Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Astellas Pharma US Engages Baseball Fans About Organ Donation

DEERFIELD, Ill.— As the number of people awaiting lifesaving organ transplants in the United States continues to climb - currently more than 100,000 people are on the waiting list - it is more important than ever for people who support donation to become registered donors. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., in partnership with Donate Life, has launched Step to the Plate - Register to Donate, a national campaign to reinforce the importance of organ donation, share stories of those changed by the miracle of transplantation and provide the public with the information they need to join their state organ donation registries.

The program uses the setting of Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball (MiLB) games to spread the message that every person has the power to save lives through organ donation. The program also recognizes the important contributions of members of the transplant and donation communities, including recipients, donors, organ procurement organizations, physicians, surgeons and transplant center staff.

"An average of 18 people die each day waiting for available organs. Therefore, it's imperative that we educate people about donation and provide information and access to allow them to register to donate," said Maribeth Landwehr, director, corporate communications for Astellas.

Event activities will include a pre-game ceremony featuring local members of the donation and transplant communities, a special "first pitch" by a local transplant recipient and between-inning contests. Fans will have an opportunity during the game to join their state organ donor registry. Also, the first 500 entrants to the ballpark at each MiLB game will receive a free giveaway featuring the Donate Life and Astellas logos.

Step to the Plate - Register to Donate will visit 11 ballparks during the 2009 baseball season.

Step to the Plate - Register to Donate
2009 Schedule

Team City Date

Chicago Cubs Chicago, IL 5/25/09

Potomac Nationals Washington, D.C. 6/7/09

San Antonio Missions San Antonio, TX 6/12/09

Rochester Red Wings Rochester, NY 6/21/09

Brooklyn Cyclones Brooklyn, NY 6/28/09

Trenton Thunder Trenton, NJ 6/28/09

Winston-Salem Dash Winston-Salem, NC 6/28/09

Lowell Spinners Lowell, MA 7/9/09

Palm Beach Cardinals Palm Beach, FL 7/18/09

Portland Beavers Portland, OR 7/18/09

San Francisco Giants San Francisco, CA 7/30/09

Donate Life America is a non-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States, serving as a national voice and inspiring all people to save and enhance lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

Astellas is a recognized leader in transplantation and has been committed to the field of immunology for more than 20 years. Dedicated to supporting the advancement of care for patients, Astellas continues to build upon its legacy and leadership in transplantation by investing in ongoing clinical research and new product development.

Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Deerfield, Ill., is a US affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Entergy Charitable Foundation Gives $1.4 Million in Grants

NEW ORLEANS — The Entergy Charitable Foundation has issued $1.4 million in grants to organizations in seven states served by Entergy Corporation businesses.

Approximately $800,000 in grants went to nonprofit groups in the New Orleans metro area working to help the region continue its recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Those grants were part of $1 million given to Louisiana organizations.

The St. Bernard Project received a grant of $511,975 to help it expand its home rebuilding program to the Gentilly neighborhood in New Orleans. The group plans to rebuild 25 Gentilly homes and 25 homes in St. Bernard, all built and furnished to Energy Star energy efficiency standards.

The next largest grant, $150,000, was to KIPP New Orleans, Inc., which runs five elementary and middle schools in New Orleans targeted to students of low-income families. More than 1,000 children attend the schools. The foundation also donated $50,000 to the Greater New Orleans Economic Development Foundation to help attract and retain businesses in the 10-parish area. A $25,000 grant was given to the Preservation Alliance of New Orleans for its Rebuilding New Orleans Together energy efficiency program aimed at elderly and disabled homeowners.

The Gulf Coast Housing Development Corp. received a $75,000 grant to help fund a "gateway project" that is part of a larger effort to revitalize the Old South Baton Rouge area with mixed-use developments.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting also received $50,000 from the foundation to help fund its Raising Readers initiative.

The foundation gave $30,000 to the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. The fund gives scholarships to low-income mothers and fathers who are working to earn a college degree.

Other education-oriented grants were given to the Project SMART program run by the Oswego College Foundation, Inc. and the Peekskill City School District. Project SMART helps teams of educators develop curriculum that connect students with real-life applications of educational principles. The Peekskill grant will help purchase technology equipment for science classes.

The Entergy Charitable Foundation (ECF) is a private, nonprofit foundation wholly funded by Entergy Corporation. The goal of the foundation is to support initiatives that help create and sustain thriving communities. ECF has a special focus on low-income initiatives as well as educational and literacy programs and efforts to protect the environment. The ECF accepts applications three times per year.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $13 billion and approximately 14,700 employees.

Although Hurricane Katrina not in the public spotlight any longer, there's still work that needs to be done, and Entergy is taking the lead in lending support in the communities it serves.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Marriott ExecuStay Focuses on Community Giving

BETHESDA, Md. - Marriott ExecuStay, a leader in temporary housing, corporate housing and furnished apartments, is making time to give back to the communities where it does business. The company has aligned its community service efforts with Feeding America, formerly America's Second Harvest, with the mission of helping to fight hunger in the United States.

In April 2008 ExecuStay announced that it would engage its guests and associates in providing Feeding America with a wide range of assistance like food donations, volunteer labor and contributions of its "retired" housewares from its temporary housing units. Since that time, the company has organized community events to help this cause throughout the country including:

The team from ExecuStay corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Md., donated nearly 100 pounds of food to the Capital Area Food Bank, and packed 5,000 pounds of food to be distributed to food shelters in the region.

The San Francisco ExecuStay office packed 3,500 pounds of carrots into bags, enough for 4,200 meals, to be handed out through the Alameda County Food Bank.

The Sacramento ExecuStay office, recent winners of the company's "Spirit to Serve" Award, commits to twice-yearly service days at their local food bank. This market is also piloting a program that encourages guests who are checking out to leave their unopened packaged food for donation to local food banks.

Associates attending an ExecuStay conference in Houston this year organized and packed 31,480 pounds of food for the Houston Food Bank. ExecuStay also presented a $2,500 donation while associates raised an additional $1,100 for the food bank through a raffle at the conference.

Most recently, the company encouraged each of its markets to set up a "Brown Bag/Home Brew Campaign" for Feeding America from March 2 through April 30, 2009. Participating associates took the money they would have used to buy a cup of coffee or lunch and donated that to Feeding America - one day a week for eight weeks. Nine markets participated across the country, raising more than $3,000 or 31,615 pounds of food.

"We're proud that our associates and guests now have an opportunity to volunteer and donate to this incredible community service organization," said Adam Sherer, vice president, Marriott ExecuStay. "Across our markets, our associates are making time to work at food banks and organize food drives to help support a critical need and we look forward to building upon this relationship in the future."

In 1992, Marriott became the first major hospitality company to launch a nationwide program to donate surplus non-perishable food to Feeding America. The Feeding America ( network of 200 food banks links Marriott's business operations to thousands of locations in North America. Each year the organization supplies more the two billion pounds of food and grocery products.

Marriott ExecuStay offers guests of 30 nights or more the spaciousness and privacy of a residence that is fully furnished and accessorized, with monthly rates that include basic utilities, wireless/high-speed Internet access, cable, television, DVD player, housekeeping and 24-hour customer service. Marriott ExecuStay provides guests with fully furnished apartments or homes with as little as one day's notice and unique services to help guests integrate into their new communities. In addition, its insurance housing solutions division provides temporary housing for those impacted by unforeseen events. Marriott ExecuStay is part of Marriott International's extended-stay lodging portfolio, which also includes Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Marriott Executive Apartments.

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