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HOLIDAY SHOPPERS HELP SUPPORT BIG BROTHERS/BIG SISTERS OF AMERICA IN NEW NATIONAL PROGRAM SPONSORED BY AMERICAN EXPRESS GIFT CHEQUES

 NEW YORK, Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- Disadvantaged children are benefiting from a joint effort by American Express Gift Cheques, thousands of financial institutions and American Automobile Association (AAA) outlets across the country this holiday season.
 For every purchase of American Express Gift Cheques at participating locations from now through Dec. 31, American Express will donate one dollar to Big Brothers~Big Sisters of America and its local affiliated agencies, up to a total of $100,000, in the "Give the Gift That Makes a Difference" program.
 The Gift Cheque donation will be used to support the efforts of Big Brothers~Big Sisters to expand current programs and recruit volunteers to help tens of thousands of children throughout the country.
 "When you purchase an American Express Gift Cheque, you benefit the lives of young people in your own community and throughout the nation, and you will be giving a thoughtful and elegant gift to someone on your list," said R. Craig Hoenshell, president, American Express Travelers Cheque Group.
 During the promotion, customers of participating institutions will also have the opportunity to enter the "Give the Gift That Makes a Difference" Sweepstakes, which will make them eligible to win thousands of dollars in American Express Gift Cheque prizes, including a grand prize of $10,000 in Gift Cheques.
 "We're delighted to be working on this project with American Express," said Tom McKenna, national executive director for Big Brothers~Big Sisters of America. "Their support will help Big Brothers~Big Sisters gain additional recognition and broaden our services to young people who need them most."
 Big Brothers~Big Sisters of America, the premier youth development organization in the country, provides services that generate positive change in the lives of disadvantaged children, helping them to build brighter futures. The organization is best known for pairing children from single-parent families with caring adult role models who serve as their Big Brothers or Big Sisters. With Big Brothers and Big Sisters as mentors, these children acquire a greater sense of self-worth, and are encouraged to strive to reach their fullest potential.
 American Express Gift Cheques provide an attractive, convenient gift alternative to cash, personal checks and store gift certificates. They are like universal gift certificates that can be used to buy anything, just about anywhere. Gift Cheques are also refundable if lost or stolen.
 American Express Gift Cheques are available throughout the year in $25, $50 and $100 denominations, and make great gifts for the holidays and other occasions like birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~CONTACT: Diane Polomski of American Express, 212-640-2676; or Kiersten Fries of Ketchum Public Relations, 212-536-8836, for American Express~


CO: American Express ST: New York IN: SU:

GK-LR -- NY021 -- 1715 11~17~92 09:53 EST
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Date:Nov 17, 1992
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