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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2005

FIRST LADY PATTI BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES KICK-OFF OF ANNUAL STATE AND UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE CHARITY CAMPAIGN

CHICAGO – First Lady Patti Blagojevich announced the kick-off of the 2005 State and University Employees Combined Appeal (SECA) campaign in her first year as Honorary Chair for the statewide charity effort. She leads the drive to promote charitable giving on the part of state and university employees to a vast array of charitable organizations all over the state. Through SECA, state and university employees have become a major source of charitable giving, and the First Lady says this year’s goal of $3 million represents a milestone.
            “State and university employees have demonstrated their generosity year after year, and I’m proud to be associated with them and this campaign,” Mrs. Blagojevich said.  “If we reach our goal of $3 million, SECA will have raised $50 million since its inception in 1983. In 2004 they contributed very close to $3 million toward helping children in need, feeding the hungry, providing treatments for life-threatening diseases and preserving our environment. I’m confident they will respond even more generously this year when they hear about the needs and how they can help.”
            The SECA campaign is a once-a-year worksite fundraising drive that allows state and university employees and retirees to contribute to one or more of the participating charities through either payroll deductions or a one-time donation. Employees direct their donations to the charity or charities of their choice.
            “SECA offers state and university employees flexibility and convenience,” said Paul Campbell, SECA Chair and Acting Director of the Department of Central Management Services. “By filling out a simple form, they can provide their favorite charities with a regular source of much needed funding.”
            Through the SECA campaign, state and university employees and retirees direct their contributions to eleven member charities, which in turn represent more than 2,200 charitable organizations throughout the state. The member charities are:
 
            America’s Charities                                       Earth Share of Illinois
            United Negro College Fund                          United Way
            Independent Charities of America                      Special Olympics of Illinois
            Black United Fund of Illinois, Inc.                        American Cancer Society
            Community Shares                                       Global Impact

            Community Health Charities of Illinois

 
           
            “These charities help literally hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans,” said Mrs. Blagojevich. “SECA gives employees and retirees a chance to have a direct impact on the well-being of their fellow citizens in a very positive way.”
            Since its inception in 1983, SECA has raised $47 million for statewide charities, making state and university employees a major source of charitable giving. For more information about SECA and its member charities, log on to the SECA website at www.secaillinois.org 


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