Minnesota Heroes Inspiring Heroes: Minnesota Volvo for Life Awards' Nominees Provide Tips for Volunteering

Everyday Hero Nominations Accepted at www.mn-volvoforlifeawards.com

Dec 08, 2003, 00:00 ET from Volvo Cars of North America

    MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Does the holiday season
 motivate you to volunteer in your community? If so, here are tips to get you
 started, inspired by hometown heroes statewide who have been nominated for the
 Minnesota Volvo for Life Awards ( www.mn-volvoforlifeawards.com ), the state's
 largest search for and celebration of everyday heroes:
     -- Consider helping those who once helped you, like Carol Voss of Hibbing,
        who in 1984 as a client of the Hibbing Food Shelf vowed to one day run
        the food shelf. Today, she is the organization's volunteer director,
        feeding 300 area families each week.
     -- Pay it forward: become an inspiration to others, like Bob Fischer of
        Wayzata, who for the past eight holiday seasons has slept outdoors in a
        tent each night to raise money for area homeless. He's raised millions
        of dollars, helping thousand of families and motivating school-age
        children, CEOs and professional athletes to brave the elements with
     -- Turn life experiences into tools for others, like Sona Mehring of
        Eagan, who in 1997 created a Web site to provide updates to friends and
        family worldwide on a close friend and her newborn baby's
        life-threatening medical conditions. Realizing the site's impact, Sona
        created CaringBridge, which has provided free templates and site
        hosting for 11,000 families seeking to update others on a loved one's
        medical situation.
     -- Tap your passion to channel your volunteerism, like Vern Waldner of
        Coon Rapids, a retiree seeking a safer Anoka County. A volunteer
        policeman, he donates 1,000 hours annually hosting safety camps for
        bicyclists, snowmobilers and boaters; teaching snow survival, search
        and rescue classes; hosting car seat clinics; and managing a program to
        fingerprint county children as a safety precaution.
     -- Make your hobby your philanthropy, like Jodi Townsend of Lakeville, who
        loves horses and manages a therapeutic horse-riding farm for kids with
        special needs. In addition to her work at Majestic Hills Ranch, Jodi
        and her husband are also involved in "hoofed animal" rescue; several of
        these unwanted animals have been trained to work with the children at
        the camp.
     If you know a Minnesota hero, nominations for the Minnesota Volvo for Life
 Awards are open until Jan. 16, 2004 at www.mn-volvoforlifeawards.com .
     Led by the Borton Volvo in Golden Valley and Minneapolis and Kline Volvo
 in Maplewood, the statewide public service program will celebrate and reward
 Minnesota heroes with up to $50,000 in financial contributions to Minnesota
     During the nomination period, Volvo will profile select nominees on the
 www.mn-volvoforlifeawards.com Web site and in the media. Volvo is conducting
 the program in an effort to inspire Minnesotans to make outstanding
 contributions in their communities.
     The Minnesota Volvo for Life Awards seeks ordinary people who are doing
 extraordinary things -- such as building a neighborhood center for needy kids,
 developing recycling programs for their schools, or helping save the life of a
 perfect stranger.
     In February, celebrity judges based in Minnesota will select the top
 winners, who will be honored at an event in March. The top winner will receive
 up to $25,000 and the distinction of "Minnesota's Greatest Hometown Hero."
 The second and third top winners will receive up to $15,000 and $10,000,
 respectively. Award money will be donated to the heroes' Minnesota charities
 of choice. Minnesotans can help contribute money to the Minnesota Volvo for
 Life Awards fund by test-driving Volvos at Borton and Kline dealerships.  For
 every test drive, the dealerships will donate $10 to the fund; Volvo expects
 to raise $50,000 from the test drives.

SOURCE Volvo Cars of North America