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RONALD McDONALD CHILDREN'S CHARITIES (R) TO AWARD HIGHEST HONOR AND $100,000 to EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER AND RENOWNED PHYSICIAN

 RONALD McDONALD CHILDREN'S CHARITIES (R) TO AWARD HIGHEST HONOR
 AND $100,000 to EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER AND RENOWNED PHYSICIAN
 CHICAGO, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Friday evening (10/30), Ronald McDonald Children's Charities (RMCC) will bestow its highest honor on two individuals who have dramatically improved the lives of millions of children on a global scale.
 Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics International, and Dr. Donald A. Henderson, who directed the global effort that eradicated smallpox, will receive the 1992 Ronald McDonald Children's Charities Awards of Excellence in recognition of their advocacy for children.
 Mrs. Shriver and Dr. Henderson will each receive RMCC's highest honor and a $100,000 grant to be donated to the charity of their choice at the 1992 RMCC Awards of Excellence Dinner Friday, Oct. 30, at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare (9300 W. Bryn Mawr).
 Grammy winner Michael Bolton will headline the entertainment at the dinner.
 As executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation and founder and honorary chairman of Special Olympics International, Mrs. Shriver has been a leader in the worldwide struggle to improve the lives of individuals with mental retardation for more than three decades.
 "With enormous drive and motivation for children with mental retardation, Eunice Kennedy Shriver has mobilized more than a half- million volunteers worldwide who each day lift the lives of Special Olympic hopefuls and their families in 120 countries. Her unflagging commitment has brought children with mental retardation into the mainstream of society," said Edward H. Rensi, chairman of RMCC.
 Mrs. Shriver's work has earned the recognition and active support of seven U.S. presidents. In 1984, President Reagan awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the nation's highest civilian award.
 As chief medical officer of the World Health Organization (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland), Dr. Henderson directed the smallpox eradication effort in the 1960s and 1970s. On May 8, 1980, the World Health Assembly officially declared smallpox eradicated. It was the first, and as yet, the only disease ever to have been completely eradicated from the face of the earth. In 1986, Dr. Henderson has the first public health professional to receive the National Medal of Science, presented by the President of the United States.
 "Dr. Henderson's achievements in smallpox eradication have made the world a safer place for all of us. We salute his commitment to children and watch, with hope, his current leadership in eliminating polio from the world,'' Rensi said. The last case of poliomyelitis in the Western Hemisphere occurred in Peru on Aug. 23, 1991.
 Also presented will be the McTLC Award, which is bestowed on the McDonald's Owner/Operator who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to children and the community. This year, for the first time, the McTLC Award will be awarded to a group of Owner/Operators: The McDonald's Operators' Association of Southern California. During the L.A. riots in April, not a single McDonald's restaurant was destroyed, a testament to the depth of their commitment to the community over the past 12 years.
 Along with Michael Bolton, special entertainment will be provided by The Four Tops, Acme Vocals and The Chicago Academy for the Arts, a non- profit, independent high school supported by RMCC.
 Ronald McDonald Children's Charities Board of Trustees created the Awards of Excellence in 1986 to honor dedicated individuals whose pioneering work has made an outstanding contribution to the lives of children. Each year, two awards are given: one to a generalist in children's work and one to a physician. The $100,000 award is to be donated to the children's charity of the recipient's choice.
 Since 1984, Ronald McDonald Children's Charities has awarded more than $57 million to more than 1,500 organizations serving children. Established in memory of McDonald's Corp. founder Ray A. Kroc, Ronald McDonald Children's Charities helps young people lead healthier, happier and more productive lives by funding programs in the areas of health care and medical research, including Ronald McDonald House, education and the arts and social and civic service.
 -0- 10/29/92
 /CONTACT: Jill Wortmann or Laura Roberts of Golin/Harris, Thursday: 312-836-6070; or Friday at Hyatt Press Room, 312-380-4880, for Ronald McDonald Children's Charities/ CO: Ronald McDonald Children's Charities ST: Illinois IN: HEA SU:


KD -- NY113 -- 6893 10/29/92 19:43 EST
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Date:Oct 29, 1992
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