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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Teams Up with Special Olympics Minnesota to Send 94 Athletes to the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 General News J E 4
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MINNEAPOLIS, July 12 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) is supporting 94 Special Olympics Minnesota athletes competing as Team Minnesota in the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games in Lincoln, Neb., July 18-23, 2010.

In addition to financial support of Team Minnesota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will provide each athlete with a gift bag containing a doŽ Campaign T-shirt and personalized notes of encouragement from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota employees at a send-off celebration hosted by Special Olympics Minnesota. The event will be held from 8:30-9 p.m. July 16 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Bloomington (3 Appletree Square). Friends, families and fans are invited to attend. The team will depart for Lincoln, Neb. early Saturday, July 17.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is extremely proud to support Special Olympics Minnesota," said Marsha Shotley, vice president of board and community relations. "Working with such a meaningful organization is a great match with our purpose of making a healthy difference in people's lives. We commend our Minnesota athletes for their hard work and dedication in preparing for the games. On behalf of all Blue Cross employees, we wish them all the best in Nebraska."

"The support which Blue Cross continues to provide for Special Olympics Minnesota extends far beyond the financial aspect," said Special Olympics Minnesota President David Dorn. "The notes of encouragement written by Blue Cross employees are just one example of a much greater investment they are making in our athletes, our organization and our partnership."

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is an official partner of Special Olympics North America. In collaboration with the national partnership, 24 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have adopted either an athlete or a team within their state that will be competing in the National Games. By pairing up with the local teams, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies provide critical support for the athletes as they prepare for competition.

For many years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have joined with local Special Olympics programs across the United States. This local support helps to fund events, equipment, transportation and other necessities for competition, in addition to initiatives in health, education, inclusion, athlete leadership development and support for families. This national partnership is part of a larger effort throughout the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System to make a difference nationally and locally by investing resources aimed at fostering healthy lifestyles in their communities.

With sports at the core, Special Olympics is the world's largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities. With programming in the areas of health, youth and education, family support, research and policy change, Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continued opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and their communities.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in

1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to bluecrossmn.com to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Each Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. doŽ is a registered trademark of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

About Special Olympics Minnesota

Special Olympics Minnesota offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Through Special Olympics' athletic, health and leadership programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world.

SOURCE Special Olympics Minnesota
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