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Volvo Names Utah Woman America’s Greatest Hometown Hero

?Limbs of Hope? founder working to redistribute prosthetic limbs named top hero at 3rd annual Volvo for life Awards; Other heroes honored Awards presented by Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Dr. Sally Ride; $1 million provided in honor of heroes; Winner receives a Volvo car for life. NEW YORK CITY (March 25, 2005) – Hope Bevilhymer, a West Jordan, Utah amputee and founder of ?Limbs of Hope,? which redistributes prosthetic limbs to developing countries, has been named ?America?s Greatest Hometown Hero? at the third annual Volvo for life Awards ceremony. For her efforts, she receives a $50,000 contribution to the charity of her choice and a new Volvo every three years for life. Held in Times Square on March 24, the Volvo for life Awards ceremony capped off the largest-ever national search for and celebration of everyday heroes, providing $1 million in awards and financial contributions. The initiative, launched in June 2004, called on people nationwide to nominate a hometown hero they know at www.volvoforlifeawards.com in the categories of safety, quality of life and environment. Volvo received 4,272 nominations. In February 2005, Volvo selected 100 semi-finalists and narrowed the field to the top three finalists in the three categories. A panel of eight judges ? Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Caroline Kennedy, Maya Lin, Paul Newman, Dr. Sally Ride, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Earnestine Russell-Drumgold (2004 Volvo for life Awards winner) ? reviewed the finalists? nominations and selected a winner in each of the three categories. Judges selected Bevilhymer, 27, as the winner in the quality of life category and the overall grand winner. Born with bilateral clubfeet, Bevilhymer had undergone more than 29 unsuccessful surgeries by age 25 and was taking 100 Tylenol a week to manage her pain. Faced with the decision to either amputate one leg from the knee down or to undergo additional surgeries, she chose to amputate. Soon after her surgery, Bevilhymer received used prosthetics from people who thought she could use them. About the same time, she saw a documentary on African and Laotian refugees who were land-mine amputees unable to afford prosthetic limbs. Realizing the connection, Bevilhymer created the Limbs of Hope Foundation, which collects prosthetic limbs to share with people in developing countries. To date, Limbs of Hope has provided more than 55 prosthetic limbs to people in such countries as Cambodia, Mexico and Romania who otherwise would spend the rest of their lives missing limbs. ?We are very lucky to have met so many incredible individuals ? 4,272 nominees, to be exact ? who embody the values of conscience, care and character this program was intended to celebrate,? said Anne B?lec, president and chief executive officer for Volvo Cars of North America. ?Hope?s efforts to turn her experiences into opportunities for others are truly extraordinary. We appreciate the judges? mighty task of selecting our top winner, and we congratulate all of our nominees.? Hosted by Jim Belushi, the Volvo for Life Awards was attended by more than 400 media, entertainment and other executives at Times Square Studios, Ltd. in New York and featured music performances by The Black Crowes, Saraha Hotnights and Tina Dico. Five of the Volvo for Life Awards judges ? Aaron, Bradley, Ride, Shriver and Russell-Drumgold ? recognized Bevilhymer and other top hometown heroes, including the category winners for safety and environment, who also each received a $50,000 charitable contribution: Safety: Paula Lucas, 46, Portland, Ore. In 1999, Paula Lucas and her children fled to the United States from their home in the Middle East, where they had endured 12 years of horrible abuse by her husband. If her husband or his family had caught her, she would have been imprisoned and would have never seen her children again. After returning to the United States, Lucas had to fight to retain legal custody of her children, and learned that no programs existed to assist American citizens wishing to repatriate ? particularly women leaving abusive marriages overseas. Determined to help women in similar situations, Lucas created the American Domestic Violence Crisis Line (866-USWOMEN), a non-profit organization that serves the estimated 410,000 to 574,000 American women and children abused per year overseas. A lifeline to hundreds of women and their families, Lucas? hotline provided crises intervention for 150 families in 2004 alone. And, the organization provided airline tickets for four families to return to the United States, emergency housing for 10 families, and legal retainers for four additional families. Environment: Lisa Busch, 38, Sitka, Alaska In 1993, the Alaska Pulp Corp., Sitka, Alaska?s largest employer, shut down its pulp mill. Almost overnight, two thirds of the workforce lost their jobs, and 100 families in the 8,500-person community moved away. Political leaders blamed environmentalists for the mill failure. The town was bitterly divided, and the economic outlook was bleak. Inspired to help the community get back on its feet, Lisa Busch spearheaded the formation of Sitka Trail Works, an organization that provided retraining money for dozens of displaced timber workers to become trail crew workers. The program was designed to improve an existing trail system, provide jobs and new opportunities for unemployed residents, and increase tourism. But perhaps most importantly, it bridged a bitter rift that had formed between environmentalists and timber proponents. Today, Sitka Trail Works has more than 500 members and has built more than $2 million worth of trails. As president of Sitka Trail Works, Busch continues to work enthusiastically with local, state and federal agencies to promote trails as a healthy lifestyle choice for people of all ages. The six remaining finalists in the initiative also were on hand, and each received a donation of $25,000 to the charities of their choice. The remaining finalists were: Safety ?Monica Caison, a Wilmington, N.C., woman who embodies the spirit of TV?s ?Cold Case? by helping search for missing loved ones when others have given up hope. ?Abdul Hafiz, a Staten Island, N.Y., junior high student lobbying politicians to pass a new law requiring special safety gates for fire escapes. Quality of Life ?Jose Morales, Elmhurst, N.Y., who is helping more than 3,100 Spanish-speaking people in Queens, New York recover from substance abuse. ?Jack Orchard, a St. Louis, Mo., ALS patient who is inspiring students across the nation to help people living with Lou Gehrig?s disease. Environment ?Bill Maynard, a Sacramento, Calif., engineer growing gardens to beautify his community and feed low-income residents. ?Robina Suwol, a Van Nuys, Calif., mom advocating for policies to protect school children from harmful chemicals. For more information on the Volvo for life Awards and to view this year?s nominees? and finalists? stories, visit www.volvoforlifeawards.com.Source: Volvo Cars of North America

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