SOURCE: Citizens for Dame Elizabeth Taylor to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

June 08, 2009 08:57 ET

MEDIA ALERT: Thousands of Citizens Call on President Obama & Congress to Honor Dame Elizabeth Taylor With Presidential Medal of Freedom

White House Inundated by Letters, Emails & Tweets in Support of Taylor Receiving the Highest Civilian Award for Her Meritorious Contributions

LOS ANGELES, CA and WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 8, 2009) -


WHAT:

It would be difficult to find any other single act of humanity that has helped and healed America -- as a nation -- in the past century as Dame Elizabeth Taylor's unyielding acts of kindness, vision, bravery and generosity. Believing strongly that Dame Elizabeth is deserving of the nation's highest civilian honor, the Citizens for Dame Elizabeth Taylor to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom ("Citizens"), an initiative initially spearheaded by Kathy Ireland, Mariel Hemingway, Richard Bassett and Rick London, have been promoting the campaign and are encouraged by the outpouring of support from the online communities, actors, politicians and others.

The deadline to submit letters of support to the White House was June 5, 2009, and the Citizens are hopeful that President Obama and Congress will acknowledge Dame Elizabeth's meritorious contributions with the nation's highest civilian honor.

While the deadline has passed, the Citizens are continuing their efforts to bring awareness to Dame Elizabeth's amazing contributions through media, online and Congressional outreach. She has been a stalwart pioneer, forging the path of awareness, charitable contributions and educations for AIDS-related charities and fundraising throughout her life. Dame Elizabeth has gone above and beyond throughout her life to give unselfishly and to help those in need. Elizabeth Taylor has not put an end to AIDS, but with her philanthropic nature, medicine was able to find ways to make it surprisingly more controllable and not necessarily a death sentence.

A video montage, chronicling her amazing contributions, is available at: http://is.gd/N850

SUPPORT:

"I highly recommend the Presidential Freedom of Honor Award be granted to Dame Elizabeth Taylor for the glorious and unmatched courage and dedication she had and continues to have for people with AIDS," Mariel Hemingway.

"We are often told 'if just one person -- one person can make a difference -- every person counts.' Dame Elizabeth proved to be that one Person! Like those before her, Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Teresa... she realized that suffering, hatred, indifference, had and has no face, no boundaries, nor does kindness and concern for your fellow human beings," Chef Andre.

"She assuredly saved thousands of lives with her bravery in standing up to help those who were being persecuted. This letter of recommendation is for saving my life. Dame Elizabeth Taylor saved me from a life of hate and bigotry and I humbly request you bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom upon her," Lee Hiller, The Hillers Online.

"I do not even want to imagine what could have happened to America if not for the brave and generous efforts of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. I cannot think of another soul who deserves the Presidential Medal Of Freedom as she does," Rick London, Rick London Group, LLC & Londons Times Cartoons.

The following have pledged their support:

--  Mariel Hemingway
--  Kathy Ireland, CEO, Kathy Ireland Worldwide
--  Donna Mills
--  Greg Louganis, Olympic Gold Medalist
--  Chef Andre Carthen
--  Morgan Fairchild
--  Rick London, The London Group, LLC & Londons Times Cartoons
--  Richard Thomas Bassett, HIV-Awareness Counselor
--  Lee Hiller, The Hillers Online
--  Lainie Kazan
--  amfAR
    

ABOUT:

Elizabeth Taylor was the pioneer with AIDS awareness, and when everyone else was sweeping it under the closet, she was doing interviews, giving millions of dollars and starting foundations. Her contributions started a domino effect, in which millions and then billions were given and continue to be given to not just find a cure for the disease, but to provide education and greater awareness.

She helped to start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) after the death of her former costar and friend, Rock Hudson. She also created her own AIDS foundation, the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. By 1999, she had helped to raise an estimated $50 million to fight the disease. In 2006, Taylor commissioned a 37-foot "Care Van" equipped with examination tables and X-Ray equipment and also donated to the New Orleans Aids task force, a charity designed for the New Orleans population with AIDS and HIV.

"CITIZENS":

Citizens for Dame Elizabeth Taylor to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom ("Citizens") was initially spearheaded by Kathy Ireland, Mariel Hemingway, Richard Bassett and Rick London, in an effort to bolster support and increase awareness about having the award bestowed upon Elizabeth Taylor. The support grew exponentially as word spread quickly throughout the Internet via Twitter, Blogs and Facebook, and the campaign took on a life of its own. Online communities, actors, politicians and other supporters banded together and overwhelmed the White House with letters, emails and "tweets," which quickly prompted a response to "Stop Twittering."

NOTE TO MEDIA: To speak with a representative from Citizens, including any of the Senators that have pledged their support, please contact Susan Jacobsen at 202.251.8184 | jacobsen_s@comcast.net.

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