Department of the Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
Contact: Kathryn Harrington
|For Immediate Release: Sept. 21, 2004||
Secretary Norton commends 2004 National Take Pride in America® Award Winners at Department of Interior Ceremony
Outstanding Public Land Volunteer Groups and Individuals, Including the Walt Disney Co. and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., Receive Awards
WASHINGTON - The 2004 National Take Pride in America Award recipients, individuals and groups from across the country recognized for their outstanding contributions to our public lands, were honored at an awards ceremony today in Washington, D.C. Interior Secretary Gale Norton, USA Freedom Corps Director Desiree Sayle and Take Pride in America Executive Director Marti Allbright commended the volunteers during the Department of Interior rooftop event. Clint Eastwood, Take Pride spokesman, addressed the audience via a recorded video message.
"Cooperative conservation is essential to the long-term vitality of our nation's most prized treasure - our public lands," Secretary Norton said. "The exemplary volunteers applauded today represent countless hours of care towards the timeless value of stewardship."
Presented annually, the Take Pride in America national awards recognize specific volunteer projects and efforts in a variety of categories. These awards honor those who best protect and/or enhance our public parks, forests, grasslands, reservoirs, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, local playgrounds, and other recreation areas. Last year's awards program recognized 15 groups or individuals. This year, as the program has grown, there are 25 award recipients representing 14 states. The individuals and groups honored in 2003 also contributed more than 120,000 hours of time to local, state and federal public lands.
Take Pride in America charter partner, the Walt Disney Co., was honored for its exceptional contributions to the program. Two of its many contributions this year are including a Take Pride in America promotional flyer in Brother Bear DVDs and video packaging and hosting a brainstorming session involving Department of Interior personnel and Walt Disney Imagineers. Kym Murphy, senior vice president of Environmental Policy, and Karen Kawanami, manager of Disney Worldwide Outreach, accepted the award today.
The recipient of the corporate award was Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., honored for its ongoing commitment to National Public Lands Day. This year marks the company's sixth anniversary as the national corporate sponsor for the nation's largest, one-day, hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America's public lands. Alan Cohen, vice president, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., accepted the award on behalf of the company.
A special Spirit of Take Pride in America award was presented to Derrick Crandall, president, American Recreation Coalition. The award is not an annual award, but is presented by the executive director only in those years when someone's efforts on behalf of Take Pride in America merit special recognition.
"Derrick has dedicated
himself to recruiting new partners, raising funds for the program, finding
new opportunities to spread the message of Take Pride and has been the
inspiration behind many of our Take Pride events over the past year,"
This year's recipients are listed below:
Federal Volunteer Program
Spirit of Take Pride in
Federal Land Managers
Audio recordings of Secretary Norton, Executive Director Allbright and select award recipients will be available following the ceremony at www.doi.gov/audio.html. Images from the ceremony and of the award recipients will be available upon request.
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