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Eckrich Kicks Off Race Sponsorship of Almirola at the Prelude to The Dream Race Sponsorship Focuses on Partnership with Operation Homefront

CINCINNATI, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Eckrich® announced today they have joined forces with Operation Homefront to help support military families on one of motorsports' most special nights.  Eckrich and Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will showcase a special paint scheme featuring Eckrich and Operation Homefront during the Prelude to The Dream at the Eldora Speedway, Wednesday night, June 6 live on HBO Pay-Per-View.  The car will carry the familiar "43" number and Eckrich colors, but also the Operation Homefront logo to remind race fans of their partnership and support for military families.

Representatives of Operation Homefront and a military family will be trackside as guests of Eckrich to help bring additional attention to the cause.  Almirola, the driver of the famed No. 43, who was born on a military base and whose father worked in the military, has been a strong supporter of the military throughout his career. In fact, Almirola recently won the pole with his U.S. Air Force Ford at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  He views this as an opportunity to shine the light on military families.

"We race events like the Prelude because they are so much fun," said Almirola.  "But, at the end of the night, it's all about giving back.  Tony Stewart, who started this event, has made that clear with all the proceeds and money earned for different charities throughout the years at the Prelude.  I'm just glad we can do our part to support Eckrich and Operation Homefront.  It makes for a perfect night." 

Eckrich has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families by donating five cents from the purchase of specially-marked products, up to $200,000, from now through July 4.  They will also host military families at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races including events at Kentucky on June 30, Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29 and Michigan on August 19.

"We truly believe in this partnership and what it means to military families," said Charles Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group. "We are proud to be dedicating a significant portion of our advertising and communication effort to raising awareness of the work Operation Homefront is doing to support military families in need.

"The relationship with Aric Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports will now allow us to spread the message to an even greater audience.  We're not only looking forward to this race, but all of our races this summer."

After the race, Almirola will sign and donate his race uniform to Operation Homefront.  Race fans will be able to watch Almirola race the No. 43 Eckrich-Operation Homefront dirt car late this Wednesday night by ordering the race on HBO Pay-Per-View.  You can learn how to order by visiting www.preludetothedream.org.

About John Morrell Food Group 

With over a century and a half of experience, John Morrell Food Group brands have become respected and well known for providing premium-quality meat products to families across the United States. With products ranging from lunchmeat and franks to smoked sausage, bacon and pepperoni, the John Morrell Food Group is an important part of consumers' mealtimes. The John Morrell Food Group offers several national and regional brands including Armour®, Eckrich®, John Morrell®, Curly's®, Patrick Cudahy®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Margherita® Kretschmar® and LunchMakers®.

About Eckrich 

Founded by Peter Eckrich in 1894, Eckrich has a rich heritage starting from a small meat market in Fort Wayne, Ind. Through it all, Eckrich meats have been recognized for their great taste and supreme quality, craftsmanship, care and pride. For more information, visit www.eckrich.com.

About Operation Homefront

A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers across 23 Chapters and has met more than 590,000 needs since 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to assist service members. More information is available at www.operationhomefront.net.

SOURCE Eckrich



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