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American Red Cross Adds Eight New Members to its Celebrity Cabinet

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ ----Award-winning actresses, actors and recording artists join 34 other celebrity Red Cross supporters

The American Red Cross today announced eight new members to its National Celebrity Cabinet, a group of celebrity supporters who promote Red Cross services by donating their time, helping neighbors prepare for emergencies, responding to disasters and lending a helping hand to those in need - down the street, across the country and around the world.

New members include actor Penn Badgley, who is best known as Dan Humphrey on the television series "Gossip Girl"; Giselle Blondet, a Puerto Rican who has long established herself as one of Spanish-language television's most distinguished and popular on-air personalities; actor Josh Duhamel, who appeared in the hit movie "Transformers"; country music superstar Wynonna Judd; actor and hip hop music icon, LL Cool J; award-winning actress and country music superstar Reba McEntire; actress and humanitarian, Alyssa Milano; and actor, comedian and television personality David Spade. With the addition of the eight new members, the Red Cross now has more than 40 members on its National Celebrity Cabinet.

"The American Red Cross runs on the valuable service of volunteers to fulfill our mission, and we are grateful that these celebrities are setting an example by volunteering their time and talents to help raise awareness of our work in responding to disasters, providing blood, helping military members and their families and promoting preparedness through first aid or CPR classes," stated Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross.

Each of the new members has already made personal contributions and has participated in supporting the Red Cross mission. Wynonna Judd has hosted numerous Red Cross blood drives over the years. Spade, Milano and Badgley participated in the telethons for Haiti Relief and promoted the Red Cross through social media such as Twitter. LL Cool J recorded a television public service advertisement (PSA) for the Red Cross in response to the earthquake in Haiti as part of CBS Cares. McEntire has generously recorded radio PSAs on tornado and hurricane preparedness. Duhamel recorded video messages following devastating floods in his home state in North Dakota and participated in a Youth Run 4 Haiti with the American Red Cross of Santa Monica, and Blondet appeared on Univision's telethon, which raised nearly $5 million for Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

The announcement of the new members of the Celebrity Cabinet comes during Red Cross Month, which has been recognized through a presidential proclamation by President Barack Obama. During Red Cross Month, the Red Cross is recognizing the valuable supporters whose generosity makes the organization's work possible, and encouraging people to become involved by donating blood, signing up for a CPR or first aid course, giving a financial gift that can really save the day or getting involved as a volunteer.

"As a long time supporter of the American Red Cross, I applaud their unyielding commitment to the human spirit during domestic and international crises and I am honored to serve as a Celebrity Cabinet member," said Wynonna Judd.

"Whenever a natural disaster occurs, it is always the Red Cross that responds quickly and compassionately. I am honored to lend my voice to their cause, and thrilled to serve on the Celebrity Cabinet for 2010," said Reba McEntire.

Please click here for more Celebrity Cabinet member quotes.

The work of the American Red Cross with public figures and celebrities dates back to World War I. Over the years, actors, artists, and sports figures who have committed their time and talents to the organization have played an important role in raising public awareness of Red Cross services.

New Members of the 2010 American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet:

Penn Badgley is an actor who stars on the hit drama series "Gossip Girl." His other television work includes the series "Do Over" and "The Bedford Diaries." He starred last year in Sony's remake of the feature "The Stepfather" and will be seen in the upcoming film "Easy A" with Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson.

Giselle Blondet one of Univision's most popular on-air personalities, currently hosting the highly successful reality/beauty competition "Nuestra Belleza Latina." Prior to joining the Network, she participated as an actress in a large number of television programs, miniseries, movies, radio programs and theatrical production that won her much acclaim in her native Puerto Rico and abroad. Throughout her distinguished career, which began at the early age of 14, Blondet has played the lead, co-starred or guest-starred in more than 22 well-known Spanish-language dramas series.

Josh Duhamel is an actor who first achieved acting success as Leo du Pres on ABC's "All My Children" and later as Danny McCoy on NBC's "Las Vegas." He is also well known for his role as Captain William Lennox in the box office hit "Transformers" and its sequel, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," as well as his upcoming Warner Brothers movie "Life As We Know It." He was the official pace car driver for the 2009 Indianapolis 500.

Wynonna Judd is a five-time GRAMMY Award winning artist. Judd first gained fame as part of one of the most successful musical duos of all time, The Judds. On top of that amazing feat, she also holds multiple gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications from the RIAA in excess of 30 million units sold for albums released throughout her illustrious 25-year career. In addition to her countless musical achievements, Wynonna became a New York Times best-selling author in 2005 with the release of her long-awaited autobiography, "Coming Home to Myself," released in conjunction with her live CD and DVD "Her Story: Scenes from a Lifetime." Wynonna recently released her critically acclaimed seventh solo studio album, "Sing: Chapter 1," an eclectic assortment of standards paying homage to all the different genres and songs that have formed the soundtrack to her life.

LL Cool J is an acclaimed rapper and actor. A pioneering figure in the hip hop industry, the two-time Grammy Award winner has released twelve studio albums and a greatest hits compilation, with his latest album being 2008's "Exit 13." LL has appeared in several films including "Any Given Sunday," "S.W.A.T" and "Last Holiday" with Queen Latifah, as well as television shows such as "House" and "30 Rock." He currently stars opposite Chris O'Donnell on the CBS hit show "NCIS: Los Angeles."

Reba McEntire is a country music singer who holds the record for the most Academy of Country Music Top Female Vocalist Awards, and American Music Awards for Favorite Female Country Artist, and Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year Awards. She has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Alyssa Milano began her career on the long running sitcom "Who's the Boss?" She then went on to be featured on the FOX cornerstone series "Melrose Place," "Spin City" and most notably an eight-year stint as Phoebe Halliwell on the popular series "Charmed." Her clothing line, TOUCH by Alyssa Milano, launched in 2007 and is licensed with MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA. Alyssa became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 2003 and is the Founding Ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases. Alyssa will next be seen starring in the ABC comedy "Romantically Challenged."

David Spade is an actor, comedian and television personality who first gained notice as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live." For six years, he played Dennis Finch on the television series "Just Shoot Me!," which earned him two Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy nomination. The role of C.J. Barnes followed on the series "8 Simple Rules." He currently stars as Russell Dunbar on the CBS sitcom "Rules of Engagement." He is also working with TBS on an animated series based on his film "Joe Dirt" and has a new film "GROWNUPS" coming out this Summer. In 2003, Spade received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This group of newcomers joins the National Celebrity Cabinet that also includes Greg Biffle, Pierce Brosnan, Jim Cantore, Jackie Chan, Chayanne, Jamie Lee Curtis, Miley Cyrus, Sara Evans, George Foreman, Leeza Gibbons, Amy Grant, Pat Green, Marcia Gay Harden, Patricia Heaton, Julianne Hough, Dwayne Johnson, Heidi Klum, Patti LaBelle, Demi Lovato, Eli and Peyton Manning, Marlee Matlin, Dr. Phil McGraw, Nancy O'Dell, Masi Oka, Rascal Flatts, Amanda Peet, Sally Pressman, Elisabeth Rohm, Anika Noni Rose, Jane Seymour, Jimmy Smits, Raven-Symone, and Daddy Yankee.

Sherry Lansing, former chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Group, Paramount Pictures and former member of the Red Cross Board of Governors, serves as the Chair of the National Celebrity Cabinet.

Please visit www.redcross.org/celebritycabinet/ to learn more about the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

SOURCE American Red Cross

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