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Corporate Impact Awards Recognize Companies' $1 Million-Plus Annual Gifts to American Cancer Society
Sixteen Businesses Cited for Philanthropic Contributions to Furthering Society’s Vision of a World with Less Cancer and More Birthdays

 ATLANTA 2009/11/19 -The American Cancer Society’s nationwide Corporate Impact Awards were presented today to 16 corporations during the organization’s 96th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The awards recognize businesses’ and their employees’ financial as well as in-kind contributions of $1 million or more during the past year. These donations were raised to support the fight against cancer through a variety of means, and they represent these corporations’ dedication to the Society’s lifesaving vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

The companies honored for their substantial gifts to the Society were: AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP; Best Buy; Curves International; dressbarn inc.; HairUWear; International Business Machines (IBM); Merrill Lynch & Co.; Novartis Corporation; Oracle; PartyLite Gifts, Inc.; Pfizer Inc; The Pampered Chef, LTD; UAL Corporation and United Airlines; Walgreen Co.; Walmart; and WellPoint, Inc.

“Through their generous contributions to the American Cancer Society, these companies and their many employees have demonstrated their commitment to our mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and fighting back against a disease which has taken too much from too many,” said American Cancer Society Chief Executive Officer John R. Seffrin, Ph.D. “During these challenging economic times, the level at which each of these 16 companies has contributed to the cancer fight is extraordinary.”

Initiated in 2006, the Corporate Impact Awards commend companies’ significant financial contribution to the Society, generated through employee workplace giving, corporate philanthropy, in-kind support, cause branding, corporate promotions, event sponsorship and team fundraising.

The awards are presented annually as part of the Society’s Corporate Initiative, a project which creates meaningful, long-term relationships with corporations and employers of all sizes by engaging them in delivery of the Society’s lifesaving mission and support for its numerous programs and services. The American Cancer Society Corporate Initiative helps companies implement scientifically-sound, comprehensive health and wellness programs and provides information and high-quality support for cancer screening and care.

“The Society is extremely grateful to these companies for their investment in enabling the substantial progress that continues to be made against the disease. In engaging the fight against cancer, these compassionate organizations and their like-minded employees are helping to substantially ease the burden on those diagnosed with cancer as well as their families and caregivers,” said George W.P. Atkins, 2009-10 national volunteer chair, American Cancer Society Board of Directors.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP is in the midst of a five-year, $10 million pledge to accelerate development of at least 50 new Society-operated Patient Resource Navigator Program sites throughout the U.S. to help guide cancer patients through the process of planning and receiving their cancer treatments. AstraZeneca also has supported three of the Society’s Hope Lodge® facilities, which provide cancer patients and their caregivers with free, extended-stay accommodations during treatment. In 2008, AstraZeneca helped sponsor the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s (ACS CAN) “Fight Back Express” national bus tour that highlighted the crucial role elected officials play in supporting laws and policies that benefit cancer patients.

In 2009, Best Buy employees organized nearly 600 Relay For Life® teams and generated more than $820,000 in grants to recognize employee volunteerism. The company also became a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® National Team Program partner. Best Buy retail employees have expanded their support of the Society by organizing local volunteer teams and leveraging the company’s dollars for doers program, TagTeam Awards.

Curves International, through its four million members and thousands of locations worldwide, is a veteran supporter of the American Cancer Society and its National Corporate Team Programs. In 2008, Curves formed more than 850 Relay For Life teams and raised in excess of $900,000 and formed 500-plus teams which raised more than $400,000 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. As well, through cause marketing events at its nationwide health clubs, Curves raised an additional $115,000.

dressbarn inc., which includes the dressbarn and maurices brands, has contributed more than $6 million to the American Cancer Society. Over the past seven years, the company has been a Relay For Life National Corporate Team Program member, and the dressbarn inc. Foundation has provided registration fee funding for each of the company’s Relay teams, which, in 2009, numbered 300. Additionally, the net profits from selected dressbarn and maurices in-store cause-related promotional items have been donated to the company’s Relay For Life effort. dressbarn inc., is an active participant with the Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative as well as with the Workplace Wellness Program. An Impact Award recipient for the fourth consecutive year, dressbarn inc., contributed more than $1 million to the Society in 2009.

HairUWear has been a generous supporter of the American Cancer Society since 2003 and has donated more than 44,000 wigs, valued at $6.4 million, which have been distributed to Society wig banks nationwide. Through these generous donations, tens of thousands of women facing cancer have been provided with these products that they otherwise might not have been able to afford.

For more than a decade, International Business Machines (IBM) employees have generously donated to the American Cancer Society, with the IBM Employee Contribution Campaign having yielded the second-highest level of corporate-driven payroll deduction donations. In 2008, 13,621 employees pledged more than $2.5 million to the Society. Also, for the fourth consecutive year, the company has employed an American Cancer Society-provided enterprise class computer server to deliver 24 hours per day, seven days per week operation of the IBM World Community Grid’s (worldcommunitygrid.org) “Help Conquer Cancer” project.

