Four Grand Prize Winners Named in Jeep® Heroes Nomination Program
* Winners selected from more than 2,500 entries for demonstrating “exemplary, unique & heroic service”
* Grand prize winning Jeep Heroes receive new 2006 Jeep Commander or Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov 10, 2005 –
What do a California helicopter pilot, a New Mexico firefighter, a Wisconsin emergency medical technician and a Texas U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major share in common? They are the four Grand Prize Winners – one in each of four categories – to be recognized in a nationwide Jeep Heroes program which was established by the Jeep® brand to honor military, police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel who deliver exemplary, unique and heroic service to improve the quality of life in cities and towns across America.
The Jeep brand’s goal was to recognize the important service these individuals perform every day and to reward the Grand Prize Winners – the best people to represent America’s best — with a rugged, dependable Jeep vehicle that will give them the same sense of security and reliability they give Americans.
More than 2,500 nominations were submitted by friends, colleagues and loved ones over the last 10 months and narrowed down to 12 finalists. An Advisory Committee — made up of military, police, fire and EMS association representatives, uniformed services advocates and former public officials — reviewed the nominations and selected the 12 finalists, including four Grand Prize Winners.
The Grand Prize Winning Jeep Heroes, who won their choice of an all-new 2006 Jeep Commander or 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, are:
* Military – Vera Harris from Denton, Texas, was nominated by her daughter, Nitia. Harris recently returned from 15 months of service in Iraq for the U.S. Army as a Commander Sergeant Major, where she was responsible for the training, health and welfare of soldiers.
* Police – J.C. Dodd from Applegate, Calif., is a California Highway Patrol (CHP) search and rescue helicopter pilot. He was nominated by his wife, Jacqueline Dodd. On behalf of Dodd, Jeep will donate his prize to a charity of his choice as state and CHP policies prevent him from accepting the vehicle.
* Fire – Bud Brinkerhoff from Placitas, N.M., is a firefighter who spends time teaching fire safety to kids, in addition to responding to more than 50 percent of the 400+ calls per year. He was nominated by his colleague and friend in the Placitas Fire Department, Drew Owen.
* EMS – Cindy Gibson of Star Prairie, Wis., is a volunteer first responder and emergency medical technician for more than 20 years. Her son, Rick Larson, nominated her, calling her “Mrs. Volunteer.”
There is a natural affinity between those who serve others and the Jeep brand. Both have a long record of accomplishment in times of need,” said Jeff Bell, Vice President, Jeep. “It is an honor for us to recognize Vera Harris, J.C. Dodd, Bud Brinkerhoff and Cindy Gibson for being amazing, dedicated and authentic American Heroes.”
Entries in the Jeep Heroes Nomination Program were accepted from January through October 2005. In order to nominate a person for the Jeep Hero award, nominators submitted an essay of 200 words or less on why a nominee deserved to be honored as a Jeep Hero. Those who nominated the four Grand Prize Winners will receive $500 toward new Jeep brand merchandise. (Jacqueline Dodd, wife of Jeep Hero J.C. Dodd, donated her prize to charity.)
For information on all twelve Jeep Heroes finalists and Grand Prize Winners, visit http://www.Jeep.com/Heroes.