Bentonville, Ark., May 17, 2007 – As Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Children’s Miracle Network continue a month-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of their partnership, the retailer gives shoppers even more incentive to help raise $10 million for children’s hospitals across the country. Wal-Mart will recognize the U.S. community that sells the most miracle balloons at Wal-Mart Stores, Neighborhood Markets, Distribution Centers and Sam’s Club locations during the month of May with a free, live concert performance by country music superstar Tracy Byrd. Byrd has recorded 11 critically acclaimed albums, most recently “Different Things,” and has 13 top ten singles in his arsenal of hits. His latest single “Better Places Than This” is currently climbing the charts.
With more than two weeks left, the stage has yet to be set, and Byrd’s tour bus could still show up anywhere in the country by the end of 2007. The communities currently leading the competition are:
• Marietta, Ohio
• Athens, Georgia
• Fort Smith, Arkansas
• Charleston, South Carolina
• Sioux Falls, South Dakota
• San Jose, California
• Decatur, Illinois
• Baton Rouge, Louisiana
• Kissimmee, Florida
• Pascagoula, Mississippi
“If every person who shops at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club purchased just one balloon, together we could really help improve the health and welfare of children through Children’s Miracle Network,” said Byrd. “I’m looking forward to celebrating with the community who gives the most back.”
On May 1, Wal-Mart launched an aggressive plan to sell 10 million miracle balloons at $1 each, and implemented a variety of different efforts to help drive additional awareness. Wal-Mart has partnered with XM Radio to facilitate the ‘XMKids Traveling Roadshow,’ a 30-day bus tour across the United States that will stop at various Wal-Mart locations, broadcasting live and providing concerts featuring some of the nation’s premier recording artists for young people. In addition, on May 31 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations throughout the country will host in-store 20th anniversary celebrations. Marie Osmond, LeAnn Rimes and Miss America Lauren Nelson will also lend their support to the month-long initiative by traveling around the country, visiting stores and clubs, and speaking to the media to raise awareness of Wal-Mart’s $10 million goal.
“Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club customers and associates are committed to giving back to our communities, and we want to further encourage and reward them for joining us in our effort to help the Children’s Miracle Network,” said Pat Curran, Executive Vice President, Wal-Mart Stores People Division.
In 1987, moved by a desire to impact the medical needs of children, Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, partnered with Children’s Miracle Network. Twenty years later, Wal-Mart and Children’s Miracle Network celebrate that decision and the impact it has had on children across the nation. Wal-Mart associates have raised more than $387 million for children’s hospitals since 1987, and that number continues to grow as 1.3 million associates in over 4,000 locations support Children’s Miracle Network. The goal of raising $10 million in the month of May serves to commemorate this achievement.
About Children’s Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America. Each year the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. To learn more visit http://www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org/.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.