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Chicagoans Support Local Children and Families Through 13th Annual Wrigley Start Early Run & Walk

Proceeds Benefit Prevent Child Abuse America and Voices for Illinois Children

CHICAGO, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, April 10, thousands of people from all over Chicagoland will show their support for Child Abuse Prevention Month by participating in the 13th annual Wrigley Start Early Run & Walk in Grant Park's Hutchinson Field.

Proceeds will benefit two leading children's charities: Prevent Child Abuse America, which focuses on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention from the start to make sure child abuse and neglect never occur and; Voices for Illinois Children, which works with families, communities and policymakers to help the development of children in Illinois.

In addition, through a new financial partnership model that will broaden the base of beneficiaries, at least 16 other child-focused organizations through-out the Chicagoland community will also participate and benefit, making it a true community event.

"We are very proud to serve as the title sponsor for the Wrigley Start Early Run & Walk, an event that is both good for the health and wellness of the community, as well as a great benefit for these special organizations that focus on protecting children and strengthening families," said Dushan Petrovich, president of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. "This annual event builds upon Wrigley's commitment to Chicago and tradition of working with our communities to make a difference."

WGN-TV's Morning Show sports anchor, Pat Tomasulo, will emcee the event, which will bring more than 3,000 participants who will step out for children and families. A variety of family activities will be featured, including: an appearance from the Berenstain Bears and the Chicago Blackhawks mascot, Tommy Hawk, a one mile walk, 5K and 10K runs, and a free Kids' Dash for children eight years of age and under.

Interested runners or walkers are encouraged to register on-line by noon April 7 at; walk-ins are also welcome on race day.

"Abuse does not discriminate and each of us has a role in supporting child development and preventing abuse and neglect," said Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO Jim Hmurovich. "Participating in the Wrigley Start Early Run is an important step in the right direction, and we are thrilled that Chicagoans are committed to this cause, and are helping to raise awareness about the importance of prevention."

    Wrigley Start Early Run & Walk Event Details

    WHEN:  Saturday, April 10

    9:00a.m. - 5K Run
    9:15a.m. - 10K Run
    9:30a.m. - 1 Mile Walk
    Kids Dash following the Run/Walk

    WHERE: Hutchinson Field in Grant Park (Columbus at Balbo)

    Register at:


Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972, is focused on changing the way our nation thinks about prevention, focusing on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention from the start to make sure child abuse and neglect never occur. We work to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide while recognizing that child development is a building block for community development and economic development. Based in Chicago, Prevent Child Abuse America has chapters in 46 states and over 400 Healthy Families America sites in 32 states. For more information, please visit and


Voices for Illinois Children works as a catalyst for change across issue areas to improve the lives of children throughout our state so they can grow up healthy, happy, safe, loved and well educated. For 20 years we have helped parents, business and community leaders and policy makers understand and respond to the issues facing children and families. For more information, please visit


Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, lollipops, and chocolate. The company has operations in more than 40 countries and distributes its world-famous brands in more than 180 countries. Three of these brands - Juicy Fruit®, Wrigley's Spearmint®, and Altoids® - have heritages stretching back more than a century. Other well-loved brands include Orbit®, Extra®, Starburst®, Doublemint®, Skittles®, Freedent®, Airwaves®, Life Savers®, Eclipse®, 5® and Winterfresh®. Wrigley is headquartered in Chicago, Ill., and operates as a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated.

© 2010 Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. All Rights Reserved. Juicy Fruit, Wrigley's Spearmint, Altoids, Orbit, Extra, Starburst, Doublemint, Skittles, Freedent Airwaves, Life Savers, Eclipse,5 and Winterfresh are trademarks of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company or its subsidiaries.

SOURCE Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

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