WOONSOCKET, R.I., June 7, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --CVS/pharmacy has kicked-off its ninth annual in-store fundraising campaign to support the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Since 2002, CVS/pharmacy has partnered with the ALS Therapy Alliance (ATA) to help advance ALS research. To date, CVS/pharmacy has raised more than $19 million in its stores--a single $1 donation at a time--to support the funding of new clinical research with the aim of discovering a treatment or cure for this devastating disease. This year's campaign began on June 6 and runs through June 26.
To help educate the public about ALS, CVS/pharmacy has enlisted the support of two young fathers who are ALS patients to serve as honorary co-chairs of the campaign, along with Executive Vice President of CVS Caremark Jon Roberts who lost his wife to ALS.
Treg Charlton, 44, of Overland Park, Kansas and 38-year-old Jeremy Williams of Pine Mountain Valley, Georgia say they're proud of how they and their families have handled their prognoses and want to be strong 'voices' about the need to find a cure for ALS and the underlying need to fund ALS research.
Charlton, who is a regional director of real estate for CVS Caremark and has two young daughters, was just diagnosed in March and is already experiencing weakened muscles throughout his body. "When my wife Dianne and I found out, we decided right away that we weren't going to sit on the sidelines while ALS wreaked havoc on my body. I told my family and friends not to be frightened or feel sadness or pity for me. I believe I was selected to have this disease to be a voice; to deal with this in a positive manner and to share my love for life and my optimism for finding a cure, with others," Charlton said.
That sentiment is shared by Williams - a man who was featured with his family on the May 16, 2010 season finale of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Williams, who is head coach of the Greenville, Georgia Patriots High School football team, was diagnosed with ALS in June of 2008 and now faces great physical challenges on a daily basis. Married to his high school sweetheart Jennifer and the father of two children - one who has Spina Bifida - Williams is not allowing ALS to dictate how he leads his life. "I'm not going to let ALS beat me or my family or keep me from doing what I want to do. We're going to move ahead full force and be advocates for finding a cure for this horrific disease," he said.
ALS is a disorder in which there is progressive degeneration of motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord leading to paralysis and death, typically within three to five years. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, which affects 25,000 Americans, with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Campaign co-chair Roberts said, "The way that Treg and Jeremy have risen above this terrible disease and have chosen to live life to the fullest while championing funding for ALS research is incredibly admirable and courageous. By sharing their stories publicly, they are putting faces to this devastating disease and can have a great impact on motivating CVS/pharmacy customers to donate to this important campaign."
Dr. Robert H. Brown, Jr., who is Executive Director of ALS Therapy Alliance, said, "Continued research is critical to finding a cure for ALS, but the research can't take place without proper funding. What CVS/pharmacy has provided through this annual in-store fundraising campaign is a novel and powerful vehicle to drive forward research that has never been pursued before. Thanks to the efforts of CVS/pharmacy and its customers, the rate of progress we're making in finding a cure for ALS is taking place faster than ever before."
About ALS Therapy Alliance (ATA)
ATA was founded in 2000 to provide a vehicle for a diverse group of scientists and clinicians to coordinate research related to ALS. The scientists involved in the ATA are affiliated with some of the best universities and medical centers, including, among others, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard College, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston University and the University of Massachusetts. ATA's board is comprised of outstanding clinicians, scientists and business associates including two Nobel Prize Laureates, H. Robert Horwitz, Ph.D. and Craig C. Mello, Ph.D., who are committed to the organization's mission. CVS Caremark is the largest corporate donor to the ALS Therapy Alliance.
CVS/pharmacy is the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS). The Company operates more than 7,000 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores. CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at http://www.cvscaremark.com
WOONSOCKET, R.I., June 7, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --CVS Caremark's All Kids Can, a philanthropic program to enrich the lives of children with disabilities, and VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, announce the official ribbon cutting tomorrow of the "State of the Art" exhibition at Union Station in Washington, D.C. as part of the 2010 International VSA Festival. The exhibit is a collection of impressive artwork ranging from oil paintings to paper art to photographs that were created by young students ages 5-15, all of whom live with a disability.
As part of "All Kids Can....CREATE!" a joint program between CVS Caremark and VSA, one artist from each state was selected from more than 5,500 entries, to display their artwork at the "State of the Art" exhibition. CVS Caremark invited each artist and their families to travel to D.C. to experience the exhibit, meet their states dignitary and participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the event.
"The 'State of the Art' exhibition truly captures the spirit of our festival, which is a celebration of the arts by people with disabilities," said Soula Antoniou, president of VSA. "We are grateful to CVS Caremark for partnering with us on this unique program to create the opportunity for the students and their families to see the exhibition themselves, meet one another, attend the festival, and tour the nation's capital - many for their first time. The students are very excited and I know this means so much to them."
