Friday, June 18, 2004

CHICAGO (June 18, 2004) - In the wake of the death from Alzheimer's disease of President Ronald Reagan, Bankers Life and Casualty Company has announced it will match the amount raised by its employees in the Alzheimer's Association's 2004 Memory Walk in Chicago.

"The story of Ronald and Nancy Reagan's struggle with Alzheimer's touched many people, including many of us at Bankers," said Bill Prouty, chief operating officer of Bankers. "The Reagan family's struggle over the last 10 years was a powerful illustration of the devastation of the disease."

Prouty said Bankers' research reveals Alzheimer's to be the number one fear of seniors about aging. "Bankers is an insurance company focused on the needs of seniors," he said. "These are our friends and clients. That's why we look for opportunities to serve the 4.5 million Americans suffering with the disease and their families and friends."

Sheldon Goldberg, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, said, "Alzheimer's research is in a very hopeful place right now. We are close to realizing our dream of a 'World Without Alzheimer's.' The strides we've made in the last 10 years may very well lead to the end of this disease and we simply could not be where we are now without help from friends like Bankers."

The Memory Walk is the largest national fundraising event for Alzheimer's disease raising more than $120 million since 1989. Every year in September and October, millions of men, women and children participate in some 600 communities.

The Chicago-based life and health insurance company has combined corporate giving with fundraising to contribute nearly $750,000 for the Alzheimer's Association over the last three years. Through its premiere corporate sponsorship of the annual Rita Hayworth gala in Chicago, the company funds grant making by the Nancy and Ronald Reagan Institute of the Alzheimer's Association. Currently, Bankers grants are funding Alzheimer's research at Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

Bankers also fights the disease through its annual Forget Me Not Days fundraiser. This year, Bankers agents and employees, their families and friends collected nearly $85,000 to benefit local Alzheimer's Association chapters in 50 U.S. cities.

Established in 1879 and headquartered at the historic Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses exclusively on the financial security needs of seniors. The company offers a broad portfolio of health and life insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for seniors. These products are distributed through a national network of professionally trained company agents. Visit us online at www.bankers.com.

Contact: Linda Heacox