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May 22, 2007

Is Orange County more generous than any other community in America? That’s the question Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is posing. As the retailer continues its month-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of its partnership with Children’s Miracle Network, it’s giving shoppers even more incentive to help raise $10 million for the nation's children’s hospitals - including Children's Hospital of Orange County. Wal-Mart will recognize the U.S. community that sells the most miracle balloons at Wal-Mart Stores, Neighborhood Markets, Distribution Centers and Sam’s Club locations during the month of May with a free, live concert performance by country music superstar Tracy Byrd. Byrd has recorded 11 critically acclaimed albums, most recently “Different Things,” and has 13 top 10 singles in his arsenal of hits. His latest single “Better Places Than This” is currently climbing the charts.

With about one week left, the stage has yet to be set, and Byrd’s tour bus could still show up anywhere in the country, including Orange County, by the end of 2007. The generosity of Orange County shoppers and associates could shake up the current standings.

On May 1, Wal-Mart launched an aggressive plan to sell 10 million miracle balloons at $1 each, and implemented a variety of different efforts to help drive additional awareness. For example, on May 31, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations throughout the country will host in-store 20th anniversary celebrations.

“If every person who shops at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club purchased just one balloon, together we could really help improve the health and welfare of children through Children’s Miracle Network,” said Byrd. “I’m looking forward to celebrating with the community who gives the most back.”

In 1987, moved by a desire to impact the medical needs of children, Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, partnered with Children’s Miracle Network. Twenty years later, Wal-Mart and Children’s Miracle Network celebrate that decision and the impact it has had on children across the nation. Wal-Mart associates have raised more than $387 million for children’s hospitals since 1987, and that number continues to grow as 1.3 million associates in more than 4,000 locations support Children’s Miracle Network. The goal of raising $10 million in the month of May serves to commemorate this achievement.

About Children’s Miracle Network

Children’s Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America. Each year the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. To learn more visit http://www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org/.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)

Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015) and a 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospital for the highest quality of care, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children's) is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach, education and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, many primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four clinical centers of excellence - the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes..

CHOC earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence.  Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the United States to earn the Beacon Award for Pediatric Critical Care Excellence.


Media Contact:
Denise Almazan, Director of Public Relations
phone: (714) 509-8680
email: pr@chocchildrens.org


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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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