April 21, 2003
Notes from Rita F. Catinella, Associate
From left to right: Eunice
Kennedy Shriver, judge; Robert Young, Volvo for Life Awards
Grand Winner; Bill Bradley, judge; Dr. Jane Goodall, judge;
Pam Stack, Volvo for Life Awards Top Three Hero; Robert
Hughes, Volvo for Life Awards Charter Hero; Hank Aaron,
judge; Hans Olov Olsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car
Corporation; Bao Xiong, Volvo for Life Awards Top Three
Hero; Harold Overmann, Volvo for Life Awards Charter Hero;
Maya Lin, judge; Joshua Marcus, Volvo for Life Awards
Musical guest The Wallflowers.
Photo by Randi Greenberg.
Times Square was filled with
the sounds and sights of the ceremony.
Photo by Randi Greenberg.
RECORD was in attendance
for the first-ever Volvo for Life Awards Ceremony, held April
16th in Times Square, New York City. The Swedish car company
threw an all-out event at Times Square Studios, including
three mini-concerts to honor three of the nation's top "hometown"
heroes, such as Robert Young, a man who has dedicated his
life to helping impoverished Native Americans build energy-efficient
housing out of straw bales. The event also honored a mother
of six who volunteers her time to provide job placement and
skills assistance to Hmong refugee women in Wausau, Wis.,
a domestic abuse survivor who is one of the nation's leading
advocates against family violence, a New Yorker who mentors
girls whose mothers have died, and a seven-year old with cancer
who has raised over $60,000 for cancer-related causes from
her lemonade stand.
Hosted by actor Jim Belushi, the awards presenters included
Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Dr. Jane Goodall, Maya Lin, and
Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Each of the three top winners of the
night received a $10,000 award plus a $50,000 donation to
the charity of their choice. The final award a new
Volvo every three years, for the rest of the winner's life
was also given to Young.
While coming down a staircase that was apparently off-limits
to media, RECORD's
own Randi Greenberg and I bumped into the second musical guest
of the night the band The Wallflowers (led by Bob Dylan's
strikingly handsome son Jakob). The other musical guests included
Tony award-winning artist Heather Headley, and Los Lobos.
According to Volvo for Life juror, architect, and artist
Maya Lin, "A hero is a person who, oftentimes against
adversity, is willing to give their wisdom, their strength
and their heart for the benefit of others." It was certainly
the sort of evening that left you inspired by the powerful
effect one person can have on society.