September 10, 2008

Together for Kids, Member Hospitals Launch National Fundraising Campaign, Walk Across America

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- To promote healthy lifestyles for children and raise money for seriously ill children, Together for Kids and its member hospitals will launch Walk Across America, its first national fundraising campaign. The Walk campaign runs from September 25 to October 31, 2008. Six member hospitals will hold public walks, while others will conduct "virtual" walks that allow busy people to contribute to improving children's healthcare without having to walk at a certain time or place.

Countless children around the nation today face increasing challenges to their health and well-being -- challenges ranging from the growing numbers of uninsured kids to the steadily climbing statistics on childhood obesity. Meanwhile, funding for children's healthcare from public and private payers is shrinking. Together for Kids, a national, not-for-profit foundation, serves as a catalyst for fundraising to help member hospitals across the country tackle these challenges and bring better healthcare to more of America's children.

"Together for Kids is committed to making sure the resources are available to help make America's kids healthier and safer," said Together for Kids' chair Crystal Hinson Miller of North Carolina Children's Hospital at the University of North Carolina. "Through Walk Across America, people all over the country will be able to enjoy physical activity and at the same time raise money for hospitalized children."

Funds raised will go directly to children's hospitals in the Together for Kids network. Supporters can direct their donation to a particular hospital or give to the national organization for equal distribution among member hospitals.

Walkers and non-walkers alike can participate in Walk Across America by registering online at the Together for Kids Web site ( On the site, participants can go to individual Walk web pages for each member hospital and make a miles-walked pledge or a fixed donation. Supporters can walk a route of their choice and raise money as an individual or join a team of co-workers or students and collect pledges for each mile walked.

Public walk events will be held by the following Together for Kids member hospitals:

   September 25:   Blank Children's Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa    October    5:   The Children's Hospital at Bronson, Kalamazoo, Mich.    October   18:   Children's Center at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento,                   Calif.                    Miller Children's Hospital, Long Beach, Calif.                    University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, Chicago,                   Ill.    October   25:   Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, Tacoma, Wash.    

Together for Kids was launched in 2007 at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. It is committed to providing an urgently needed national fundraising mechanism to support the work of member hospitals. Pediatric specialists from Together for Kids hospitals who make up its Physicians Advisory Committee have prioritized childhood obesity and accident prevention as critical challenges on which hospitals will work together to make a real difference.

National statistics show that the percentage of overweight children jumped from 6 percent in the 1980s to 17 percent in 2007. Obesity puts children at risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In addition, the leading cause of death for children age 1 to 14 is accidental injuries -- more than all other causes of death for this age group combined. Each year, 20 percent to 25 percent of all children in the U.S. -- more than 39,000 each day, will sustain an injury serious enough to require medical attention and/or bed rest.

About Together for Kids

Together for Kids ( is a national alliance of children's hospitals and other hospitals serving children, dedicated to building a healthier future for America's kids. The organization provides an urgently needed national fundraising mechanism for its member hospitals, helping them care for seriously ill children and tackle the toughest health issues facing all kids, with a focus on childhood obesity and injury prevention. The organization was established in 2007 and consists of 53 hospitals in 47 U.S. cities.

Together for Kids

CONTACT: Lisa Henderson for Together for Kids, +1-813-775-6208,[email protected]

Web Site: http:///