Foundation will award 'Life Prizes' totaling $600,000

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A new program has been inaugurated to award as much as $600,000 annually to people who have advanced the pro-life cause in the United States.

The Gerard Health Foundation, which funds pro-life initiatives globally, announced the program, titled "Life Prizes," July 8. Beginning in January 2009, the awards will be presented to as many as six recipients each year.

The prizes will be given to pro-life leaders in such areas as public advocacy, scientific research and legal action.

Cathy Ruse, the program's executive director, said its main purpose "is to reward those who are preserving the culture of life through their charitable enterprises or through advocacy programs that defend and preserve the sanctity of human life. We also hope to encourage young people to embrace and create a culture of life for future generations to come."

More than 100 pro-life leaders have been chosen to make nominations for the awards by Aug. 15. Gerard will narrow the field to 20 finalists, who will be reduced by a selection committee to the prize recipients.