"Our partnership with VSA extends the All Kids Can mission to ensure that children of ALL abilities can learn, play and succeed in life," said Eileen Howard Dunn, senior vice president, Corporate Communications and Community Relations for CVS Caremark. "Art therapy has helped many children living with a disability to find new ways to achieve success and we couldn't be more proud to bring together these student artists from across the country to celebrate their achievements at the 2010 International VSA Festival."
While in D.C., the young artists will have the opportunity to attend performances and view artwork by professional artists with disabilities. The 2010 International VSA Festival is the largest arts and disability event to take place in Washington, D.C., to date and will feature artists with disabilities in venues citywide from June 6-12. More information can be found at www.vsartsfestival.org.
All 5,500 entries to the call will be included in an online art gallery at www.vsarts.org and in an interactive digital kiosk at the exhibition. "State of the Art" will be showcased at Union Station from now until June 12, before touring nationally.
The 51 children whose artwork will be displayed are:
- Margaret, age 9 (Mountain, Alabama)
- Lukas, age 6 (Delta Junction, Alaska)
- Victor, age 12 (Phoenix, Arizona)
- Chad, age 9 (Monticello, Arkansas)
- Sebastian, age 15 (Chula Vista, California)
- Amino, age 10 (Denver, Colorado)
- Shardia, age 14 (Hamden, Connecticut)
- Ryan, age 5 (Dover, Delaware)
- Khadijah, age 12 (Washington, District of Columbia)
- Jack, age 6 (Venice, Florida)
- Alexis, age 11 (Newnan, Georgia)
- Kiana, age 8 (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Justin, age 15 (Post Falls, Idaho)
- Danny, age 10 (Glen Ellyn, Illinois)
- Austin, age 12 (Indianapolis, Indiana)
- Thomas, age 13 (Ames, Iowa)
- Josh, age 12 (Kansas City, Kansas)
- Elizabeth, age 13 (Bowling Green, Kentucky)
- Derrick, age 12 (Opelousas, Louisiana)
- Colby, age 13 (Brunswick, Maine)
- Anthony, age 8 (Millersville, Maryland)
- Marcellus, age 9 (Dorchester, Massachusetts)
- Kelsey, age 12 (Detroit, Michigan)
- Phoenix, age 10 (Prior Lake, Minnesota)
- Vallye, age 13 (Brandon, Mississippi)
- Victoria, age 12 (Chesterfield, Missouri)
- Christopher, age 10 (Ballatine, Montana)
- Nefertiti, age 11 (Omaha, Nebraska)
- Yuri, age 12 (Reno, Nevada)
- Donaman, age 5 (Rumney, New Hampshire)
- Alex, age 8 (Bordentown, New Jersey)
- Yonathan, age 12 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
- Maurice, age 13 (Bronx, New York)
- Alexis, age 12 (Pineville, North Carolina)
- Michael, age 14 (Bismarck, North Dakota)
- Adrian, age 9 (Donnelsville, Ohio)
- Amanda, age 14 (Enid, Oklahoma)
- Billie, age 9 (North Bend, Oregon)
- Joseph, age 8 (Hawley, Pennsylvania)
- Ryan, age 15 (Pawtucket, Rhode Island)
- Keona, age 12 (Spartanburg, South Carolina)
- Shawna, age 14 (North Sioux, South Dakota)
- Jalyn, age 7 (Sweetwater, Tennessee)
- Joseph, age 9 (Dallas, Texas)
- Raquelle, age 10 (Pleasant View, Utah)
- Tyler, age 9 (Isle La Motte, Vermont)
- Taylor, age 8 (Glen Allen, Virginia)
- Anna, age 13 (Bellevue, Washington)
- Cody, age 12 (Wheeling, West Virginia)
- Dakota, age 13 (Oshkosh, Wisconsin)
- Mary, age 8 (Laramie, Wyoming)
Union Station is located at 50 Massachusetts Ave, N.E. To find out more, please visit www.vsarts.org/allkidscancreate or call (202) 628-2800.
VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all. With 52 international affiliates and a network of nationwide affiliates, VSA is changing perceptions about people with disabilities around the world. Each year, 7 million people of all ages and abilities participate in VSA programs, which cover all artistic genres. VSA is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit www.vsarts.org.
About CVS Caremark All Kids Can
CVS Caremark All Kids Can is a five-year, $25 million commitment to support children with disabilities. The goals of CVS Caremark All Kids Can are to support children with disabilities by raising awareness in schools and in local communities about the importance of inclusion, creating greater opportunities for physical activity and play, and providing access to medical rehabilitation. CVS Caremark and its more than 215,000 employees help children with disabilities learn, play and succeed through partnerships with leading local and national nonprofit organizations such as VSA and many others across the country. For more information, visit www.cvscaremarkallkidscan.com.
Media Contacts: Erin Pensa Laura Broom CVS Caremark VSA 401-770-4786 202-628-2800 x3883 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE CVS Caremark