Local Wal-Marts Raise $1 Million for UNMCH

May 10, 2005

Contact: Jennifer Riordan: 272-0261 office, 220-0702 cell;Bridgid Isworth: 463-6044


2004 proved to be a milestone year for Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs in helping the University of New Mexico Children 's Hospital (UNMCH) help kids.

Locally, contributions have totaled more than $270,000 in the 2004 calendar year. In the last five years, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club have given more than $1 Million to UNMCH via the Children's Miracle Network (CMN). These funds have been used to purchase life-saving, state-of-the-art equipment, as well as comforting necessities such as rocking chairs, toy, books, and so much more.

In addition, local Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs stores have donated goods to families of New Mexico 's sickest children, including diapers, clothing and toys totaling more than $40,000 annually.

The process of soliciting contributions for UNMCH takes many forms. One creative store manager dressed up like a baby and sat in a playpen. Other employees joined the "baby sit-in" and in one day this particular Wal-Mart raised $700 for UNMCH. One Wal-Mart customer was so enthralled with this fundraising concept that she had the manager "cry like a baby" before she made a donation.

Community Involvement Coordinator Mary Sexton of the Eubank Wal-Mart has arranged dozens of special fundraising events to benefit UNMCH. Sexton's efforts have resulted in annual contributions in excess of $20,000 over the past several years. One fundraising situation had Sexton saran-wrapped to a light pole in the heat of summer. Single-handedly, Sexton raised just under $500 in four hours and lost ten pounds, all for UNMCH!

Asked why she works so hard for children and families she will never meet, Sexton replies, "If my efforts mean a child's suffering is lessened or a parents' worry is eased just a bit, then I've given back to my community."

Garry Vanek and his crew at the Carlisle Wal-Mart sell hotdogs, Polish sausage, pickles and drinks with 100 percent of the earnings going to UNMCH.

"People are so willing to come in and buy their lunch from us during our special Hot Dog Sale days because they know their money goes to a good cause UNM Children's Hospital," Vanek said.

Since joining the CMN family in 1988, Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs have raised more than $300 million for Children's Hospitals throughout the United States and Canada . These generous contributions have touched the lives of more than 17 million children in North America .

A division of the UNM Health Science Center , the UNMCH is an academic medical center with health care providers who are expertly trained to provide the most advanced neonatology and pediatric care available in New Mexico .

Children's Miracle Network—the alliance of premier hospitals for children—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.

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