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INDEPENDENCE BLUE CROSS EXECUTIVES CONTINUE TRADITION OF 'BEARING' GIFTS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

 PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Many children are hospitalized or without families at Christmas-time and are unfortunately forgotten during this normally exciting childhood time.
 To brighten the lives of these children during the holiday season, Independence Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield will distribute more than 2,000 teddy bears to children who are hospitalized or without families.
 Two Independence Blue Cross executives will be presenting BeeCee, the Caring Cub, to hospitalized children on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Alton Knight Jr., vice president Internal Audit, will be at Jefferson Park Hospital at 9 a.m.; and Joseph Carroll, vice president Information Services, will be at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital at 10 a.m. BeeCee is a cuddly stuffed bear wearing an Independence Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield T-shirt.
 This is the ninth consecutive year of the popular Teddy Bear Campaign. Independence Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield will provide the bears to 53 area hospital pediatric units, several children's residential homes and two police-sponsored children's Christmas parties.
 "It's unfortunate that any child should have to spend the holiday season in the hospital," said G. Fred DiBona Jr., president and chief executive officer of Independence Blue Cross. "But we hope our Caring Cub will bring smiles and joy to these children who must be away from their families during the holidays."
 The annual Teddy Bear Campaign has always been well received by children, families and hospitals in the Delaware Valley.
 "Independence Blue Cross is proud to continue this successful holiday tradition," DiBona said. "It's always a special feeling to brighten the day of a child who is hospitalized or who might be forgotten at Christmas."
 Independence Blue Cross, the largest health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania, provides health care coverage to about 2 million people.
 ~delval~
 -0- 11~23~92
 ~CONTACT: Jim Panyard of Independence Blue Cross, 215-241-3101~


CO: Independence Blue Cross; Pennsylvania Blue Shield ST: Pennsylvania IN: INS SU:

MK-LJ -- PH032 -- 0662 11~23~92 15:04 EST
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Date:Nov 23, 1992
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