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National vote underway for all-time greatest heroes - 5 per state - in 5th Anniversary Volvo for life Awards


Vote for top hero at; $1 million in financial contributions provided; winner receives Volvo car for life


IRVINE, Calif. (August 9, 2006) – Five extraordinary everyday heroes from Alabama have been selected among 250 semi-finalists – five per state – nationwide in the 5th annual Volvo for life Awards. Volvo is calling on Alabama and people coast-to-coast to visit to vote for who they feel is “America’s Greatest Hometown Hero,” who will receive a $50,000 charitable contribution and a new Volvo every three years for the rest of his or her life.


Who in Alabama would you give a Volvo to? Representing Alabama in this year’s Volvo for life Awards are:

  • David Baker, who has founded and leads Community Against Pollution in Anniston;
  • Gene Fair of Weaver and who as a Parkinson’s Disease patient has raised millions in the fight against Parkinson’s;
  • Lucy Bowles, a Milport florist who volunteers as an area first responder;
  • John Tyson, a District Attorney in Mobile who launched “Secret Safe Place for Newborns” for mothers wanting to offer their child for adoption; and,
  • Ralph Patton, a Birmingham-based school athletic director who has overcome incredible odds while heading-up a variety of community programs for at-risk youth.


Now through Feb. 4, individuals will be able to view these and other hero stories and vote for their top heroes at For one week only, August 14 – 20, the five Alabama heroes’ stories will be featured on the front page of the Web site, joining five heroes from Michigan. Each week during the voting period, heroes from two states will be featured heroes on the front of the Web site, though individuals can view and vote on their state or any other state’s hero stories within the site at any time.


Once the public vote concludes, the top three vote getters in the categories of safety, quality of live and environment will be named finalists. Then, a panel of distinguished judges – including Hank Aaron, Sen. Bill Bradley, Caroline Kennedy, Maya Lin, Paul Newman, Dr. Sally Ride, Val Kilmer, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and previous Volvo for life Awards top winners – will select winners in each category. Winners receive a $50,000 charitable contribution from Volvo; remaining finalists receive a $25,000 contribution.


On April 4, 2007, Volvo will fly the winning heroes to New York, where Volvo and members of the celebrity-judging panel will honor them at the 5th Annual Volvo for life Awards Ceremony. At the climax of the ceremony, Volvo will reveal which of the three top heroes is also the winner of the Grand Award of a Volvo for life – a lease on a new Volvo every three years for the rest of his or her life.


“Over the past five years the Volvo for life Awards has received more than 15,000 hero nominations,” said Anne Bélec, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of North America. “All of these heroes demonstrate incredible conscience, care and character. We felt the proper way to mark the fifth year of the Volvo for life Awards would be to highlight the top five heroes from every state in America. Having the public help us select the winning heroes is a truly exciting – and democratic – addition to this year’s program. We look forward to discovering just who ‘America’s greatest hometown hero’ will be.”


To learn more, or to vote for your favorite hero, visit A Spanish version of the site can also be accessed at this address.


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Peggy Bell,

Haberman & Associates,



Sören Johansson,

Volvo Cars of North America,



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