Home News President Obama Meets Children's Miracle Network "Champions" from Around the Country

President Obama Meets Children's Miracle Network "Champions" from Around the Country

Walmart Sponsored Trip lets Pediatric Hospital Patients Meet
President, Senators and Congressmen in Washington, D.C.

Photos from the White House and Capitol Hill meetings are available at www.ChildrensMiracleNetwork.org/ChampionsDC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 24, 2009 – Children’s Miracle Network, an international non-profit that raises funds for children’s hospitals in the United States, visited the White House today with 53 very special ambassadors – young “Champions” who are living testaments to the medical care being provided at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals across the country.

President Barack Obama met with a child from every state who is part of Champions Across America presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club. After spending time with the Champions, President Obama invited the Champions and their siblings to play on the playground on the South Lawn.

Champions Across America raises awareness for the 17 million children who are treated each year at 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. The program designates a Champion child in every state who has battled a serious illness or injury. The 2009 Champions have braved illnesses such as brittle bone disease, brain tumors, leukemia and cerebral palsy, and survived car accidents and plane crashes.

“The Champions Across America program has been raising awareness about the importance of children’s hospitals for the past 13 years,” said Scott Burt, president and CEO, Children's Miracle Network. “It’s always a privilege to be at the White House and we hope that President Obama was inspired by the children he met today.”

In addition to the White House visit, the Champions had the opportunity to visit with members of Congress during a luncheon at Capitol Hill where Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) addressed the group.

“Children’s hospitals across the country are literally saving millions of lives each year, and I appreciate these young and brave Children’s Miracle Network Champions taking the time to come to Washington to represent children across America who are suffering from many serious medical conditions,” said Senator Hatch. “These Champions are a true inspiration to all.”

Joining the Champions were Miss America 2009 Katie Stam and country music star Mark Wills. “One of Miss America’s most important and most rewarding duties is to serve as the official Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network,” said Stam. “Being able to get to know each of these Champions on a personal level has connected me forever to them and their families. I look forward to visiting their hospitals and helping them raise money throughout the year.”

“Over the past two decades, Children’s Miracle Network, its hospitals and especially their patients have found a very special place in the hearts of Walmart and Sam’s Club associates,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “We have been inspired by the Children’s Miracle Network Champions, and as they bring their stories of courage and determination to our nation’s capitol, we hope that others will be inspired to support the work of children’s hospitals.”

Walmart’s support for the Children’s Miracle Network began in 1987. Since then, Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members have raised and contributed more than $460 million for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

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. 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 go to ChildrensMiracleNetwork.org.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation supports initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. In 2007, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.