Christopher Reeve to Receive "America's Role Model 2000" Award from the Olender Foundation
April 17, 1999
Washington, DC -- The Olender Foundation announced today that renowned actor and director Christopher Reeve will accept the Olender Foundation's America's Role Model 2000 Award on stage at the Kennedy Center at the 14th Annual Olender Foundation Awards on December 1, 1999. An Olender grant will be donated in Mr. Reeve's honor to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF), which raises funds for research leading to a treatment and cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other nervous system disorders. CRPF also support programs to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
"Throughout his artistic career, Christopher Reeve has used his celebrity to promote humanitarian causes," said Washington malpractice lawyer Jack Olender, president of the Olender Foundation. "Despite a terrible accident in 1995 that left him paralyzed, he has continued to advocate for justice, especially for the ill and the injured. As we look to a new millennium, I can think of no person more deserving of the title, "America's Role Model 2000.'"
On April 13th, Christopher Reeve met Jack Olender at the National Academy of Sciences where Reeve where he gave an address to the Society for Neuroscience. While in town, Mr. Reeve also testified before Congress in support of increased research funding for the National Institute of Health. In addition to medical research, Reeve has advocated for adequate medical insurance coverage for victims of catastrophic injuries, payment of patients' legitimate claims, and the preservation of malpractice victims' right to a jury trial.
Previous Olender Foundation Awardees include Muhammad Ali, Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes, Baseball Hall of Fame journalist Sam Lacy, and world-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.