Two South Carolina Volunteers Honored at National Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

  Two South Carolina Volunteers Honored at National Award Ceremony in
  Washington, D.C.

Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning Pays Tribute to Young Heroes from Columbia as Part
                        of Four-Day Recognition Events

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- May 07, 2012

South Carolina’s top two youth volunteers of the year, Helen Clay, 17 and
Anthony Frederick, 14, both of Columbia, were honored in the nation’s capital
last night for their outstanding volunteer service during the presentation of
The 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The two young people – along
with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – received $1,000
awards as well as personal congratulations from New York Giants quarterback
and Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning at the 17^th annual award ceremony and gala
dinner reception, held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural
History.

New York Giants quarterback and 2012 Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning congratulates
Helen Clay, 17 (center ...

New York Giants quarterback and 2012 Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning congratulates
Helen Clay, 17 (center) and Anthony Frederick, 14 (right), both of Columbia,
on being named South Carolina's top two youth volunteers for 2012 by The
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Helen and Anthony were honored at a
ceremony on Sunday, May 6 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural
History, where they each received a $1,000 award.

Helen and Anthony were named the top high school and middle level youth
volunteers in South Carolina in February. In addition to their cash awards,
they received engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip with
their parents to Washington, D.C., for this week’s recognition events.

Helen, a junior at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, has raised $38,000 to make
and deliver more than 1,450 teddy bears to brighten the lives of hospitalized
children through “Helen’s Hugs,” an organization she founded in late 2009.
When Helen was 11, she was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a nine-hour
life-saving surgery. “Hard days and nights at the hospital, intense nausea,
endless shots, and daily chemotherapy treatment filled my summer break,” she
said. “Yet the worst was when I lost my long, red hair.” The one bright spot
was when a young boy named Zack, who had recently been hospitalized, sent
Helen and other young patients individual boxes of toys. “Receiving his gift
and knowing that he had recovered from a difficult illness brought great hope
and courage to me lying in my hospital bed,” said Helen.

Helen always remembered Zack and decided that she, too, wanted to bring
comfort and hope to hospitalized children. Her first step was sending out
letters to businesses and individuals to solicit donations. Helen also created
a Facebook page to encourage donations and share photos. She assembled a team
of more than 40 volunteers to help make bears at a local Build-A-Bear Workshop
and prepare gift boxes for the recipients. Then Helen delivered them to local
hospitals. Going into a child's room to give the bear in person was a task
that was too painful for her at first. But after a few months, she summoned
her courage and walked into a room to deliver a bear to a 17-year-old girl who
was undergoing chemotherapy. “The awful scent hit me,” said Helen. “My heart
immediately went out to the girl, and all I wanted to do was give her comfort.
I trust the bear provided encouragement for her to keep fighting.”

Anthony, an eighth-grader at Dent Middle School, started an organization that
has raised more than $19,000 for cancer research primarily by selling
lemonade, and also works to improve the lives of seniors and the homeless.
Anthony was motivated by his mother’s breast cancer diagnosis. “I can recall
watching my Mom in the hospital bed looking frail, weak and miserable. But she
kept a smile on her face when I was close to her,” said Anthony. “My parents
instilled in me to be positive and ‘when life gives you lemons make
lemonade.’” So, he began selling lemonade and even his own toys to raise money
for cancer research. His commitment to the cause was strengthened when his
father, too, was diagnosed with leukemia.

To publicize his lemonade stand, Anthony passed out flyers and sought
interviews with the local press. He then recruited volunteers, including
professional athletes, to serve lemonade. The success of his lemonade stand
led to the formation of the “Kids Inspired by Cancer Kampaign” (KICK), which
also seeks to assist senior citizens and homeless people. KICK volunteers
visit and play games with seniors at a local retirement home, and distribute
food to the homeless. Anthony also collected shoes and winter clothing for
children at a homeless shelter. “For all my friends who are not volunteering
to help others, please take time to give back,” said Anthony. “There are lots
of people that are in need of simple stuff and as young people we can provide
for or help the ones in need.”

“Through their extraordinary acts of volunteerism, these students are powerful
examples of the way one young person can make a big impact,” said John R.
Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. “We are proud to
honor them for their achievements, and hope their stories inspire others to
consider how they, too, can make a difference.”

More than 26,000 young people participated in the 2012 awards program last
fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American
Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the HandsOn Network. The top
middle level and high school applicants in each state were selected in
February, and flown to Washington this week with their parents for four days
of special recognition events.

Conducted in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School
Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards were created 17
years ago by Prudential Financial to encourage youth volunteerism and to
identify and reward young role models. Since then, the program has honored
more than 100,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level.

“These young people have demonstrated remarkable leadership, selflessness and
compassion, and they set a fine example for thousands of other students across
the U.S. who want to make a difference,” said Ken Griffith, president of
NASSP. “The actions of these young volunteers exemplify the best of what
America’s youth have to offer.”

More information about The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and this
year’s honorees can be found at http://spirit.prudential.com or
www.nassp.org/spirit.

NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) is the leading
organization of and national voice for middle level and high school
principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the
United States and more than 45 countries around the world. The association
provides research-based professional development and resources, networking,
and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to
continually improve student performance. Reflecting its longstanding
commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the
National Honor Society™, National Junior Honor Society®, National Elementary
Honor Society®, and National Association of Student Councils®. For more
information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has
operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s
diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and
institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of
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services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s
iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation
for more than a century. For more information, please visit
http://www.news.prudential.com/

[Editors: Full-color pictures of the Spirit of Community Awards program logo
and medallions are available at http://spirit.prudential.com.]

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Contact:

Prudential
Harold Banks
(w) 973-802-8974 or (c) 973-216-4833
harold.banks@prudential.com
or
NASSP
Robert Farrace, 703-860-7257
 
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