National organizations teaming up to recognize four-legged heroes
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 25, 2012 – Citing the universal appeal of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) mascot Sparky the Fire Dog®, American Humane Association tapped the famous Dalmatian character to be an official “spokesdog” for the annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™. Presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and broadcast nationwide on Hallmark Channel, the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards are produced by Emmy® award-winning MRB Productions and will take place October 6, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
“Sparky has been a hero to children, adults, and firefighters for more than 60 years,” said Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “He is a natural choice to help us celebrate the amazing things dogs do to help us every day that warrant recognition.”
Sparky was created for NFPA in 1951 and has been the official mascot of NFPA ever since. He is widely recognized as a fire and life safety icon that is beloved by children and adults alike. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons or materials featuring his image. Sparky frequently visits schools and participates in community events to spread fire safety messages, often accompanied by his firefighter friends. In addition to connecting with the public through public service announcements, he plays prominently in Fire Prevention Week campaigns each October. In celebration of Sparky’s 60th birthday last year, author Don Hoffman and illustrator Todd Dakins created Sparky the Fire Dog®, a picture book that offers an entertaining and educational adventure filled with lessons and fire safety messages for youngsters.
The annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, which draws stars and celebrities (human and canine alike), features awards in eight categories, including law enforcement/arson dogs, service dogs, military dogs, hearing dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs, and “emerging hero dogs” (pets and ordinary dogs that do extraordinary things). During a nationwide search hundreds of dogs from all 50 states were nominated. The public can now vote to choose this year’s finalists through June 30, 2012.
“American Humane Association has a longstanding commitment to child and animal welfare and we are thrilled to work with them to put a spotlight on this important work,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Communications. “At the same time, Sparky’s presence reminds people of the importance of fire safety.”
For more information about the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, visit www.herodogawards.org or www.americanhumane.org.
About American Humane Association
Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals 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. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org.
About Lois Pope and the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation
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 the 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.
About Hallmark Channel
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 87 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through approximately 5,492 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, lifestyle and general entertainment content, and is the home of "The Martha Stewart Show", which anchors the channel's daytime original programming block. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on the 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.
About MRB Productions
MRB's feature department is in 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 set to release in theaters this summer. 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.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.
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