Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aflac Celebrates 10 Years of its Iconic Duck with $2 Million for Aflac Cancer Center

/PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, the company that pays policyholders cash fast when they are injured or ill, will celebrate its 10th year airing television commercials featuring the Aflac Duck by renewing its commitment to the fight against childhood cancer this September. The company is pledging a corporate gift of $2 million to the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, bringing the total money raised by Aflac for childhood cancer research and treatment to $60 million since 1995. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

"We are please to continue our deep and long-standing support of pediatric cancer through this gift," Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos said. "The terrific men and women who work the front lines at the Aflac Cancer Center work hard to save lives and restore hope for families touched by cancer. They deserve our unending support."

Aflac, whose primary philanthropic cause has been the Aflac Cancer Center since 1995, has often lent the Aflac Duck's image to the cause of raising money and awareness for pediatric cancer. The Aflac Duck, a corporate advertising icon, has been used in fundraising literature and fundraising events while 100 percent of the proceeds from special plush Aflac Ducks that have been sold to the public since 2001 go toward childhood cancer research and treatment.

"People know and love the Aflac Duck as a corporate advertising icon," said Aflac Foundation President Kathelen Amos. "But many people are not aware that the Aflac Duck is also a symbol in the fight against pediatric cancer, and we could not be more pleased to lend our support and our iconic company image to this cause."

In addition to corporate donations, Aflac's independent sales force contributes regularly to the Aflac Cancer Center. Each month, more than 16,000 agents donate more than $325,000 from their commission checks. In addition, Aflac employees at the company's headquarters in Columbus, Georgia, routinely donate through payroll deductions while others will donate their time taking company-sponsored bus trips to the Aflac Cancer Center to spend time with children at the hospital.

"While September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we want to be certain people know that our friends at Aflac support the Aflac Cancer Center's team and patients year-round and have done so since 1995," said Dr. William G. Woods, Director of the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "It is impossible to put into words what $60 million and countless volunteer hours from Aflac mean to children with cancer and blood disorders. But we do know that this amazing commitment gives real movement toward a cure for childhood cancer and blood disorders and inevitably a brighter future for kids everywhere."

In October Aflac will continue to celebrate the Aflac Duck's 10th birthday with a special program in conjunction with Beads of Courage, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides special beads to children with cancer to help chronicle their treatments and milestones. The company is sponsoring a special new Aflac Wingman bead to honor the courage of children with cancer and to let them know that there are people who support them during their fight against cancer.

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