Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicagoans Support Local Children and Families Through 14th Annual Wrigley Start Early Run.

Proceeds Benefit Prevent Child Abuse America and Voices for Illinois Children


CHICAGO April 15, 2011 – On Saturday, April 23, thousands of people from all over Chicagoland will show their support for Child Abuse Prevention Month by participating in the 14th annual Wrigley Start Early Run in Grant Park’s Hutchinson Field. The event will feature 5K and 10K runs, one-mile pledge walk and free kids dash for children eight and under.

Proceeds will benefit two leading children’s charities: Prevent Child Abuse America, which works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide while recognizing that child development is a building block for community development and economic development; and Voices for Illinois Children, which works with families, communities and policymakers to help the development of children in Illinois.

In addition, through a new financial partnership model that will broaden the base of beneficiaries, at least 16 other child-focused organizations throughout the Chicagoland area will also participate and benefit, making it a true community event.

“Wrigley is a proud sponsor of the Wrigley Start Early Run, bringing thousands of Chicagoans and Wrigley associates together to benefit organizations that contribute to the strength and vitality of our city” said John Webb, senior-vice president of people, learning and development at the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. “We are proud to continue our tradition of working with our local communities to make a difference.”

NBC Channel 5 Sports Anchor Paula Faris will emcee the event, which will bring more than 3,000 participants who will step out for children and families. The event will also offer a variety of family activities, including appearances from the Berenstain Bears and the Chicago Blackhawks mascot, and a kids’ area with bounce houses and games.

Interested runners or walkers are encouraged to register on-line by noon April 20 here; walk-ins are also welcome on race day.

“Every one of us has a role in supporting healthy child development and preventing abuse and neglect,” said Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO Jim Hmurovich. “Participating in the Wrigley Start Early Run is an important step in the right direction, and we are thrilled that Chicagoans are committed to this cause, and are helping to raise awareness about the importance of prevention. We also greatly appreciate the Wrigley Company’s ongoing sense of corporate social responsibility.”

Wrigley Start Early Run & Walk Event Details

WHEN: Saturday, April 23rd

9:00a.m. – 1-mile pledge walk

9:10a.m. – 5K Run

9:15a.m. – 10K Run

Kids Dash starts after the runs are completed

WHERE: Hutchinson Field in Grant Park (Columbus at Balbo)


Register here.


Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide while recognizing that child development is a building block for community development and economic development. We believe that communities across the country are doing innovative things with great results to prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring, and what we need to do as a nation is commit to bringing this kind of ingenuity to communities everywhere. Based in Chicago, Prevent Child Abuse America has chapters in 48 states and 385 Healthy Families America sites in 32 states.


Voices for Illinois Children works as a catalyst for change across issue areas to improve the lives of children throughout our state so they can grow up healthy, happy, safe, loved and well educated. For 20 years we have helped parents, business and community leaders and policy makers understand and respond to the issues facing children and families.


Wrigley is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, and lollipops. The company has operations in more than 40 countries and distributes its world-famous brands in more than 180 countries. Three of these brands - Wrigley's Spearmint®, Juicy Fruit®, and Altoids® - have heritages stretching back more than a century. Other well-loved brands include Doublemint®, Life Savers®, Skittles®, Big Red®, Winterfresh®, Extra®, Starburst®, Orbit®, Airwaves®, P.K.®, Cool Air® and 5™. Wrigley is headquartered in Chicago, IL and operates as a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, based in McLean, VA. Mars is a $27-billion, family-owned company that produces some of the world's leading confectionery, food and pet-care products and has growing beverage and health & nutrition businesses.

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