Second Annual "Hope Awards" Honor Extraordinary Worldwide Child Protection Efforts
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Individuals Recognized For Wide Range Of Personal and Professional Contributions to Reduce Victimization of Children
Nine individuals who have contributed significantly to the well-being of children and reduced worldwide victimization of children will have those efforts applauded tonight when they receive the annual "Hope Awards." Presented by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), the international awards highlight the wide variety of individuals, businesses, and organizations working together to make the world safer for children.
"The National Center, along with all those who fight for the cause of missing and exploited children, are truly fortunate to have the unyielding support of a variety of individuals and businesses from around the world," said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of NCMEC. "The presentation of tonight's Hope Awards recognizes the commendable efforts of some of those contributors, but only scratches the surface of those deserving praise for their help to return abducted children to their families and reduce crimes against kids."
The Award Winners
Chairman Michael K. Powell, Federal Communications Commission; Edward O. Fritts, President, National Association of Broadcasters; and Carl C. Smith, President and CEO, Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, will receive the Charles B. Wang International Children's Hope Award in recognition of their dedication and support for the AMBER Plan - America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. These leaders in the broadcast industry have worked diligently to secure the integrity of the AMBER Plan across the country on federal, state, and local levels. Mr. Wang, Chairman Emeritus of Computer Associates, and special guest Tamara Brooks will present the award. Brooks and Jacqueline Marris were abducted in August 2002 and rescued safely because of an AMBER Alert.
J. Paul Grayson, Chairman, J. Paul Grayson Foundation, will accept the Technology for Children Award for his many years of dedication and service as CEO Advisor for NCMEC. Grayson's involvement with NCMEC began in 1991 while he was Chairman and CEO of Micrografx, Inc. While at Micrografx, Grayson led the annual Chili for Children Cook-Off, the information technology industry's largest and most successful charity event. To date, the event has raised more than $3.5 million for NCMEC. Grayson has received many of NCMEC's highest honors, including "Corporate Supporter of the Year" and the Adam Walsh Rainbow Award, an award recognizing individuals who have demonstrated dedication to protecting and nurturing the children in America and around the world.
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will be awarded the Congressional Leadership Award for their long-time legislative commitment to NCMEC. Hatch and Leahy this year co-sponsored the PROTECT Act, which created a national AMBER Alert system, brought new focus to the problem of sex offenses against children, attacked child pornography, and much more. They also co-sponsored the Protecting Our Children Comes First Act, which authorizes the U.S. Secret Service to provide forensic and investigative assistance in support of any investigation involving missing or exploited children, in addition to coordinating the operation of a Cybertipline to provide on-line users an effective means of reporting Internet-related child sexual exploitation in he areas of distribution of child pornography, on-line enticement of children for sexual acts, and child prostitution.
Baron Daniel Cardon de Lichtbuer, Chairman, Child Focus, Belgium, will be presented the Global Vision Award for his tireless dedication and leadership as a founder of Child Focus - the European Center for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children - and the movement to recovery children and prevent child abduction and victimization throughout Europe. Through Child Focus and as a member of the ICMEC board of directors, Lichtbuer works closely with ICMEC to build strong, collaborative approaches to the recovery of missing and exploited children, and the prevention of child sexual exploitation and trafficking.
Martha Nelson, People Magazine Managing Editor, will receive the Child Victimization in the News Award for her determination to elevate awareness and educate citizens on the issues surrounding missing and exploited children. Through People Magazine, Nelson has provided prevention tips and educational resources to its 35 million readers. People Magazine also helped to recover Alexander Hillman, a missing child whose photograph ran in the magazine along with several others. Revé Walsh, cofounder of NCMEC, will present the award.
Stephen G. Lyons, President, Ford Motor Company, will be awarded the Making the World Safer for Children Award to recognize the company's highly successful "Commitment to Kids" campaign. This unique program provides car dealerships across the United States an opportunity to distribute free child safety information in their communities along with a Kidcare ID booklet. This year, Ford will begin providing digital versions of a new child safety ID to its communities, eventually making available over one million ID's to families across the nation.
Jean Case, President and CEO, The Case Foundation, will accept the Chairman's Humanitarian Award. Presented to individuals who have applied their training, expertise, or ingenuity to helping victimized children, this award acknowledges Case's numerous efforts through her leadership and participation in The Case Foundation - a private family foundation committed to creating communities of support for youth and families. Through The Case Foundation, Mrs. Case helped lead a national initiative, PowerUP, which was created to help underserved youth succeed in the digital age. Today, a network of nearly one thousand community technology centers has been established across all 50 states, DC and, Puerto Rico. PowerUP centers serve hundreds of thousands of youth in neighborhoods across the nation that might not otherwise had access to technology for years to come.
Hope Awards Sponsorship
The unprecedented support the Hope Awards have received from individuals and private enterprise underscores the resounding commitment from business to combat the global child victimization problem.
About NCMEC and ICMEC
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Serving as the national clearinghouse for information and a resource center for child protection, NCMEC has worked with law enforcement on 89,000 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of 73,000 children.
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded to create and lead a coordinated, global response to the problems of international child abduction and child sexual exploitation. ICMEC is successfully building a global alliance of organizations and network of websites to address these issues worldwide.
For more information, or to contact National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, see their website at: www.missingkids.org
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