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S. Epatha Merkerson Lends Star Power to Support the American Lung Association's Christmas Seals Campaign as Celebrity Chairperson

Friday, October 16, 2009 General News J E 4
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Charity brings back time-honored tradition of capturing celebrity in photograph with 2009 Christmas Seal

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association has brought back a time-honored tradition this year by capturing the Christmas Seals Celebrity Chairperson in a photograph with the 2009 Christmas Seal.  This year's chairperson, S. Epatha Merkerson, joins a long and distinguished list of celebrities and entertainers who have served as Chairpersons of the Christmas Seals Campaign, including Bob Hope, Jacqueline Kennedy, the Smothers Brothers and Cybill Shepherd.  

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091015/DC92470)

S. Epatha Merkerson is an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner, and has won critical acclaim for her brilliant work in theatre, television and film, but is probably best known for her role as Lt. Anita Van Buren on "Law & Order."  Having been a smoker for 23 years and an ex-smoker for 15 years, she is a passionate advocate for lung health.  

"The mission of the American Lung Association is very important to me and I'm happy to help raise awareness of the vital work they do by lending my support to the Christmas Seals Campaign," said Ms. Merkerson, who participated in a photo shoot and will also be doing a series of radio interviews on behalf of the charity on Friday, October 16.  

Ms. Merkerson was photographed with the 2009 Christmas Seal in New York on September 30, 2009, by Mark Abrahams, one of the leading fashion and entertainment photographers in the world today.  Mr. Abrahams, who donated his services to the Lung Association, is a contributor and cover photographer for magazines such as InStyle, GQ, Marie Claire, and German Vogue.

The American Lung Association will send Christmas Seals – decorative stamps used to decorate holiday cards and packages – to over 11 million households from October to December.  The Christmas Seals Campaign is the nation's oldest direct-mail fundraising campaign, which began in 1907 to combat tuberculosis.  Today, the Lung Association fights new battles against influenza, asthma, tobacco use, lung cancer and air pollution.  

This year, the American Lung Association, brought three historic Christmas Seals to life in 15-, 20- and 30-second television public service advertisements, which will be distributed nationwide in mid-October, and can be viewed on ChristmasSeals.org.  The charity also developed print and radio public service advertisements, all of which will drive people to the newly redesigned ChristmasSeals.org.

About the American Lung Association 

Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lungusa.org.

SOURCE American Lung Association

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