Public can choose from 10 finalists whose stories exemplify perseverance
ST. LOUIS, July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- There's no need for Americans to wait until November to cast their votes. They can vote online and vote now for a great American hero. Voters have until July 25 to elect a new member of the 2008 Energizer(R) Keep Going(R) Hall of Fame.
The Keep Going(R) Hall of Fame celebrates everyday people whose attributes and actions best exemplify qualities such as perseverance, determination and a never-quit spirit, just like the world-famous Energizer Bunny(R). Unlike the November election, voters have 10 candidates to choose from, not just two. And they can feel great picking any one of them.
The Keep Going Hall of Fame's celebrity inductee, Cal Ripken Jr., announced that a panel of judges had narrowed a field of 100 semifinalists to 10 finalists. The tenacious Ripken in 2007 became an official member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
One winner will be selected through online voting for the third annual Keep Going Hall of Fame. Voting began June 12 and continues through July 25. People can vote for their favorite candidate by visiting the Energizer website at http://www.energizer.com/halloffame.
The winner will be announced in August. He or she will receive $10,000 plus a $5,000 donation to the winner's favorite charity. The winner also will be formally honored at an induction ceremony Aug. 19 in St. Louis alongside Ripken.
"We were overwhelmed by the inspiring stories of everyday people who could truly compare themselves to the Energizer Bunny," said Betsy Laakko, Director of Marketing for Energizer. "The American public faces a no-lose proposition in whichever finalist is chosen for the Keep Going Hall of Fame. They're all winners."
The 2008 finalists are:
Ron Bachman, 50, Plymouth (Detroit), Mich. After both of his legs were amputated at age 4, Ron found a way to get around by walking on his hands. He has grown to become a speaker and motivator to children and adults by founding Walk This Way. The organization delivers self-esteem and motivational programs to schools so children can be inspired to overcome challenges and stay confident.
Ron Clark, 36, Atlanta, Ga. Sometimes called "America's Educator," Ron co-founded The Ron Clark Academy, an innovative, nonprofit middle school in southeast Atlanta. He uses unique teaching methods to empower and motivate his students, making his academy a case study for educators worldwide. Ron's colleagues say his energy, enthusiasm and vision have an impact not only on his students but the entire community.
Becky Esparza, 60, Stanton (Los Angeles), Calif. Becky has helped curb violence in her neighborhood. When Latino youths complained that the police were harassing them, Becky brought the groups together and started a dialogue. She has built violence-prevention programs that reach more than 45,000 youths and resolve more than 1,000 disputes a year. Becky is president of the board of the Orange County Human Relations Commission.
Sharon Grissett, 44, Madison (Huntsville), Ala. As a school crossing guard, Sharon not only makes sure kids cross the street safely, she offers rides to those who may be running late. After school, she sits with students on a neighbor's lawn and helps them with their homework. In her free time, Sharon visits elderly neighbors to help them with yard work, check their blood pressure and assist with their medication.
Virginia Kassay, 42, Summerfield (Greensboro), N.C. Virginia is determined to help her daughter Emily, who suffers from autism, by reaching out to her through their common love of art and color. By Virginia's painting on a canvas, Emily has learned to point and just comes alive. Virginia uses her painting to educate others on autism and the power of being positive.
Shaliza Kline Augaz, 35, Berwyn (Chicago), Ill. Shaliza's passion for music has transformed the lives of thousands of Latino youths, who give concerts through the Alegre Strings Program. Shaliza developed the program of teaching violin to young people by combining traditional instruction with Latin folk music. Participants, primarily from inner-city Latino neighborhoods, feel great pride as they perform music of their culture and tradition.
Lorraine Pace, 67, West Islip (Long Island) N.Y. Lorraine became a cancer education specialist and formed the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition to raise awareness of the disease. Lorraine is a founder of Breast Cancer HELP, which five years ago opened a center to increase cancer awareness and provide support free of charge. She is responsible for starting more than 25 coalitions in the U.S. and abroad. Lorraine visits local high schools and provides information about breast and testicular cancer.
Patrick Pedraja, 13, Palm Harbor (Tampa), Fla. Patrick has increased awareness of the need for bone marrow donors, especially among minorities. Last summer, he started a national marrow donor drive called Driving for Donors. To fund tissue typing needed to add people to the donor registry, Pat sold ad space on his bald head and raised more than $150,000. He visited 32 cities and added 6,500 donors in three months. Pat has been undergoing chemotherapy since he was diagnosed with leukemia at age 10.
Scott Rigsby, 39, Atlanta, Ga. After losing both legs because of an accident, Scott has gone on to set four world records in endurance sports. He was the first double amputee to finish an Ironman distance triathlon, with prosthetics, at the 140.6-mile world championship in Hawaii. He has formed the Scott Rigsby Foundation for wounded soldiers and challenged athletes.
Heather Wilder, 14, Las Vegas, Nev. Heather is an advocate for children in the foster-care system. Having spent half her life in the system, Heather is well aware of the issues facing foster children, such as moving to new homes and being separated from siblings. She has spoken before members of Congress, court-appointed special advocates and child-advocacy groups. She is the only child to be honored as an "Angel in Adoption," which required nomination from a member of Congress.
Last year's winner:
In 2007, voters selected Melanie Goldish of Chicago for the
Energizer(R) Keep Going(R) Hall of Fame. Melanie is the founder and
executive director of SuperSibs!, http://www.supersibs.org, a nonprofit
organization that supports brothers and sisters of children with cancer.
Her path to the Keep Going(R) Hall of Fame began when her 6-year-old son
was diagnosed with cancer. Through SuperSibs!, Melanie's goal is to help
kids redefine the "cancer sibling" experience by providing needed support
services and by helping to draw out the important lessons that may benefit
these children later in their own lives.
For more information and details, go to http://www.energizer.com/halloffame.
Energizer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ENR), http://www.energizer.com, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of primary batteries, battery-powered devices and flashlights. Energizer, a global leader in the dynamic business of providing portable power geared toward the new digital age, offers a full portfolio of products including the Energizer(R) MAX(R) premium alkaline brand; Energizer(R) e2(R) Lithium(R) and Energizer(R) e2(R) Titanium Technology(R) performance brands; Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Rechargeable batteries and chargers.
The Energizer product line also includes specialty batteries for hearing aids, health and fitness devices, as well as for keyless remote entry systems, watches and other uses. Through its flashlight and lighting products unit, Energizer helps bring consumer insight and innovation to these important household devices. Energizer continues its role as a technology leader as it launches Energizer(R) Energi To Go(R), portable battery-driven power packs for cell phones, portable games and audio devices.
|SOURCE Energizer Holdings, Inc.|
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