Press Releases

Bill Bradley, Hank Aaron, Caroline Kennedy and Others to Select “America’s Greatest Hometown Hero”





Eight celebrities will judge fourth annual Volvo for life Awards, nation’s largest search for hometown heroes


Hero nominations accepted at through Jan. 31, 2006


(NEW YORK) Jan. 16, 2006 – Do you know an individual in your community doing the extraordinary? If so, celebrities such as Senator Bill Bradley, Hank Aaron and Caroline Kennedy could select your hero as “America’s Greatest Hometown Hero” in the Volvo for life Awards, the nation’s largest search for and celebration of hometown heroes. Nominate your hero at through Jan. 31, 2006.


Additional Volvo for life Awards judges include Sir Richard Branson, Paul Newman, Maya Lin, Dr. Sally Ride, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Hope Bevilhymer, last year’s grand Volvo for life Awards winner.


Led by Volvo Cars of North America, the fourth annual initiative celebrates and rewards local heroes with $1 million in financial contributions. One hometown hero will win a Volvo car for life. Volvo calls for people to nominate a hometown hero they know who is doing the extraordinary in safety, quality of life or environment at


“Volvo’s most sincere gratitude goes out to the Volvo for life Awards judges, who time and time again come together to select the year’s greatest hometown heroes,” said Anne Bélec, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of North America. “They are an inspiring group of individuals making an incredible impact on the world.”


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.


The panel of distinguished judges representing some of the world’s foremost experts on conscience, care and character 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 at the Rainbow Room. 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.


Volvo for life Awards Judges

  • Hank Aaron, who as one of the first African-Americans admitted into Major League Baseball hit an all-time leading 755 home runs; Aaron founded “Chasing the Dream Foundation,” which provides cash awards to help children pursue their talents.
  • Senator Bill Bradley, former senator, Rhodes scholar and former star athlete; before serving 20 years as a New Jersey senator, Bradley led the New York Knicks to two NBA championships and took the 1964 Olympic basketball team to a gold medal.
  • Sir Richard Branson, a billionaire entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of The Virgin Group, which includes companies such as Virgin Records, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Unite.
  • Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, and a successful lawyer, author and constitutional scholar; Kennedy also serves as chief fund raiser for the New York City schools.
  • Maya Lin, a contemporary Chinese-American artist and architect who has created numerous sculptures, environmental artworks, architectural projects and memorials, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • Paul Newman, the quintessential actor and star of such celebrated films as “Cool Hand Luke” and “Road to Perdition;” Newman has donated $125 million in after-tax profits from his “Newman’s Own” line of sauces and dressings to thousands of charities.
  • Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space and a pioneer in the field of astrophysics; among Ride’s heartfelt crusades: encouraging women to study science and math.
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver, an activist for individuals with mental retardation and creator of the Special Olympics; Shriver also established the Community of Caring program, designed to prevent teen pregnancy.
  • Hope Bevilhymer, third annual Volvo for life Awards grand winner and a West Jordan, Utah amputee who collects and donates prosthetic limbs to amputees in countries where citizens are injured by landmines and cannot afford prosthetic limbs.


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Kim McMartin,

Haberman & Associates,



Sören Johansson,

Volvo Cars of North America,



For photos and more information on the Volvo for life Awards:

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