Florida Boy Named National Hero Award Semifinalist for Helping the Homeless and Disadvantaged

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National vote underway for the 6th Annual Volvo for life Awards; Local

     youth hero could win $25,000 charitable contribution

     10 Butterfly Award Semifinalists Selected; Vote at


    IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 20 // -- Nine-year-old Zach Bonner from Valrico is one of 10 top hometown youth heroes from across the country being recognized in the 6th Annual Volvo for life Awards. Bonner is a semifinalist in Volvo's national search for, and celebration of, hometown heroes and with enough votes, he could be in the running to win up to a $25,000 charitable contribution.

    This year, Volvo selected 10 heroes from thousands of nominations in the categories of Safety, Quality of Life, Environment and the Butterfly Award, Volvo's youth category created in memory of Volvo for life Award winner, Alexandra Scott. Bonner has been selected as a top 10 youth hero, and the American public is invited to learn more about all 40 heroes and vote for their favorites at http://www.volvoforlifeawards.com now until Jan. 7, 2008.

    Bonner collected an incredible 27 truckloads of sundry items for Katrina's homeless shortly after the storm devastated the Gulf coast. A year later, he collected $600 in donations for Red Cross post-Katrina efforts and then secured an additional $7,000 worth of new toys and sporting equipment for homeless children living in Red Cross shelters. This year, Bonner will hold his second holiday party for some 700 Katrina children still living in FEMA trailer parks, for which he has already collected more than 500 hams and gift bags.

    Bonner also recently founded the Little Red Wagon Foundation, Inc., an organization that collects and donates backpacks filled with food, school items and other supplies to disadvantaged children nationwide. When Congress made November National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, Bonner created an event to raise awareness about homeless children: a marathon walk from Tampa, Fla. to Tallahassee, Fla. covering 250 miles over 23 days. Bonner and his team hope the walk will help raise money and awareness for the nation's estimated 1.3 million homeless children.

    Since 2002, Volvo Cars of North America has identified more than 18,000 everyday heroes in its annual Volvo for life Awards, and has contributed millions of dollars to their causes.

    "Our youth heroes are particularly inspiring because they show that no matter what age you are, you can make a very big difference," said Anne Belec, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of North America. "We're thrilled that the Butterfly Award has its own category this year, and encourage the public to visit http://www.volvoforlifeawards.com to learn more about these ten incredible kids and what they're doing to make the world a better place. And of course, support the heroes with their vote."

    When the voting period ends January 7, 2008, a panel of distinguished judges will select one winner in each of the four categories. This year, Volvo doubled the charitable donation amount given to the top three winners in the categories of Safety, Quality of Life and Environment. Each will receive $100,000 for their charities; two runners-up in each category will receive $25,000. A grand award winner, selected from the Safety, Quality of Life and Environment categories, will be named "America's Greatest Hometown Hero" and presented with a new Volvo car every three years for the rest of his or her life at the annual Volvo for life Awards Ceremony in New York City, March 19, 2008.

    The Butterfly Award winner will receive a charitable contribution of $25,000 and two runners up will each receive $10,000.

    To learn more, or to vote for your favorite hero, visit http://www.volvoforlifeawards.com. A Spanish version of the site can also be accessed at this address.
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