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Chicago Cubs Awarded 2008 'Spirit of Youth' Award From National Runaway Switchboard

CHICAGO, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago Cubs were presented with the 2008 "Spirit of Youth" award tonight at the National Runaway Switchboard's ( (NRS) annual benefit at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.

The "Spirit of Youth" award recognizes individuals and organizations who work to keep America's runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the street. The award was accepted on behalf of the Cubs by Cory Provus, one of the team's radio announcers and host of Cubs Central Pregame on WGN Radio.

"We're recognizing the Chicago Cubs because of their ongoing support and commitment to NRS, but also for the organizations it supports throughout the Chicagoland area that help runaway and at-risk youth," said Maureen Blaha (, NRS executive director.

"We're honored to receive this award and proud to be a sponsor of the National Runaway Switchboard," said Mike Lufrano, Cubs senior vice president of community affairs. "The work of NRS reaches youth in our city and around the country and is so important to so many children and young adults who need a helping hand."

The Cubs community efforts include charitable donations, neighborhood protection activities and year-round community service involvement. Through its Cubs Care fund, McCormick Foundation has granted more than $13 million to support deserving Chicago-area organizations. Grants help support non-profit organizations which aid children with special needs, support youth sports programs, help victims of domestic violence, and assist social service efforts in the Lakeview community.

Chicago-based NRS has benefited from the generosity of the Cubs through grants and in-kind donations to support its mission of keeping America's runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. And since 2005, the Cubs, Cubs Care and NRS have teamed up annually to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for runaway and homeless youth in Chicago. Each year at the event, Cubs executives, broadcasters and staff volunteer to prepare and serve the meal.

Tonight's event raised funds for NRS programs and services that benefit runaway and at-risk youth and their families throughout the country. Pat Tomasulo, sports anchor and reporter of WGN-TV's Morning News, served as master of ceremonies. Sponsors included Platinum Sponsors Michele and Gary Lehman, and United Airlines, and Gold Sponsors Greyhound Lines, Inc., Hugh M. Hefner Foundation, and Radio Flyer.

For more information on NRS visit

SOURCE National Runaway Switchboard
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