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


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


IRVINE, Calif. (August 24, 2006) – Five extraordinary, everyday heroes from Wisconsin have been named semi-finalists in the 5th Annual Volvo for life Awards. Volvo is calling on the citizens of Wisconsin and people coast-to-coast to visit now through Feb. 4, 2007 to view the 250 semi-finalist stories – five per state – and vote for the individual they feel is “America’s Greatest Hometown Hero.” The overall grand winner will receive a $50,000 charitable contribution and a new Volvo every three years for the rest of his or her life.


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

  • Abu-Hassan Koroma, originally from Sierra Leone and now living in Madison founded the 21st Century African Youth Movement (AYM). This organization serves to empower and unify Africa’s citizens in the areas of education, health, and economic development by facilitating dialog, communication and action for positive change.
  • Ron Ziolecki, coordinates a collaboration of over 300 homes in West Allis that put up Christmas lights for the Candy Cane Lane project. As visitors drive or stroll through an army of volunteers collect donations to support research and effective treatment of childhood cancer through the MACC Fund.
  • Bao Xiong, came to Wausau as a refugee - as did most of the over 4,000 Hmong in the area. She has become an invaluable resource for the women of her community by providing childcare, mentoring and tax preparation.
  • Joseph Skelton, offers hope for overweight children through his “NEW Kids” (Nutrition, Exercise and Weight management) program in Milwaukee. The program offers nutritional, psychological and physical monitoring for children who are morbidly obese and suffer from secondary problems brought on by their excess weight.
  • Molly Quigley, started and leads an annual fundraising event for the Harbor House of Appleton, WI. The event, called “Every Girl’s a Princess” educates the community while improving the self-esteem of young girls. Molly has raised over $75,000 allowing the Harbor House to continue their intervention programs with children from abusive homes and improve their facilities.


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 28-Sept. 3 the five Wisconsin heroes’ stories will be featured on the front page of the Web site, joining five heroes from New Mexico. 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 life 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 Grand Award winner of a Volvo vehicle every three years for the rest of his or her life.


“Over the past five years the Volvo for life Awards initiative 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,



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

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