Retired Ambassadors

Erik Estrada


Erik Estrada won the hearts of fans across the world during his six years on the TV series, “CHiP’s.” Mr. Estrada has made numerous TV/motion picture appearances since his time on the hit TV show, yet the role he enjoys most is that of a role model to children throughout the world ( By receiving this award, he will be helping many children with autism by spreading the word about this lifesaving program to others, in addition to helping adults with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and related cognitive conditions.

Chief Executive Officer of Project Lifesaver International, Gene Saunders, said, “Mr. Estrada is very supportive of law enforcement and of the services Project Lifesaver offers to clients and agencies, and we thought he would be a perfect ambassador to represent our cause and carry our mission.”

Year Recognized: 2009

Scott Heckert



(Port. St. Lucie, FL, September 29, 2014) Over the past year the passion and hard work that Scott Heckert displayed for the sport of NASCAR motor racing has been obvious. The year has been a season of growth and success for Scott and his Turner Scott Motorsports team with two wins, qualifying for the pole position three times, one third place, and finishing in the top five, five times.

But racing is not his only passion. Scott has demonstrated a relentless dedication to help raise awareness of Project Lifesaver International (PLI) program and the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. On Friday, September 26th Chief Gene Saunders, PLI’s CEO and Chief Tommy Carter, PLI’s COS inducted Scott as a PLI Ambassador. Scott is only the fifth person to become a PLI Ambassador. Scott knows from personal experience about the challenges of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Scott’s aunt, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and has wandering tendencies, is enrolled in the Project Lifesaver program.

“We are truly grateful to Scott and the rest of the Turner Scott Motorsports team for their support of Project Lifesaver. It is an honor to see the Project Lifesaver logo prominently displayed during the 2014 NASCAR racing season on the #34 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevy. We greatly appreciate both Scott and the Turner Scott Motorsports support and we are privileged to be part of Scott’s amazing journey. PLI will continue to support Scott and his team throughout his career,” said CEO/Founder, Gene Saunders of Project Lifesaver International.

Year Recognized: 2014

Mara Botonis


After thirty years in healthcare, working throughout the United States in the senior housing industry, Mara’s life and career trajectory was forever changed when a close family member was stricken with Alzheimer’s. When the Grandfather that served as her primary paternal influence for over 40 years began losing access to the memories that made up his life story, she knew she had to do something to help. She had spent time in hundreds of communities with thousands of families while working in over thirty states during her three decade career in healthcare. Her everyday work at the national level alongside families coping with the impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as countless medical and healthcare professionals specializing in these diseases, offered unparalleled opportunities to learn from their collective expertise.

Mara called in all of her favors and spent five years researching and working on her-at-a-glance care guide; “When Caring Takes Courage”. Her self-published book was produced with her husband’s support using their life savings and contains over 1,000 quick tips for family caregivers, compiled in a way that is practical and user friendly.

Mara currently lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where she cares for her husband.

Year Recognized: 2019