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Celebrities, Lung Force raise their voices to support Lung Cancer Awareness Month

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, actress and author Valerie Harper, singer/songwriter Jewel, country music singer Kellie Pickler and female NASCAR standout Mackena Bell are teaming up with the American Lung Association's Lung Force to raise awareness and funds to help confront lung cancer in women.

Launched earlier this year, Lung Force — nationally presented by CVS Health — unites women against lung cancer and for lung health, encouraging them to raise their voices for change.

To help confront the issue of lung cancer, Harper, Jewel, Pickler and Bell are each launching their own online Lung Force virtual fundraising team where people can donate and raise money for lung cancer research, education and treatment. Anyone can register and fundraise for a celebrity Lung Force team by visiting Lungforce.org.

"Despite its overwhelming impact, it is clear that too few women are aware that anyone can get lung cancer," said Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association. "With greater awareness, through Lung Force, we are dedicated to increasing the Lung Association's investment in lung cancer research and are pushing to increase the investment in cancer research at the National Institutes of Health."

Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer of women. Yet, the disease is not even on women's radar, according to the American Lung Association's inaugural Women's Lung Health Barometer — a survey that measured women's awareness, knowledge and perceptions about lung cancer. When asked to identify cancers that affect women, only 1% cited lung cancer on a top-of-mind basis.

Harper, known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off, “Rhoda,” is a lung cancer survivor and Lung Force champion.

For her part, Jewel unveiled an original Lung Force anthem, "Sing On," earlier this year. The song is about empowering women and is available on iTunes, with all proceeds benefiting Lung Force and the fight against lung cancer in women.

Pickler has been part of Lung Force from day one. Lung cancer took the woman who helped raise Kellie, her grandmother, a woman she has called her angel.

And NASCAR's Bell, one of only four women drivers, is part of this fight, too. Mackena lost her grandfather, whom she called Papa, to lung cancer.

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RetailROI seeks $250,000, plus $1 million in supplies, from industry to aid fight against Ebola in Liberia

BY Michael Johnsen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Retail Orphan Initiative on Tuesday hosted a webinar detailing a major charitable campaign to fight Ebola in Liberia. Using the hashtag #RetailFightsEbola, the group is calling on retailers and suppliers across the industry to help raise $250,000 in financial contributions and $1 million in donated goods before the end of the year. 
 
"What this really is about is practical aid; practical stuff that we can find in any supercenter here in the United States to be donated to be able to help people on the ground [in Liberia]," noted Greg Buzek, co-founder and donor trustee, RetailROI. "It's financial donations that we can use in the near term, in the next 12 weeks, and then more physical aid that can be used after 12 weeks that can go as donated materials."
 
RetailROI is working to provide specific items requested by its partners and the Liberian Ministry of Health, including first aid supplies, as well as food, clothing and linens to help with practical aid and care for survivors and the more than 3,400 children that are newly orphaned from the disease.
 
"We're estimating that this initial wave of donations will help at least a minimum of 300,000 people survive and avoid Ebola," Buzek said. "The supplies will help at a minimum about 5,000 homes, as well as the orphan homes." According to Buzek, the average family home in Liberia occupies a 12-ft. by 12-ft. space and houses six people. 
 
"[Ebola] really picked up in July of this year," Buzek said. "It's been exploding exponentially in the country due to the lack of ambulances; due to the lack of provisions; due to the lack of doctors and the number of doctors that have died as a result," he said. "Nearly half of the [85] doctors [across the country] have died due to lack of protective gear. Most all medical clinics have shut down because healthcare workers refuse to work without the protective gear. It's too dangerous."
 
So far RetailROI partners, including More Than Me and Love in Action, have successfully reduced the number of new cases by up to 90% in some of the areas hardest hit by the disease, through education, community outreach and delivery of basic medical and hygiene supplies. These efforts have been so successful that the Liberian Ministry of Health reached out to them to expand their work to additional Ebola hotspots within the country.  
 
Liberia is about the size of New Jersey and has a population of 4.1 million people, mostly concentrated in the two cities of Monrovia and Buchanan. Liberia is one of the world’s poorest countries, with an average national income of only $412 USD per capita annually. It is also one of the countries hardest hit by Ebola and could see another 90,000 deaths and 171,000 infections by year-end without new efforts against the disease, according to a new study released last week.
 
For more information, to donate or get involved visit www.retailroi.org/ebolarelief

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Harris Teeter to celebrate opening of newest Maryland location

BY Antoinette Alexander

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Harris Teeter announced that it will celebrate the grand opening of its Towne Centre at Laurel store on Nov. 11.  

The new Town Centre at Laurel will be the company’s 12th location in Maryland. Harris Teeter, which was cofounded in 1960 by North Carolina grocers W.T. Harris and Willis Teeter, currently operates more than 230 stores.
 
Features of the new store include, but are not limited to, an expanded Hispanic and Asian food offering, pharmacy, free blood pressure testing, private consultations, a Western Union and sit-down eating area.
 

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