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6196: Priest receives $100,000 award partly for work in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec 9, 2000 (Canada NewsWire) -- The Rev. William Bryce
Wasson received a $100,000 global child advocacy award last night for his
lifelong dedication to getting orphans and abandoned children off the
streets in Mexico, Haiti and Latin America.
   (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20001209/CLSA001 )
   Wasson, who will celebrate his 77th birthday later this month, founded
Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH), a home for orphaned and abandoned
children. Started by Wasson in 1954, NPH operates homes in six countries,
including Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador,
and has provided a safe haven to more than 25,000 children.
   Wasson received the third annual Kellogg's Hannah Neil World of Children
Award, an international Award established in 1998 to raise up the voices of
children by recognizing the ordinary individuals who dedicate their lives
to serving them.
   "In our high-tech, new-economy world, with the promise of a longer and
better quality of life before us, we are sobered by the fact that vast
numbers of children around the globe are still disadvantaged, still
suffering and still dying much too young," said Carlos Gutierrez, chairman
and CEO of Kellogg Company. "Fortunately, there are some extraordinary
people who are changing the world in ways that create opportunity and
fulfill the potential of children. Through the Kellogg's Hannah Neil World
of Children Award we honor these heroes."
   With one-sixth of the world's population unable to read and write,
Wasson's organization provides all NPH residents with an education to help
break the cycle of poverty. Residents learn a skill, life trade or are
provided the means to attend college.
   NPH also improves the social environment in impoverished communities.
For example, in the garbage dumps of Miacatlan, Mexico, children and their
families live in shanties and spend their day as "combers" rummaging in the
garbage dumps for food. NPH representatives, most of whom were prior
orphans, arrive on school days and take more than 80 of these children to
the orphanage to be educated, fed, bathed and clothed.
   In Honduras, NPH representatives bring mothers dying of AIDS and their
children into the NPH home. And, the organization operates medical clinics
for the residents, children and families in surrounding communities.
   "Father Wasson demonstrates a lasting commitment to the world's most
needy children," said Dale Hollandsworth, president of World of Children,
Inc. "He is most deserving of this Award -- our 'Nobel' for child
   "It's surprising what you can do in a lifetime if you do it just a
little at a time," said Wasson, who plans to use the $100,000 Award money
to start a vocational school in Nicaragua for blind children.
   Wasson was chosen by a 20-member Selection Committee comprised of
internationally recognized leaders in fields such as education, science,
medicine, philosophy and the arts. Three-time heavyweight boxing champion
and longtime "champion of children" Muhammad Ali is part of that committee.
   "Congratulations Father Wasson," said Ali, who is also the Award
Honorary Chair. "You're doing a great job with kids."
   Ali Steps Back Into Arena for Children
   In addition to his role as Award honorary chair, Ali has joined with
Kellogg Company to further the cause of lifting up the World's children. A
special Award limited edition Kellogg's(TM) Corn Flakes cereal box signed
by Ali will be sold at a live auction hosted by Guernsey's of New York
early next year. The cereal box will be part of an auction that includes a
private collection of sports collectibles, including Ali memorabilia.
Guernsey's was the auction house that sold Mark McGuire's baseball for $3
million. Proceeds of the cereal box will benefit children through the
Award. The limited edition cereal boxes will not be sold in stores. For
auction details visit www.worldofchildren.org .
   "I remember when I was a kid and how I looked up to superstars, like
they were a dream," Ali said. "They encouraged me to do good things and
help people. I never forgot that. Now, I hope to inspire young people to do
those same things today."
   Award History
   The Award's inaugural recipient, William Sergeant, of Oak Ridge, Tenn.,
has spent his life working to rid the world of polio, a crippling disease
that still threatens millions of children in impoverished nations. The 1999
Award honoree, Kathleen Magee, of Norfolk, Va., helps to provide free,
reconstructive surgery to thousands of children with facial deformities all
over the world. Magee is co-founder of Operation Smile.
   The Award concept was developed by the Hannah Neil Center Foundation
Board. That board governs and supports the Hannah Neil Center for Children
in Columbus, Ohio, a non-profit organization that serves children who
suffer from severe behavioral and emotional difficulties, oftentimes
resulting from issues of child abuse. The Award is managed by World of
Children Inc., a 501-(C)(3) corporation.
   Major sponsors of this Award include Kellogg's Corporate Citizenship
Fund, Lord, Sullivan & Yoder, Inc., The Kroger Co., Mills James
Productions, Partners In Marketing, Bob Evans Farms, HER Realtors and
America West. For more information, visit www.worldofchildren.org .

       CONTACT:          For further information:  Erin DeVassie of Lord
Sullivan & Yoder Public Relations,  614-825-1741