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Independence Blue Cross gears up to step out

IBC is fifth-year presenting sponsor of diabetes walk

Philadelphia, PA – In April, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) marked the company’s fifth-year presenting sponsorship of Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association’s community fundraising event, by hosting a corporate kick off breakfast for the region’s business leaders. American Diabetes Association (ADA) representatives and other guest speakers urged local executives to take action against this growing health crisis where one in nine residents in the Philadelphia region and 26 million people nationally are afflicted by diabetes.

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes has been taking place throughout the country for more than 20 years and has raised over $150 million toward diabetes prevention, education, advocacy, and ultimately a cure.  Locally, the 2011 event raised over $575,000 and boasted 3,600 participants, making it the number one Step Out event in the country. This year, Step Out will be held Saturday, October 6 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The ADA looks to inspire 4,500 participants and raise $615,000.

Speaking from IBC corporate headquarters on Market Street, NBC 10 news anchor Lori Wilson welcomed representatives from more than 30 local businesses, and introduced guest speaker Chris Cashman, IBC’s executive vice president and president of commercial markets.

“Since 2008, IBC and our associates have contributed over $450,000 to help ADA provide community education programs and to fund critical research projects to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes,” said Cashman. “As corporate leaders we have a responsibility to walk the talk by taking care of ourselves, urging others to lead healthier lives, and working together to prevent the growth of chronic diseases, such as diabetes.”

On behalf of IBC, Cashman pledged to form a team of 450 or more walkers and “Blue Crew” volunteers for the 2012 walk, and to raise at least $55,000 through employee fundraising and a corporate matching gift.

“In the Philadelphia region, roughly 130,000 of our members — including our own associates, their families, and loved ones — are living with diabetes, and this number continues to grow every year,” said Cashman. “By partnering with the ADA we have a prime opportunity to reach these folks — and thousands of others — with critical and potentially life-saving diabetes-related information. It’s an ideal partnership.”