MILWAUKEE, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Every year, an estimated 263,000 new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide. Approximately 91,250 children lose their life to the disease every year. Despite this, financial support for childhood cancer research is vastly underfunded. In response, last year Northwestern Mutual launched its Childhood Cancer Program to raise awareness and money to fight childhood cancer.
The Expect Miracles Foundation, a nonprofit and leading advocate in the fight against cancer within the financial services industry, honored Northwestern Mutual yesterday with the Corporate Commitment Award at its Institutional Investor's 20th Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards Gala in New York.
Northwestern Mutual received the award for demonstrating a strong organizational commitment against cancer by furthering awareness and contributing significant financial support to the cause. The efforts of the company's extensive network resulted in the funding of nearly 6,000 hours of research and support for more than 1,000 individuals in their greatest time of need, by decreasing the devastating financial and emotional costs of the disease.
"The activation of this program triggered a tidal wave of support at virtually every level of the company," said John Kordsmeier, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. This award is all about the 7,000 financial representatives and 6,000 employees who are actively raising awareness and dollars for childhood cancer in their communities," said Kordsmeier.
In July 2012, the company launched its Childhood Cancer Program in partnership with two national nonprofit organizations - Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and the Starlight Children's Foundation (Starlight) to accelerate the search for a cure to childhood cancer and to provide support to families facing the daily struggles of the disease.
Since the launch, Northwestern Mutual has worked with both nonprofits to execute a number of initiatives, including:
- Providing a series of donations to children's hospitals across the country, including Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment systems and Starlight Tablets to children for much-needed fun and distraction from medical treatments;
- Hosting families at Starlight Great Escapes events, which provide children and their families an opportunity to spend time together outside of the hospital, escaping their medical worries and returning with a renewed sense of strength, hope and community;
- Launching the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Family Travel Fund in select cities to help alleviate families' travel-related expenses to receive the best medical care;
- Funding research to better understand national awareness of childhood cancer; and
- Raising awareness for the cause through social media campaigns.
The Childhood Cancer Program builds upon the company's legacy of helping children and families. For more information about Northwestern Mutual and its philanthropic efforts, visit www.nmfoundation.com.
About the Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation – the largest corporate foundation in the state of Wisconsin – is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. The Foundation's giving is designed to create an impact on the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2013, the Foundation will contribute $16.9 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.
About Northwestern Mutual
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2013 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.4 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.
About Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $60 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 250 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit www.AlexsLemonade.org.
About Starlight Children's Foundation
When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, the day-to-day joys of childhood take a back seat to the rigors of treatment and hospitalization. Starlight Children's Foundation™ is a leading global health and education charity working to embrace, empower and enrich the lives of children from illness to wellness. Since 1983, Starlight has been improving the quality of life for children with serious medical conditions through programming that helps kids cope with the experiences of prolonged illness. Starlight's innovative programs have been proven to distract children from their pain and lessen the need for pain medication, help young people better understand and manage their illness, and connect families with others facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone. Each year Starlight enriches the lives of more than 4.5 million children globally by providing ongoing support to children, parents and siblings through a network of partner hospitals, staff and volunteers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. To learn more, visit www.starlight.org.
SOURCE Northwestern Mutual