Merrill Lynch & Co., employees, thanks to a matching gift from the company’s Merrill Lynch Foundation, contributed more than $4.3 million to the American Cancer Society in 2008. The company is an active participant in the Relay For Life National Corporate Team Program, and Merrill Lynch continues to support various collaborative efforts focused on educating and supporting the needs of underserved populations.

Thanks to the generous support of Novartis Corporation, the American Cancer Society‘s Latin America Best Practices Award program has, for the last two years, recognized regional patient support groups with financial aid for their projects. Novartis has provided matching gifts in support of employee contributions through Relay For Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Daffodil Days. Domestically, through integrated, in-store promotion of its nicotine replacement therapy products, the company has worked with four of its major retail chain accounts to encourage customers to quit smoking. Robert Pelzer, Novartis’ president and chief executive officer, is co-chair of the American Cancer Society Eastern Division’s CEOs Against Cancer® initiative.

Oracle actively addresses improving the quality of life in communities within which it does business. Oracle Giving awarded a $1 million Oracle Commitment Grant to benefit a two-year American Cancer Society project designed to expand evidence, improve planning, and promote action for cancer control in the African countries of Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. The company has also, for the past two years, underwritten or sponsored an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) breakfast at Oracle’s Redwood City, Calif., headquarters.

PartyLite Gifts, Inc. made the American Cancer Society its charity of focus 11 years ago, and the company’s employees and independent PartyLite consultants have contributed more than $11 million. PartyLite fundraising efforts range in size from backyard sales to conferences attended by thousands. Additionally, the Party Lite Change the World™ program encourages customers to round up their purchase prices to the nearest dollar, or up to $10, with the difference benefitting the Society. Also, PartyLite is active with the Relay For Life National Corporate Team Program and most recently ranked fourth nationally, with 426 teams and $506,000 in contributions.

Pfizer Inc, along with the Pfizer Foundation, have supported the American Cancer Society with $1.6 million in grant funding as well as technical assistance for regional cancer and tobacco control programs in Latin America, Southeast Asia and North Africa. In Latin America, grant money is supporting regional trainings and information sharing as well as early detection and cancer screening projects. In Southeast Asia, Pfizer funding is helping to improve local access to cancer control services through training and country-specific projects. In North Africa, Pfizer aid is supporting anti-tobacco youth advocacy leadership training, and the region’s national governing organizations are receiving assistance for training programs in Istanbul, Turkey, that share best practice measures from successful, smoke-free environments.

The Pampered Chef, LTD began its collaboration with the American Cancer Society in 2000, and has since raised more than $7.6 million through its Help Whip Cancer campaign. Independent Pampered Chef consultants have raised funds through the sale of pink, limited-edition products and through cooking shows, and they have helped increase awareness of breast cancer and have promoted the importance of cancer prevention and early detection. In 2008, Pampered Chef became a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer National Team Program participant and raised more than $325,000 – marking its place as the nation’s third-largest fundraising team.

UAL Corporation and United Airlines began their alliance with the American Cancer Society in 2007, when chairman, president and CEO Glenn Tilton and his wife, Jackie, co-chaired an event that raised more than $2 million. Tilton also serves as chair of the CEOs Against Cancer program in the Society’s Illinois Division, and in 2009, he co-chaired the Society’s inaugural national Corporate Impact Conference in Chicago. A marketing program was launched two years ago, whereby United frequent travelers were encouraged to donate their earned miles and/or make financial contributions to provide cost-free transportation for children needing cancer treatment. The campaign has generated more than $3.1 million in miles and promotional support, in addition to $360,000 in cash donations that have helped provide Gund® teddy bears for nearly 18,000 children.

During its nearly two-decade alliance with the American Cancer Society, Walgreen Co., has contributed more than $17 million through a variety of programs. This year, Walgreens offered customers point-of-checkout donation opportunities in exchange for coupon booklets redeemable for future purchases – an initiative which raised nearly $750,000. The company has been active with the Relay For Life National Corporate Team Program, engaging 600 teams and 5,000 employees. Last year, Walgreens engaged the Society’s tobacco-cessation program, with nearly 2,500 company employees calling the program’s information line for help in quitting tobacco. In 2009, Walgreens was the recipient of the Corporate Impact: Award of Excellence at the Society’s Corporate Impact Conference.

Walmart raised more than $8 million for the American Cancer Society in 2008, through contributions to the National Corporate Team Programs for Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and through other Society community events. Additionally, the hourly, in-store Walmart TV delivery of the Society’s lifesaving public service announcements reached more than 128 million shoppers each month. Walmart and Sam’s Club also provided associates with payroll deduction contribution opportunities through the company’s Associate Giving Program. In 2009, Walmart received the Corporate Impact: Employee Engagement award at the American Cancer Society’s Corporate Impact Conference.

WellPoint, Inc., and its employees have been active participants in local Relay For Life events across the country. In 2008, the WellPoint Foundation assisted with the buildout of the American Cancer Society Patient Resource Navigator Program in six of the Society’s 13 Divisions. Additionally, in 2009, the WellPoint Foundation committed its financial support to the Society’s Hope Lodges in Marshfield, Wis., Cleveland, Ohio, and Lexington, Ky.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.





Jamie Kimbrough
Director, Media Relations
American Cancer Society
404-417-5889
jamie.kimbrough@cancer.org