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Farooq Kathwari to Receive 2005 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal
Hyde Park, NY, June 1 – The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill (ERVK) announced today the five individuals who will receive the 2005 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal on October 16: Kashmiri peace activist and Ethan Allen Interiors, Inc., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Farooq Kathwari; acclaimed visual artist and community service leader Elayne Seaman; retired IBM executive and distinguished volunteer Harold A. Seaman; dedicated humanitarian Kate Roosevelt Whitney; and human rights champion and attorney William D. Zabel.

The ceremony will be held at Val-Kill, Mrs. Roosevelt's home and the only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady. In this 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, ERVK selected the Eleanor Roosevelt 1945 statement as the theme of the ceremony: “…we will never have peace without friendship around the world.” ERVK board chair Mary Moody noted that “the lives and work of our 2005 medal recipients epitomize this global vision of Mrs. Roosevelt.”

Since 1987, ERVK has annually awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal to outstanding individuals whose work reflects Mrs. Roosevelt's humanitarian values, vision, and leadership locally, nationally, and internationally. Val-Kill Medal recipients are selected for their contributions to society in such fields as citizenship, politics, education, business, culture, social equality, philanthropy, public health, poverty alleviation, and peace promotion. ERVK has honored 73 individuals from around the world in the 18 years of awarding the medal.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization created in 1977 as part of federal legislation designating Val-Kill as the only home of a former U.S. First Lady recognized as a national historic site. ERVK's mission is to perpetuate Mrs. Roosevelt's humanitarian values, social change legacy, and world vision. Current programs include the national Girls' Leadership Workshop and Roosevelt Elderhostels and the regional Diversity Coalition, Community Partnership with Schools and Business, and Welfare Reform Coalition.

2005 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medalist Bio

M. Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ethan Allen Interiors, Inc., became President of the company in 1985. Under Mr. Kathwari's leadership, Ethan Allen has been transformed into a leading manufacturer and retailer of home furnishings in the United States. He serves as Chairman of the nonprofit organizations, Refugees International and Kashmir Study Group, which he began in 1996 to promote a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict. He is a Director of Henry L. Stimson Center and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Mr. Kathwari received his B.A. degree in English Literature and Political Science from Kashmir University and an MBA from New York University.