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America Selects Earlham Resident Marilyn Adams as One of the Nation's Top Hometown Heroes

Farm Safety 4 Just Kids Founder, Adams, Reaches Finals of 6th Annual Volvo

for life Awards for Educating Thousands of Kids in Farm Safety Celebrity Judges Will Select and Unveil Top Four Winners March 19 at Volvo for life Awards Ceremony in New York; One Hero Will Receive a Volvo Car for


IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- For the past nine weeks hundreds of thousands of members of the American public have been casting their votes online to decide the country's favorite hometown heroes in the 6th Annual Volvo for life Awards ( The polls are officially closed and Earlham, Iowa's Marilyn Adams is among nine finalists for this prestigious award.

The final decision now rests in the hands of a distinguished panel of celebrity judges who are experts on care, conscience and character -- Hank Aaron, Sen. Bill Bradley, Maya Lin, Dr. Sally Ride, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Mae Jemison and Edsel Ford. The judges will now review Adams and eight other finalists' nominations to select the program's top three winners in the categories of Safety, Quality of Life and Environment and the Volvo for life Awards grand award winner.

Adams, who founded Farm Safety 4 Just Kids after her son was tragically killed in a farm-related accident, is one of three finalists being honored in the Volvo for life Awards safety category. Adams is guaranteed to receive $25,000 in charitable contributions from Volvo and if she's named the winner in her category, her award will be $100,000. If named grand award winner, she will receive the added bonus of a Volvo car for life.

If Adams is selected as a category winner, Volvo will fly her and her fellow winners to New York to be honored at the world famous 42nd St. Cipriani's during the Volvo for life Awards ceremony on March 19, 2008. The program's grand award winner will also be announced that evening.

"I'm very honored to be a finalist," Adams said. "The support Farm Safety 4 Just Kids received sends a strong message to the public recognizing agricultural safety as an important topic. With the donation, we plan to establish an endowment fund to secure the future of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids. The award will also further our cause to educate the rural community on the various hazards present on farms and ranches."

More About Marilyn Adams

Twenty years ago, Adams, now 57, faced every mother's greatest fear. Her eleven-year-old son, Keith, suffocated in a gravity flow wagon while helping with the first full day of harvest on the family's farm in Iowa. Determined to find a constructive outlet for her grief, she was inspired to create a nonprofit organization working to educate children about farm safety and health. Today, thousands of volunteers across the United States and Canada work to keep rural kids safe and healthy.

In 1987, Adams founded Farm Safety 4 Just Kids and set out on a mission to promote safe farm environments and eliminate farm-related child health hazards, injuries and fatalities. A report by the National Safety Council found that children between the ages of five and 14 were 66 percent more likely to be injured in a farm accident than adults aged 45 to 64.

Farm Safety 4 Just Kids' contribution to the farm safety movement has helped to reduce the number of agriculture-related fatalities among children in the United States. Farm families now have additional programs and educational materials highlighting the dangers that children can encounter on farms, and information about how to avoid them. Farm Safety 4 Just Kids now has 137 chapters throughout North America. Through her visits to rural schools, media appearances, testimony before government agencies and in Congress, Adams has spread her farm safety message across the country.

About the Volvo for Life Awards

Since 2002, Volvo Cars of North America has identified more than 18,000 everyday heroes in its annual Volvo for life Awards ( and has contributed millions of dollars to their causes. Three individuals are recognized annually in the award program's Safety, Quality of Life, Environment categories. Each winner in these categories receives a $100,000 contribution to the charity of his or her choice. The program's grand winner receives an added bonus of a Volvo car for life. The remaining six Safety, Quality of Life and Environment finalists receive donations of $25,000 to the charities of their choice. Additionally, the Butterfly Award is given to an exceptional child hero. Children who are no older than 16 as of October 15, 2007 are eligible to receive this award, which includes a $25,000 donation to a charity selected by the winning child hero and his or her family. The remaining Butterfly finalists each receive a $10,000 contribution. The award is in honor of Alexandra Scott, a Volvo for life Awards winner from Wynnewood, Pa. who, before passing away at age eight from cancer, raised more than $1 million for pediatric cancer research through lemonade sales and other fundraising activities. Alex's parents select the winner from three finalists.

The other finalists in the 6th Annual Volvo for life Awards are:


-- Ronald Dundon, 58 of Kalamazoo, Mich., founded the AED (Automatic

External Defibrillator) Fund of Kalamazoo County to help increase the

chances of survival for future sudden cardiac arrest victims in

underserved communities.

-- Through his program "Driver's Edge," Las Vegas-native Jeff Payne, 40,

teaches thousands of youth how to avoid vehicle accidents and drive


Quality of Life:

-- John Dau, 35 of Syracuse, N.Y., has raised $700,000 to improve

healthcare and literacy in southern Sudan.

-- Matthew Sanford, 42 of Orono, Minn., founded Mind Body Solutions, a

nonprofit organization dedicated to revolutionizing the rehabilitation


-- Darius Weems, 18 of Athens, Ga., works to raise money and awareness for

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) research through "Darius Goes West,"

a documentary that chronicles his courageous journey across America.


-- Lorraine Kerwood, 47 of Eugene, Ore., created an electronics recycling

and distribution center, NextStep, which brings refurbished computers

to disadvantaged communities.

-- Zander Srodes, 17 of Cape Haze, Fla., has educated more than 5,000

students about sea turtle conservation through a series of educational

presentations called "Turtle Talks" which he developed along with a

children's activity book on the subject.

-- Charles Turner, 48 of Sedley, Va., founded the Blackwater-Nottoway

Riverkeeper Program, which mobilizes individuals to patrol rivers

looking for signs of pollution and educate others about the importance

of clean, wild waterways.

Butterfly Award:

-- Zach Bonner, 10 of Valrico, Fla., founded the Little Red Wagon

Foundation, Inc., an organization that collects and donates backpacks

filled with food and school items to disadvantaged children nationwide.

-- Rocco Fiorentino, 11 of Voorhees, N.J., has been blind since birth and

works with the Little Rock Foundation, a nonprofit organization

established by his family to provide resources for children, parents,

therapists, and educators who are facing issues related to blindness.

-- Dallas Jessup, 16 of Vancouver, Wash., wrote and produced "Just Yell

Fire," a film for women of all ages illustrating simple self-defense

strategies to defend against an attack, kidnapping or sexual assault.

SOURCE Volvo Cars of North America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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