The president of a local wildlife center on Wednesday was named the grand prize winner of the national 2012 Rare Life Award.
Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey announced that Ed Clark, President and Co-Founder of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, is the grand prize winner of the national 2012 Rare Life Award. As part of the award, Eagle Rare will donate $20,000 to the Wildlife Center, the whiskey brand said in a statement.
The award is given to someone who "leads a rare life" of courage, leadership, survival, devotion, character, and heroism, the company said in a press statement. Nominations for the award were submitted to the company's website. According to Eagle Rare, Clark's nomination received a recording-setting 180,000 supporting votes.
Seven finalists were selected from the top 20 vote-recipients. Clark is the Grand Prize award winner for 2012; as part of the Grand Prize award, Eagle Rare will donate $20,000 to the Wildlife Center.
"Receiving the Eagle Rare Life Award is very gratifying," Clark said, according to the press statement.
"I appreciate each and every one of the votes I received. It is humbling to know that so many people care about me and my life's work. But, more importantly, the support I received motivates me to continue to try to make a difference in this world," Clark said, according to the release.
Since its founding in 1982, the nonprofit Wildlife Center has cared for nearly 60,000 wild animals, representing 200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, the statement said.