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$100,000 Motorola Foundation Grant




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David Early

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Bicentennial Gala Will Fete 16th President

WASHINGTON – Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission today announced a $100,000 grant from the Motorola Foundation in support of the production of a star-studded celebration slated for February 2009 to mark the 16th president’s 200th birthday.

“There is no greater American icon than Abraham Lincoln,” said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation.  “His values – freedom, democracy, equality of opportunity – are America’s values.  We at the Motorola Foundation are truly excited to play a significant part in Lincoln’s 200th birthday festivities. A celebration of Abraham Lincoln is a celebration of America’s highest ideals.”

“With enthusiastic support from ASCAP, we are planning a birthday party next February featuring the best talent Hollywood and Broadway can offer,” said ALBC Executive Director Eileen Mackevich.  “We’re grateful for Motorola’s involvement because it ensures a first-class tribute with new and historic music, video, and dramatic presentations.”

Taking a cue from Lincoln’s own concern for Civil War veterans, gala planners are working closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs and veterans’ organizations to create an event that celebrates Lincoln’s birthday and simultaneously honors veterans of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Abraham Lincoln preserved the Union during the Civil War,” said Mackevich.  “His leadership continues to inspire us today and challenges us to create a more ‘perfect union’ with true freedom and equality of opportunity for all.”

In addition to the birthday gala, the ALBC’s plans for next February include a national teach-in, ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial, a congressional tribute, and the opening of a major exhibit by the Library of Congress.

The Motorola Foundation’s grant for the February 2009 birthday gala is part of a larger financial commitment to Lincoln programming.  Working in collaboration with the Chicago History Museum and the ALBC, the Motorola Foundation has also announced a Lincoln Grants program to fund projects developed by U.S. civic, educational, and cultural organizations that actively engage the public in the lessons from Lincoln’s life.

The application deadline for the Motorola Lincoln Grants program is July 30.  For more information, please visit: www.motorola.com/giving.

“Abraham Lincoln, the only President to hold a patent, was always interested in technology. I am sure he would have been fascinated by the electronics produced by Motorola,” said Dr. William Kennedy Smith, chair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Host Committee.  “And as a voracious reader, I know he would approve of the Motorola Foundation’s strong support for education and programs designed to inspire young minds.  Motorola's generous support of the Lincoln celebration – and Lincoln programs throughout the country – helps to ensure that his great legacy will continue to enrich us all.”

Communities throughout the United States will come together in February 2009 to salute Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy.  Planning is well underway for numerous concerts, exhibits, lectures, speeches, symposia, plays, and a whole range of events.  National institutions, likewise, are planning major programs.  For example, a Lincoln Bicentennial exhibit will highlight the much anticipated reopening of the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, which has been closed for extensive renovations.

About the Motorola Foundation
The Motorola Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola. With employees located around the globe, Motorola seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships, fostering innovation and engaging stakeholders. Motorola Foundation focuses its funding on education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information, on Motorola Corporate and Foundation giving, visit www.motorola.com/giving.
About the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
Congress established the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to plan educational, public, and legacy programs to mark the 16th president’s 200th birthday in 2009.  Its members, who are appointed by the president and congressional leaders, include political leaders, jurists, historians, and collectors.  The ALBC aims to renew Americans’ appreciation of Lincoln’s ideals of freedom, democracy and equality of opportunity.