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Read, White and Blue: 2008 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hopefuls to Share New Children's Book Inspired by Olympic Ideals with Kids Across America

April 30, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

For Immediate Release April 30, 2008 READ, WHITE AND BLUE: 2008 U.S. OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC HOPEFULS TO SHARE NEW CHILDREN'S BOOK INSPIRED BY OLYMPIC IDEALS WITH KIDS ACROSS AMERICA The Hilton Family of Hotels launches nationwide reading tour and new book by author/illustrator Todd Parr 100 days before Olympic Games begin in Beijing Colorado Springs, Colo.-In celebration of the official 100-day mark from the 2008 Olympic Games, The Hilton Family of Hotels today announced the release of a new children's book inspired by the Olympic ideals and a month-long kids initiative in which U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls will lead book readings for local kids at Hilton Family hotels across the country. U.S. Olympic hopeful Morgan Hamm (gymnastics) and author/illustrator Todd Parr will lead the first reading today during an event at the Hilton New York in New York City, a sister city to Beijing. Developed in collaboration with Parr and approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Hilton Family's be hospitable: A World United Edition includes messages of teamwork, graciousness and multiculturalism and teaches kids to accept others differences. A portion of the book's proceeds benefit the U.S. Paralympic Team."Our be hospitable philosophy is inspired by the belief that kindness and generosity can empower anyone --- from the greatest athlete in the world to a kid growing up in the heart of America --- to make a positive impact on others,"said Jeff Diskin, Senior Vice President, Hilton Brand Management."The Hilton Family is proud to share this book with kids and families as people and cultures come together for the 2008 Olympic Games."Students from Richard Rodgers School of Arts and Technology will participate in the New York reading, which is the first in an eight-city tour featuring U.S. athletes aiming to compete in Beijing. Hotel team members will welcome area kids and provide free copies of be hospitable: A World United Edition. "I am proud to partner with the Hilton Family on this unique book that presents positive messages of respect, kindness and diversity to kids through simple and familiar examples - the way young minds process concepts best," said Parr."be hospitable: A World United Edition is a creative tool parents and teachers can use to talk with kids about creating communities where everyone is valued."After reading the book aloud, the athletes will lead a discussion and share their own personal stories. Hotel team members will also help kids complete their own hospitable gestures -- good luck cards that will be presented to U.S. Olympians and Paralympians upon their departure for Beijing. A recent study by Kelton Research for The Hilton Family of Hotels found that 91 percent of Americans feel there is a need to show more respect to one another in daily interactions. A proud Sponsor of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, the Hilton Family is advocating a return to graciousness, sportsmanship and kindness by sharing its be hospitable philosophy to U.S. Olympic hopefuls, fans, general travelers and kids across the country. The second children's book inspired by Hilton founder Conrad Hilton's philosophy, be hospitable: A World United Edition, can be purchased online through the Hilton Family U.S. Olympic Team shopping portal (www.hiltonfamily.com/usolympic) and through USOC retail channels. Copies of the book will also be available for purchase at the USA House in Beijing during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. A complete schedule of the reading tour follows: May 6-Mark Lopez (taekwondo), Houston, Texas May 6-Wallace Spearmon (track and field) Northwest Arkansas May 8-Paul Hamm (gymnastics), Dallas, Texas May 20-Carlos Leon (track and field), Miami, Fla. May 22-Diana Lopez (taekwondo), Orlando, Fla. May 27-Tatyana McFadden (track and field), Baltimore, Md. May 29-TBD, Atlanta, Ga. About Hilton Family of Hotels Hilton Hotels Corporation is recognized internationally as a preeminent hospitality company. The company develops, owns, manages or franchises more than 3,000 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties. Its portfolio includes many of the world's best known and most highly regarded hotel brands, including Hilton, Conrad Hotels , Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn , Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection. About the U.S. Olympic Committee The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the sole entity in the United States whose mission involves training, entering and underwriting the full expenses for the U.S. teams in the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games. In addition to being the steward of the U.S. Olympic Movement, the USOC is the moving force for support of sports in the United States that are on the program of the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games.