September 27, 2006
For 20 years, the Victory Awards® have been a nationally recognized celebration of the victory of the human spirit and honors those individuals who best exemplify exceptional strength and courage in the face of physical adversity.
The honorees for the 20th Anniversary Victory Awards® are:
Teri Garr, Actress and Comedienne
Now in her fifth decade as an entertainer, Teri Garr is recognized the world over as a versatile actress with impeccable comedic timing. From an Academy Award nomination for the hit movie Tootsie to a highly touted run in the hit television show Friends, Ms. Garr’s ability to transition has resulted in a career that shows no signs of slowing down. Announcing publicly in 2002 her battle with multiple sclerosis, Ms. Garr has become a leading advocate in raising awareness of MS and the latest treatments for the disease.
Michael Graves, Architect and Designer
Renowned architect Michael Graves' career has been one of the most remarkably creative and successful of any American architect practicing today. His projects, recognized world-wide, are distinct in the use of warm colors and elemental shapes that reference historical forms. Mr. Graves describes his design technique as “figurative architecture,” his way of describing a humanistic approach to design that expresses the myths and rituals of society. Among his many honors, the American Institute of Architects selected Mr. Graves to receive the 2001 AIA Gold Medal, the highest honor the AIA confers to an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.
Monica Greenberg, Arts Patron and Philanthropist
Over the years, in support of the Arts, Monica Greenberg has given generously of her time and money. Recognizing the impact of dance, movement, painting and the many means of artistic expression on the development and evolution of an individual’s spiritual wellbeing, however, has also prompted Ms. Greenberg to offer support and encouragement to new and existing artists alike. It was this love of the Arts that sustained Ms. Greenberg following an automobile accident and traumatic brain injury. After several years of intense rehabilitation, she is once again an active participant in the charities she has championed for so many years.
Geri Jewell, Actress and ComedienneGeri Jewell was the first person with cerebral palsy, and one of the first people with disabilities, to have a recurring role on television. Best known as “Cousin Geri” from the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life, Ms. Jewell currently plays the role of “Jewel” on the Emmy Award winning HBO series Deadwood. Ms. Jewell has also experienced tremendous success as a stand-up comedienne, drawing upon her personal experiences with CP, using laughter as a means to transcend her disability and to educate others on the capabilities of those with disabilities. She teaches an invaluable lesson in saying, “My comedy is about the human condition. I'm trying to tell people they should give themselves more credit, feel less victimized, not be stopped by the judgments other people put on them."
Bob Woodruff, ABC News AnchorHaving covered the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina as well as conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, Bob Woodruff’s career in broadcast journalism is long and distinguished. Joining ABC News in 1996, he has given a voice to major stories throughout the country and around the world and was named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight in December 2005. On January 29, 2006, while reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces, Mr. Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck the vehicle in which he was riding near Taji, Iraq. Following an acute-care stay and inpatient rehabilitation, Mr. Woodruff continues his recovery through outpatient therapy and looks to rejoin, full-time, the ABC News team.
Also announced today is a special Victory Award® and tribute presented symbolically to the men and women of the military who have been wounded while fighting for our country in recent conflicts around the world.
Over the past 20 years, Victory Awards® have been presented to famous faces like Kirk Douglas, Ray Charles, Gloria Estefan, Sammy Davis, Jr., Senator Bob Dole, Barbara Mandrell, Marlee Matlin, Congressman Jim Langevin, Johnny Cash, and Stevie Wonder, as well as everyday men and women—all of whom are extraordinary people who share one thing in common, the victory of the human spirit.
Hosted by the National Rehabilitation Hospital, the Victory Awards® will be presented at a black-tie gala celebration on Monday, November 6, 2006, in the grand atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, D.C. Credentialed press coverage is available. Please contact Terri Rozaieski, NRH Communications Manager, at 202.877.1783.