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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. (December 5, 2006) –– Here’s a gift idea that won’t cost you a penny. Five extraordinary Kentucky heroes have been named as semi-finalists in the 5th Anniversary Volvo for life Awards – Volvo’s annual search for hometown heroes across America. And they need your vote.


This year, in honor of the Awards’ 5th anniversary, Volvo selected the top five heroes from every state in America and is asking the American public to visit to vote for their favorites now through February 4, 2007. A grand prizewinner will receive $50,000 and a Volvo for life.


So, who in Kentucky would you give a Volvo to? Representing Kentucky in this year’s Volvo for life Awards are:

  • Sharon Cecil, a breast cancer survivor and registered nurse from Louisville, co-founded non-profit organization WE SURVIVE, Inc. The organization helps middle and high school students develop self-confidence and experience the joy of engaging in the arts through programs covering issues such as healthy lifestyle choices, creative expression and environmental stewardship. Cecil’s initiatives also help underserved communities throughout Kentucky, including those in homeless shelters and group homes.
  • With just one part-time paid staff person and thirty Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers, Judy Cederholm of Bardstown, helps thousands of low-income senior adults get the medications they need. Since May 2005, Cederholm and her volunteer staff have educated more than 4,000 Medicare beneficiaries and enrolled more than 1,500 in a Medicare-approved prescription program.
  • Jay Davidson, a military veteran from Louisville, helped found The Healing Place, a recovery and homeless shelter program dedicated to helping men and women lead clean and sober lives. Davidson has devoted the past 15 years to generating greater awareness and support for homelessness intervention and substance abuse treatment. And his efforts have paid off. Now a nationally recognized and award winning recovery program, The Healing Place helps people with programs in North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois and Russia.
  • Jody Greenlee, a nurse from Lexington, left her job and set up office in her basement to work for Children of the Americas’ (COTA), a small non-profit organization that provides medical and surgical services to indigent children and their families. Greenlee has organized six COTA medical trips to Guatemala in the last six years, increasing both the number of COTA volunteers and the scope of care from plastic surgery on cleft lips and pallets, to general surgery, OBGYN, orthodontics and prosthetics.
  • Tracy Kennedy Eldridge from Cumberland started on her path to helping others at a very young age. In Kindergarten, she emptied her piggy bank for the “Empty Stocking Fund” to help buy Christmas gifts for less-fortunate kids. As a Brownie Girl Scout, she donated her clothes and toys to a fellow Brownie whose house burnt to the ground. Then, when her aunt gave her a sewing machine, Kennedy Eldridge made "wheelchair caddies" to help local nursing home residents have easy access to necessities such as combs, tissues, pens and paper. Most recently, Kennedy Eldridge has been raising money for “Coats for Kids,” to buy coats, gloves and hats for local children in need.


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.


Volvo and members of the celebrity-judging panel will honor the winning heroes on April 5, 2007 at the 42nd St. Cipriani during the 5th Annual Volvo for life Awards Ceremony. There, 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. Having the public help us select the winning heroes is a truly exciting – and democratic – addition to this year’s program.”


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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Erin Fifield

Haberman & Associates



Sören Johansson

Volvo Cars of North America



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

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