Baltimore-Area Child Helps Kick Off Duracell "Power a Smile" Holiday Campaign

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December 10, 2008

Duracell's Baltimore-area Holiday Ambassador, six-year-old Iyana Austin-Howell, will deliver toys and batteries to children at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore as part of the Duracell Power A Smile campaign. The campaign aims to spread the joy of powering up a gift for the first time to children who need it most during the holiday season.

Kennedy Krieger Institute was selected as one of five hospitals nationwide to receive a visit from a Duracell Holiday Ambassador and a donation of toys and batteries from Duracell. In children's hospitals, toys provide more than play — they are an important part of children's recovery. Duracell batteries power the toys that will bring smiles to children in hospitals this holiday season, along with many of the lifesaving devices used in hospitals. The donation to Kennedy Krieger Institute includes toys selected to meet the hospital's specific needs and Duracell batteries worth $5,000.

The team of five Duracell Holiday Ambassadors, one each from Albuquerque, N.M., Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Baltimore, are encouraging families to visit to simply share one smile to power another. For each photo of a smile uploaded to the site this holiday season, Duracell will donate $1 to the Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. The five ambassadors met actress Maggie Gyllenhaal in New York City on Dec. 3 to make the first hospital donation at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008
Where: Kennedy Krieger Institute
707 North Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
Who: Interviews available with:
  • Baltimore-area Holiday Ambassador, six-year-old Iyana Austin-Howell
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute representatives
  • Families and children at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Ambassador Background:

Duracell held a nationwide search this fall to find five holiday ambassadors between the ages of six and 15. Three children were selected through an online casting call at and one child from was chosen from each of two in-person casting calls in Dallas and Philadelphia. Participants were judged on how well they reenacted that moment of excitement when they opened their favorite gift for the first time, their overall enthusiasm and suitability as a spokesperson. The judging panel included representatives from Duracell, Mattel and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA.

About Kennedy Krieger Institute
Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD serves more than 13,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis. For more information on Kennedy Krieger Institute, visit

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