Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) donated $352,551 to the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) last night in a special half-time presentation during Game Two of the WNBA Western Conference Finals at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles. As part of Sears $1 million commitment to NABCO, last night's donation represents the funds raised during the first season of Sears three-year presenting sponsorship of the Sears WNBA Breast Health Awareness program.
"Sears donation and marketing efforts this year to support the Sears WNBA Breast Health Awareness program are just the start of our commitment to the program," said John A. Lebbad, Sears director of event marketing and sales promotion. "Sears has embraced breast health as our major initiative with the WNBA to educate millions of customers and WNBA fans about this crucial health issue that touches so many lives."
Throughout the entire 2000 season, Sears and the WNBA have supported the Sears WNBA Breast Health Awareness program through integrated efforts, nationally and locally in the 16 WNBA communities. On a local level, Sears, the WNBA and NABCO selected a local "Breast Health Hero" in each WNBA city for his or her dedication to the cause and honored each Hero with a $10,000 donation to NABCO on his or her behalf.
Each WNBA team hosted Sears WNBA Breast Health Awareness nights during the WNBA season where Sears donated $0.50 to NABCO for each fan attending the game. During each Breast Health Awareness game, the team provided fans with additional information about breast health and local breast cancer resources and, in select markets sold the specially designed, pink breast health awareness T-shirts, worn by the players in that night's warm-up, to raise additional funds for NABCO. Sears also raised funds through a special promotion with Nike and on-court contests at WNBA games.
On a national level, Sears distributed breast health awareness brochures in the lingerie departments at all 860 Sears full-line stores nationwide. The WNBA also produced a public service announcement (PSA), which features Lisa Leslie, the program's national spokesperson, and her mother, Christine Leslie-Espinoza, which airs during nationally televised games and in each WNBA arena. In addition, the WNBA All-Star 2000 Auction, the first-ever online auction on WNBA.com, produced more than $56,000 in bids to benefit the Sears WNBA Breast Health Awareness program.
Sears reached its donation goal for year one of the program by donating $1,000 for every assist made during Game 2 of the WNBA Western Conference Finals last night. The Houston Comets and the Los Angeles Sparks combined for 29 assists, adding $29,000 to Sears total donation. The defending-champion Comets defeated the top-seeded Sparks 74-69 to secure their return to the WNBA Championship Series where they will play either the New York Liberty or the Cleveland Rockers in Game 1 this Thursday.
"The outstanding support provided by Sears has enabled us to take our Breast Health Awareness efforts to a new level," said Val Ackerman, WNBA President. "With the program's broader reach, many more women will now benefit from the early detection message."
The Sears WNBA Breast Health Awareness program is designed to further increase public awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and to raise funds needed to inform, educate and screen women all over the country. The Sears WNBA Breast Health Awareness initiative has several goals, which include: promoting the importance of early detection, encouraging women to follow good breast health guidelines, reaching out to medically underserved women and supporting the work of NABCO, the leading non-profit education and information resource on the disease, and local cancer education/support groups.
"The addition of Sears to the ongoing WNBA breast health awareness initiative this year has provided the resources we need to send a nationwide message and deliver important services to women across the country," said Amy Langer, NABCO's Executive Director and a 15-year breast cancer survivor. "Sears and the WNBA are not only spreading awareness for the importance of good breast health to women of all ages and races -- they are also providing the funds needed to support early detection programs."
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of nearly $40 billion. The company serves families throughout the country through approximately 860 department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site, http://www.sears.com/ .
The WNBA began its fourth season on May 29, 2000, becoming the longest running women's professional basketball league ever in the United States. During the 2000 WNBA regular season the league broke its own record for attendance for women's professional sports by attracting over 2.3 million fans heading into the playoffs. The WNBA Championship will begin on August 24.
The National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) is the leading non-profit information and education resource on breast cancer and a network of over 400 breast cancer organizations. NABCO provides information, assistance and referral to anyone with questions about breast cancer, and acts as a voice for the interests and concerns of breast cancer survivors and women at risk. More information on NABCO can be found on its Web site http://www.nabco.org/ or by calling toll-free, 1-888-80-NABCO.
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Contact: Alyssa Peterson of Donnellon Public Relations for Sears,
312-553-1240; or Rebecca Sullivan of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 847-286-3796; or
Beth Marshall of the WNBA, 212-407-8674