Young Adult Winners Announced for 2007 Caring Awards

Winners to be Inducted Into Hall of Fame for Caring Americans

Washington, D.C. – Senator Robert J. Dole, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Val J. Halamandaris, Founder and Executive Director of the Caring Institute announce the 2007 National Caring Award Young Adult winners. These awards are bestowed annually upon the most caring youth and most caring adults in America. The winners will be honored during an induction ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 16, 2007 at the Frederick Douglass Museum & Hall of Fame for Caring Americans on Capitol Hill, located at 320 A Street, N.E. in Washington, D.C.

The young adult (age 18 or younger) National Caring Award winners are:

Lauren Beeder, Newbury Park, CA, 16 years of age – Lauren, who survived cancer as an infant, believes that in caring for people you feed a part of your soul that goes unnoticed. Her soul must be overflowing. Volunteering since the age of nine, Lauren is a certified volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles where she brings joy to pediatric cancer patients and their families by blowing up balloons, babysitting or organizing festive parties. She also founded kidsCANCERvive, a non-profit organization that raises funds for research and fosters online support groups among children with cancer and their families. So far kidsCANCERvive has given over $35,000 to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Mollie and Jackie Singer, Las Vegas, NV, 18 years of age – Mollie Singer learned she had diabetes at the age of four. Since then, Mollie’s twin sister Jackie has been watching over her. Diagnosed at a time when no one knew how to handle a diabetic child, the two girls started Diabetic Angels, a club to educate children about the disease and teach them how to watch out for their diabetic friends. To further promote understanding of diabetes, Mollie and Jackie have met with President Bush, lobbied senators and testified before Congress. They have also written the booklet The Road to a Cure and organized walks that have collected over $500,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Singer sisters are talented “singers” as well and broadcast their message as a country music duo.

Davin Singleton, Pasadena, MD, 18 years of age – A dyslexic, Davin knows how easy it is to suffer from low self-esteem and give up on your dreams. As a young child he was shattered when teachers told him he would never be able to do things like write in script or count to 100. Did he prove them wrong! By the time Davin was in high school he had more than caught up to his peers and he didn’t stop there. Wanting to empower other children, Davin created a workshop called Dreamers: How to Become Your Dream. It has so far been incorporated into two Maryland schools.

Jourdan Urbach, Roslyn Heights, NY 16 years of age – Jourdan, a violin virtuoso, has been called a prodigy since the age of three when he first showed his gift for music. Four years later he displayed his incredible gift of giving after touring a pediatric ICU when he resolved to someday become a neurosurgeon to aid children like those he visited. Since he was too young to pursue his dream, he played his violin for children at local hospitals and created Children Helping Children, a foundation which fundraises nationally for pediatric units and medical charity organizations. To raise money, Jourdan stages benefit performances with major symphony orchestras. He has headlined a series of programs at such venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. Through his efforts Children Helping Children has received more than $13 million in donations. Somewhere along the way, this 16 year old’s gift for science also blossomed. He has already presented a number of scientific papers, done research at Stony Brook Medical Center and completed a summer research internship at Harvard University. He certainly is working toward his goal – to affect other people in a positive way. This prodigy, however, does not believe he is exceptional, he merely thinks of himself as someone who has realized there is more to life than video games and TV.

Emily Wemhoff, Creston, NE, 18 years of age – Emily was just 12 years old when she called all 217 households in her hometown to ask them if they had a working smoke alarm. If they answered no, she bought one for them with funds she received from a local business. That was the start of Project S.A.F.E. (Save a Friend Everyday). Concerned that a working smoke alarm was not enough, Emily began stressing the importance of fire escape plans. She implemented a statewide chain reaction of phone calls, set up informational booths, reached out to 100 grade schools and created Practice Your Fire Escape Plan Day, which is now in its third year. Through her efforts Emily has reached countless people across the state of Nebraska and undoubtedly aided in saving lives.

The Caring Institute was founded in 1985 by Val J. Halamandaris as a result of his first meeting with Mother Teresa. Its mission is to promote the values of caring, integrity and public service. The institute sponsors a number of programs designed to inspire, encourage, recognize and reward acts of caring.

For more information on the Caring Institute, visit www.caring-institute.org or call 201-843-5600.

Public Relations Contact: Rosica Strategic Public Relations

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