them before surgery or during their hospital stays.
  • Conservationist fighting for Alaskan wildlife: Britt Constantine of Juneau, Alaska plays a leading role in Alaskan conservation with her organization “Alaska Conservation Alliance.” She coordinates statewide strategic campaigns, such as “Defend Alaska Now”, to fight legislation putting the environment at risk.
  • High school student standing up to ease a crisis: Humza Kazmi from Silver Spring, Md., a student and suicide prevention activist who dedicates hundreds of hours to educating his peers about the epidemic and combating its devastating effects.
  • Texas man channels his career skills into a good cause: Donald O’Neal, a Farmersville, Texas man works to improve the cooking and heating conditions in Guatemala by removing hazardous open fires and providing people with stoves he designed during his career as an engineer.
  • Concerned residents facing a local problem head on: George and Robbie Hill of San Diego, Calif., opened an afterschool music and culture program for children negatively affected by gang violence, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, high unemployment and inadequate educational and recreational facilities.
  • Washington man takes vision global: Fred Medneck from Mercer Island, Wash., created an ever-expanding, mostly volunteer network of more than 5,000 teachers in 84 countries who help one another build innovative, responsive educational systems in the communities most in need. The organization, “Teachers Without Borders,” stemmed from Medneck’s idea that if teachers could unite globally, they could become an instrument for doing good better than many top-down international relief agencies.
  • Mississippi girl letting past hardships guide her in helping others: Brooke Miley of Sumrall, Miss underwent heart transplant surgery at 15 months old and received a cancer diagnosis at age 5. Miley has taken the lead in helping to create a nationwide organ donor patch for the Girl Scouts. She is also Mississippi’s American Heart Association spokesperson and works closely with the American Cancer Society.

 

If you know a local hero, nominations for the fourth annual Volvo for life Awards are open until Jan. 15, 2006 at www.volvoforlifeawards.com.

 

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 each will receive $50,000 to be donated to the charities of their choice. The remaining six finalists each will receive a $25,000 charitable donation.

 

On April 12, 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 www.volvoforlifeawards.com. A Spanish version of the site can also be accessed at this address.

 

# # #

 

Contact:

Kim McMartin

Haberman & Associates

612-372-6464

kim@modernstorytellers.com

 

Sören Johansson

Volvo Cars of North America

949-341-6719

sjohan44@volvocars.com

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