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CBS To Receive The 2011 HollyRod Corporate Compassion Award

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 19, 2011) –Actress, author, philanthropist, and Co-Host of CBS’ THE TALK, Holly Robinson Peete, alongside her husband, retired NFL quarterback and author, Rodney Peete will host the 13thannual DesignCare benefitting  the HollyRod Foundation. The foundation has been raising funds since 1999 to provide support for those living with Parkinson’s disease and Autism.  The event will be held at The Marciano Mansion in Beverly Hills. The Marcianos are long-time supporters of the HollyRod Foundation.
Saturday, July 23rd marks the day for the glamorous event featuring a performance by Grammy nominated artist Ledisi, and will also feature a runway show by world renowned designer-to-the-stars, Naeem Khan, with an insight to his 2011 Fall line. The main event of the night, however, will be presentations of the HollyRod Corporate Compassion Award, The Matthew T. Robinson, Jr. Award of Courage, and the HollyRod4kids Champion honoring those that have provided tremendous support for Parkinson’s and autism. Honorees this year include CBS, Mrs. Muhammad (Lonnie) Ali, and autism advocate Rodney Jackson Peete (the Peete’s 13 year old son.) 
Ledisi will entertain the invited guests for the night with her unique and soulful voice which has earned her four Grammy nominations.  With her new album Pieces of Me, Ledisi undoubtedly proves that she is a woman to know. Loaded with emotion and charged with unparalleled soul, this record adds another dimension to the persona the singer has been sharing with audiences since her explosive entrance on the music scene a few short years ago.  Following her last two critically acclaimed albums—2007’s breakthrough hit Lost and Found, which was nominated for two Grammy® awards including Best New Artist, and 2009’s rock & funk, attention-stealing Turn Me Loose, which also garnered two Grammy® nods and a No. 1 debut position on the Billboard R&B chart—Pieces of Meis a natural progression for a singer possessing an involuntary penchant for growth. Bursting with songs of love, intimacy and self-assurance and delivered by an unmatched voice at the top of its game, this album marks Ledisi’s shining moment.
Naeem Khan, an Indian born American designer has been known for his intricately designed red carpet gowns worn by some of the biggest celebrities such as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, just to name a few.  First Lady,Michelle Obama, was noted in the press in 2009 for wearing a “priceless” gold strapless gown to the Administration’s First State Dinner designed by the one and only, Naeem Khan. 
Lonnie Ali is the recipient of the 2011 Matthew T. Robinson, Jr. Award of Courage.  Lonnie is the Co-Founder of the Muhammad Ali Center.  In November of 2005 she and her husband, Muhammad Ali, founded the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky.  The Center’s mission is to preserve the Ali legacy for future generations which includes promoting tolerance and understanding among different people, communities and nations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. 
Today Lonnie remains actively involved in various charitable and educational causes including being an advocate for children’s rights and Parkinson’s disease research. She served on the Board of Directors of the Michael J. Fox Foundation and recently partnered with a major pharmaceutical company to launch a national campaign in support of Parkinson’s caregivers.  She is a frequent guest and speaker at Parkinson’s disease support groups and Parkinson’s research gatherings. In April 2010, President Barack Obama announced Lonnie’s appointment to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.
CBS is the recipient of the 2011 HollyRod Corporate Compassion Award.  In 2010, the CBS Television Network scheduled public service announcements ("PSAs") worth more than $200 million. A key part of this commitment was and continues to be the multi-award winning CBS Cares campaign, which was launched in 2000 and consists of PSAs featuring Talent from many CBS programs. These PSAs have addressed numerous causes, including Alcohol Abuse, the Arts, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Child Abduction, Child Advocacy, Children's Health, Colon Cancer, Depression, Diversity/Tolerance, Drug Abuse, Education, Epilepsy, Heart Disease, HIV/AIDS, Identity Theft, Menopause, Mentoring, Obesity, Osteoporosis, Parenting, Prostate Cancer, Schizophrenia, Suicide Prevention, Testicular Cancer, Violence Prevention (including Spousal and Child Abuse) and the V-Chip.  
Development of CBS Cares is supervised by the Program Practices Department in New York, which works with the Promotions Department. With Network PSAs as its fulcrum, CBS Cares has grown into a multimedia project involving many areas and talents at CBS: Entertainment, News, Sports, Digital Media, Radio, CBS Outdoor, Communications and Marketing. While there are some core causes that have been addressed for years, CBS Cares is also committed to looking for under-served causes where we believe that the resources and talents within CBS can make a difference. The starting point for every PSA--before scripting begins--is close consultation with experts on the frontline of each field to learn what messages they feel are the most important to convey.
Rodney Jackson Peete is the recipient of the 2011 HollyRod4kids Champion Award.  "RJ" was born alongside his twin sister Ryan on October 17, 1997.  He was a healthy, happy baby to a proud mommy Holly and elated daddy Rodney.  In 2000, Rodney was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of three.  It was a like a punch in the gut.  Rodney's Mom and Dad call that day the "Never" day.  Rodney was told by a doctor he would "never" do so many things in his life: he'd never speak well, have friends, go to a mainstream school, play sports like other kids.  He'd never live on his own.
Well Rodney thankfully didn't listen to this doctor and has checked a lot of those “nevers” off that list.  He loves to talk and has lots of loving friends! Oh and his basketball team won the championship this past season.  His best friend and staunch ally is his twin sister Ryan who co-wrote a children's book inspired by her love and advocacy for him entitled "My Brother Charlie" which is now in its second printing and just won the 2011 Image Award for Best Children's Literary Work.
Now 13 years old, Rodney is quite the autism activist.  Sharing his story on a national stage has had such a positive impact and made Rodney a role model and shining star in the autism community.  Rodney participates in Autism Walks around the country spreading hope and positivity, chipping away steadily at the stigma autism carries.
Rodney was recently awarded the 2010 "Genius of Autism Award" for his autism awareness work.  Rodney's mantra is "I may have autism but autism doesn't have me!"
Longtime supporter of the HollyRod foundation, Outback Steakhouse will be serving their delicious cuisine throughout the evening. Other sponsors for DesignCare 2011 include: American Airlines, ING, Target, Panasonic and, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. 
For tickets to the 13thAnnual DesignCare event, please contact MTA Events:  (818) 906-0240 / DesignCare@mtaevents.com.  Advance reservations required.  For Sponsorship opportunities please contact Donna Harrell donna@hollyrod.com.   For celebrity submissions and media inquiries, please contact Courtney Merfeld Courtney@cmpr.net. For media submissions to cover either event, please contact Mike Semanoff mike@cmpr.net.
On Sunday July 24th, the 2ndannual My Brother Charlie Festival will take place at Culver Studios.  The Festival will feature games, crafts, activities, music, food and fun! The event will take place from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. at Culver Studios located at 9336 W. Washington Blvd. in Culver City.
HollyRod Foundation Mission
The HollyRod Foundation is dedicated to providing medical, physical and emotional support to those living with Autism and Parkinson’s disease.  Efforts of the HollyRod Foundation are providing a better quality of life for individuals and their families.  HollyRod was inspired by The Peete’s son living with Autism and Holly’s father’s battle with Parkinson’s.  For more information, visit www.hollyrod.org.
Steve Webster                                                                                                                                        CourtneyMerfeld
CMPR                                                                                                                                                          CMPR
stevewebster@cmpr.net                                                                                                                 Courtney@cmpr.net
310. 426. 9900                                                                                                                                          310. 426. 9900

Photo Credit = “Comes The Tide” courtesy of Wesley Prints