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Valassis Continues to Raise Awareness and Money to Help Find Missing Children

Press release from the issuing company

Valassis, one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies,continues its commitment to make a difference in the lives of missing children by calling on the public to join them in recognizing National Missing Children's Day on May 25. This call to action is part of 26 years of efforts to raise awareness and money for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

May 25 is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school and has been observed as National Missing Children's Day since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. Etan's story captivated the nation. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer, was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the country and around the world. The search for Etan continues; he is still missing. On this day, all of the children who are missing are remembered and awareness raised to this all important cause. One of the tenets of Valassis' Have You Seen Me? program is that no child is forgotten.

Since 1985, the program has featured the names and faces of missing children across its products, generating over 43,000 leads. Today, the program can be found on the RedPlum(TM) Shared Mail package, cooperative coupon booklet and on redplum.com and valassis.com.

In addition to raising awareness to the cause by donating its media space, Valassis employees raise money each year for NCMEC. In 2010, $76,250 was raised for NCMEC, and in 2011, a goal of $80,000 has been set. Money is raised through a host of fund raisers throughout the year including the company's half-day off program prior to summer holiday weekends, a payroll deduction program, golf outings and flower sales.

Valassis also requested that NCMEC be named the charity spotlight at this year's Restaurant Leadership Conference held in Scottsdale, Ariz. Each year, more than 1,400 restaurant executives and suppliers gather for three days at this industry premier networking event, and their charity foundation, CARRE, selects an organization to support with awareness and fund-raising activities.

The fund-raising efforts were kicked off by Valassis Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Suzie Brown who co-hosted the charity effort with Susan Lintonsmith, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers CMO. Brown shared Valassis' history with NCMEC, the 150 children directly recovered as a result the Have You Seen Me? program and the exceptional contribution by Valassis employees in raising money for NCMEC. Red Robin is also a long-term supporter of NCMEC and includes fund raising and child-ID kit distribution at each of their restaurant grand openings

Ed Smart - the father of Elizabeth Smart - shared the experience of his daughter's abduction (Elizabeth was abducted from her home in 2002 and recovered nine months later), then urged the conference participants to step up and help in the recovery of missing children. Smart's comments hit home when he spotlighted restaurants where missing children have been recovered, stressing the important role the restaurant industry plays. Overall, the event helped raised over $25,000 for NCMEC.


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