Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Bankers Life and Casualty Company Springs Into Action for Alzheimer's Association

-- 50,000 forget-me-not seed packets to be distributed in 48 hours --

CHICAGO (April 29, 2003) - More than 200 Bankers Life and Casualty Company agents and employees will take to the streets on May 9-10, 2003 to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association during the first "Forget Me Not Days." More than 50,000 forget-me-not seed packets will be distributed on street corners in eight U.S. cities in an effort to raise money in the fight against this deadly disease.

Although Bankers has a strong history of corporate giving, this is the first time its agents and employees have mobilized in force on a single day for a single cause. Tagged "Forget Me Not Days" the effort aims to encourage Americans to plant the seeds in remembrance of the estimated four million Americans suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

The program launches this year in Chicago and Palos Hills, Ill., Seattle, Indianapolis, Tacoma, Wash., Tulsa, Okla., Wausau, Wis., and Charlotte, N.C. Bankers' sister company Colonial Penn will also do outreach in Philadelphia. Plans are currently underway to expand Forget Me Not Days to more than 100 cities next spring.

"We are enormously proud of our ongoing partnership with the Alzheimer's Association," said Ed Berube, Bankers president and CEO. "Seniors have a very real and very deep fear of this tragic disease. In many cases, they fear it more than death. We want to do our part to help ease the fears of senior Americans by giving both our time and money. One of the most important ways we can meet this goal is through our continued support of the Alzheimer's Association."

The Alzheimer's Association is the largest private funder of Alzheimer research and the premier source of information and support for Americans currently living with the disease. Experts warn that more than 14 million people will have the disease by 2050 unless effective treatments or preventive strategies are found. The disease affects about one in 10 people over the age of 65 and nearly 50 percent of those over 85.

"As a business actively involved with senior Americans, Bankers Life and Casualty Company understands the devastation that Alzheimer's has on it's victims and their loved ones," said Ron Champagne, vice president, development for the Alzheimer's Association. "Their continued commitment to the Alzheimer's Association gives hope to the four million Americans diagnosed with the disease, and the nearly 20 million family members who love and care for them."

Since awarding its first grants in 1982, the Association has committed more than $136 million toward research into the causes, treatment, prevention, and cure of Alzheimer's disease. While supporting the worldwide effort to spare future generations from the ravages of Alzheimer's disease, the Association works tirelessly to enhance the quality of life for affected individuals and their families. Through its national network of chapters, it offers a broad range of programs and services for people with the disease, their families, and care partners.

The Chicago-based Alzheimer's Association is a tax-exempt, 501c (3) nonprofit organization. All of its programs and services are made possible through contributions, large and small, from individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Bankers serves the needs of seniors through a broad portfolio of quality, competitive insurance products including long term care, life, annuities and Medicare supplement; a national sales force of professionally trained career agents; and a dedicated group of long tenured, highly capable home office employees. Under the leadership of the late billionaire philanthropist John D. MacArthur (of the MacArthur Foundation), Bankers was among the first insurers to offer specialized products and services for seniors in the late 1960's.

Contact: Linda Heacox
Anne Brownsey
Alzheimer's Association