Los Angeles, CA (September 25, 2012) – American Humane Association announced today that popular television and film star Betty White will receive two prestigious awards – the National Humanitarian Medal and the Legacy Award – at the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog AwardsTM on October 6th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The star-studded evening honoring America’s most courageous canines, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and produced by Emmy® award-winning MRB Productions, will air as a 90-minute special on Hallmark Channel November 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm ET/PT. The program will air as part of Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, the network’s cross-platform campaign designed to celebrate the joy and enrichment animals bring to our lives.
“I’m very grateful to American Humane Association for these wonderful honors,” said White. “I got involved with this terrific charity 60 years ago because of our shared commitment to the welfare of animals. As an actor, I saw first-hand the crucial work American Humane Association was doing to protect animals in entertainment through their “No Animals Were Harmed®” certification program, which has kept more than a million of our most beloved co-stars safe on set. And now I’m excited that American Humane Association has given a starring role to our nation’s most courageous canines by creating the Hero Dog Awards, which celebrate the incredible bond between people and animals, and how important we are to each other.”
“Betty White is a tireless and devoted animal welfare advocate and we are proud to honor her with these two special awards,” said American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “We bestow the National Humanitarian Medal, our highest honor, on those who reflect our core values of compassion, caring and hope, and Betty more than reflects these values: she radiates them. Betty has more than earned the Legacy Award by dedicating herself to protecting and improving the quality of life for animals. We have worked with her for more than 60 years to build a better world for our most vulnerable. Betty is an inspiration to me personally, to everyone at American Humane Association and to millions of animal lovers around the globe.”
In keeping with her long record of compassion, White will celebrate her 90th birthday this year by matching up to $25,000 in charitable contributions made by the public to American Humane Association via Betty White’s Humane Heroes Club on Crowdrise.com. Contributions will benefit animals in need by supporting American Humane Association’s Red Star™ Rescue teams across the nation who provide emergency food, first aid, shelter and adoption services to animals affected by natural disasters and other catastrophic events. Every person who makes a contribution will be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the Hero Dog Awards black-tie gala where they will walk the red carpet, meet Ms. White in person and be recognized in a special video tribute. Ticket winners will be announced on October 2. To make a donation or for more information on how to join Ms. White in raising critical funds for American Humane Association, please visit http://www.crowdrise.com/bettywhite-aha/fundraiser/americanhumane.
Now in its second year, the Hero Dog Awards competition searches out and recognizes America’s Hero Dogs – often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things, whether it’s saving lives on the battlefield, lending sight or hearing to a human companion, or simply the tail-wagging welcome a pet owner relishes at the end of a hard day. Dogs compete in eight categories for the Hero Dog Awards: Law Enforcement & Arson Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Guide Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs (the category for “ordinary” dogs).
American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of over 87 million subscribers. The top-tier program service is distributed through approximately 5,500 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation’s leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies and specials, as well as some of television’s most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, Frasier, Little House on the Prairie, and The Waltons. Since 2010, Hallmark Channel has also been home to original daytime lifestyle programming and is debuting two new daily series, Home & Family and Marie, on October 1, 2012. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events. For more information, please visit www.hallmarkchannelpress.com
Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project is a multi-faceted initiative devoted to celebrating pets and the incredible joy and enrichment they bring to our lives. To carry out our mission, we’ll be bringing you compelling original programming, social media outreach, and a resource-rich website. Through public service announcements, local grass-roots events, and strategic partnerships with such national non-profit organizations as American Humane Association and PetSmart Charities, Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project also aims to shine a spotlight on this country’s epidemic of pet homelessness and provide the public with the information and resources they need to find their new best friend. For more information, please visit http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/petproject
Lois Pope is one of America’s leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare. Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation’s first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a summer camp experience for more than 15,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who aspire to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s Red Cross, for new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.
MRB's feature department is in post-production on the psychological thriller Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, starring Jessica Biel and Alfred Molina, while MRB's political activism biopic, starring Jason Biggs, is currently in theaters. Emmy award winning MRB recently won a Webby for The Confession, starring Kiefer Sutherland. In Television, MRB has a decade of experience producing the pre-taped segments and VIP program for ESPN's ESPY Awards, in addition to producing the inaugural Hero Dog Awards for the Hallmark Channel. Additional TV projects include two seasons of the mockumentary comedy show Free Radio on VH1 and Comedy Central. In the video game space, MRB partners with Ubisoft on the Just Dance Kids series. MRB's commercial repertoire includes a longstanding relationship with Mattel and collaborations with Periera & O'Dell, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Publicis, for clients such as Samsung, NHL, Smirnoff, Wal-Mart, and University of Phoenix.
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*Media Credentials: All media interested in covering the 2012 Hero Dog Awards will need to complete and submit a Press Credential Application. Please email Rebecca Horn at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an application. While credentials are not guaranteed due to space limitations, AHA will do its best to grant them to as many outlets as possible.