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Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell Joins Celebrities Endorsing Limos for Learning™

June 23, 2006

Nancy O'Dell

Limos for Learning™, a unique South Carolina-based reading incentive and reward program for young students, announced today that Nancy O’Dell, co-anchor of NBC’s nationally syndicated entertainment news program “Access Hollywood” and a native of South Carolina, will lend her name and celebrity status to the program to encourage student, corporate and community participation.  Specifically, O'Dell has recorded videotape messages that will be played for students as part of the Limos for Learning™ curriculum.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Nancy O’Dell to the growing family of celebrity participants who understand that reading is a major key to success in life at all levels,” noted Betsy Ross, president and founder of Limos for Learning™ – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Today more than ever, children relate to celebrities and Nancy’s willingness to lend her name, talent and wonderful reputation can make a real difference in the lives of many students.”

O’Dell was part of "Access Hollywood's" on-air team when the show launched in 1996, serving as weekend co-anchor and weekday correspondent. In January 1999, she was promoted to co-anchor, and has since earned a reputation as one of Hollywood's leading entertainment journalists. Notably, she has acted as host of NBC’s live broadcasts of the Golden Globes Arrivals Special and The Tournament of Roses Parade since 2000, served as host of Miss USA since 2004 and is a contributor to NBC News’s “Today” show and “Dateline.” O’Dell has also appeared in numerous television series and films.

“If my image and voice can encourage just one more child to understand that being able to read is absolutely fundamental to life, then we will have succeeded,” O’Dell said.  “While Limos for LearningTM is about to expand to other states, I’m especially proud that this fine program and I both call South Carolina home.”

A summa cum laude honors graduate of Clemson University and an award-winning journalist, O’Dell has been honored with three Associated Press Awards, two Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Awards, and is a six-time Emmy Award nominee. O’Dell began her broadcast career as a reporter and anchor at WPDE-TV in Florence/Myrtle Beach, SC. She later worked as morning news anchor and crime reporter at WCBD-TV in Charleston, SC.  Following her work in Charleston, O’Dell served as co-anchor and investigative reporter for NBC’s Miami station, WTVJ-TV, before joining Access Hollywood.

O’Dell received a great honor when South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford declared Feb. 1, 2006 Nancy O’Dell Day in the entire state. Additionally, she was inducted into South Carolina’s Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1998 as the youngest member ever in recognition of her journalistic success. A star bearing her name can also be found along Myrtle Beach’s Sun Fun Festival Walk of Fame. An academic leader early on, O’Dell was valedictorian of her high school class.

Although O’Dell maintains a busy work schedule, she regularly makes time for philanthropic endeavors. She serves on the American Red Cross’s National Celebrity Cabinet, is a celebrity spokesperson for the March of Dimes, and acts as an international board member for Best Buddies, a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. O’Dell is also a Celebrity Ambassador for Childhelp USA, an organization committed to meeting the needs of abused and neglected children.

Limos for Learning™ is a reading-incentive program whose purpose is to motivate, recognize and reward elementary students for achieving individual goals in reading through hard work and dedication. One aspect of the incentive program is to honor “celebrity” students who meet or exceed goals and demonstrate improvement in reading with a limousine ride to a red-carpet Literacy Celebration luncheon hosted by the organization.  For more information about the Limos For Learning™ program, volunteer or sponsorship opportunities, please peruse the balance of this website.