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Celebrities Join the American Red Cross in 2008 to Help Change Lives

Seventh Annual American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet Expands Membership to Raise Awareness and Funds for Red Cross Initiatives

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross unveils its seventh annual National Celebrity Cabinet with fifteen new members, Emmy Award winner Patricia Heaton, actress and "Dancing with the Stars" alum Jennie Garth, actor Masi Oka, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk, and NFL star Matt Leinart, who has already made a personal commitment to encourage CPR training nationwide. In addition, the 2008 National Celebrity Cabinet will include thirty-two alumni, such as Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning, Marcia Gay Harden, Miley Ray Cyrus, Julianne Moore, Elisabeth Rohm, Peyton Manning, and Rascal Flatts. The National Celebrity Cabinet is part of a mobilizing force to urge people to perform extraordinary life-saving acts in dire circumstances through the assistance of the Red Cross.

The 47 members of the 2008 National Celebrity Cabinet epitomize volunteer service to effect change, and throughout 2008, they will support the Red Cross and encourage others to change lives, starting with their own.

The 2008 National Celebrity Cabinet members are involved in one of the country's largest volunteer networks and promote awareness of Red Cross services by participating in public service advertisements, donating their time, money and blood, aiding in disaster relief, and lending a helping hand to those in need.

The Red Cross has benefited from the involvement of public figures and celebrities dating back to World War I. Over the years, actors and artists committing their time and talents to the organization have played an important role in raising public awareness of Red Cross services nationwide.

New Members of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet For 2008:

-- Penn Badgley is a lead character in the hit show "Gossip Girl," which has enjoyed a cult fan following since its fall debut. He recently appeared in the teen film "John Tucker Must Die," and stars in the upcoming thriller "The Stepfather," alongside TV greats Christopher Meloni and Sela Ward.

-- Greg Biffle is a two-time NASCAR champion. He won the Busch Series Rookie of the Year honor in 2001, and became the first driver to win both the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series Championships.

-- Robinson Cano is a player for the elite New York Yankees. He was among 30 finalists for the 2006 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.

-- Lisa Edelstein currently stars in the hit show "House M.D." and has appeared in numerous award-winning television series, including "Ally McBeal," "The West Wing," and "The Practice."

-- Jennie Garth rose to fame as Kelly Taylor on the immensely popular teen series "Beverly Hills, 90210." She later went on to star in the hit WB show "What I Like About You," alongside Amanda Bynes. She recently competed on the hit ABC reality series "Dancing with the Stars."

-- Tony Hawk is a world-famous professional skateboarder. He is a 16 time X Games medalist and has also helped to create the popular "Tony Hawk" video games, including "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" and "Tony Hawk's Underground."

-- Patricia Heaton is best known for her portrayal of Debra Barone on the hit sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," which earned multiple Emmy awards and enjoyed a nine season run. She currently stars as newscaster Kelly Carr on the Fox series "Back to You," with co-star Kelsey Grammer.

-- Matt Leinart is NFL star quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. In his college years, he led his team, the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans to numerous victories, and is the USC all-time leader in career touchdown passes and completion percentage. He is a Heisman Trophy winner, a Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl MVP, and was the tenth pick in the 2006 NFL draft.

-- Masi Oka currently stars as part of the ensemble "Heroes" cast. His portrayal of Hiro Nakamura has quickly catapulted the show to become one of the most critically acclaimed and watched series on network television. He is set to star in the film "Get Smart" featuring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway.

-- Ana Ortiz is currently enjoying success on the smash hit series "Ugly Betty." She will lend her voice to the animated feature "Noah's Ark: The New Beginning," alongside Michael Keaton and fellow Cabinet member Marcia Gay Harden.

-- Kal Penn has starred in over twenty films, and is a new cast member on the hit Fox series "House M.D." He recently had the starring role in the critically acclaimed film "The Namesake," based on the book of the same name. He can next be seen on the big screen in the follow-up to the hit teen flick "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle."

-- Sara Ramirez is best known for her portrayal as Dr. Callie Torres in the smash hit ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy." Her work on the show has earned her an ALMA nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Television Series, as well as a shared Screen Actors Guild win for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble. Sara won the Tony Award for her performance in Mike Nichols production of "Spamalot" on Broadway.

-- Judy Reyes currently portrays Nurse Carla Espinosa on the critically acclaimed NBC series "Scrubs." In 2006 she earned an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Series.

-- Brittany Snow has experienced success on both the big and small screens. She recently portrayed the snooty 'Amber von Tussle' in the Golden Globe-nominated musical "Hairspray." Additionally, she starred in the Emmy-winning NBC series "American Dreams." Brittany will next be seen this year starring in the re-imagination of the horror classic, "Prom Night," as well as Tony Kaye's next feature "Black Water Transit" alongside Laurence Fishburne and the independent film "Finding Amanda," opposite Matthew Broderick.

-- Iyanla Vansant is an inspirational speaker and five-time New York Times bestselling author. She currently serves as a life coach on the television series "Starting Over."

Returning Celebrity Cabinet members include: six-year veterans Heidi Klum, Marlee Matlin, Nancy O'Dell, Jane Seymour; five-year veterans Peyton Manning, Jimmie Johnson; four-year veterans Leeza Gibbons, Rascal Flatts; three-year veterans Sara Evans, Patti LaBelle, Julianne Moore, George Foreman; two-year veterans Jackie Chan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marcia Gay Harden, Elisabeth Rohm, Eli Manning, Jimmy Smits, Daddy Yankee, Chayanne, Aisha Tyler, Pierce Brosnan, Amy Grant; one-year veterans Miley Ray Cyrus, Kristen Bell, Pat Green, actor Dwayne Johnson, Dr. Phil McGraw, Raven Symone, Niki Taylor, Burney Lamar and Bradley Whitford.

Sherry Lansing, former chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Group, Paramount Pictures and former member of the Red Cross Board of Governors, has once again agreed to chair this year's National Celebrity Cabinet. "This is my sixth year serving as chair for the Celebrity Cabinet and it's an honor to be a part of such a meaningful cause with such talented people," said Lansing.

Please visit to learn more about the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disasters at home and abroad, collects and distributes nearly half of the nation's blood supply, teaches lifesaving skills, and supports military members and families. The American Red Cross, a charity and not a government agency, depends on voluntary contributions of time, money and blood to perform its humanitarian mission.

SOURCE American Red Cross
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