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GNC Joins St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R) to Kick Off Fourth Annual Thanks And Giving(R) Campaign, Asking America to Help Save Children's Lives While Shopping for the Holidays

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- GNC is joining St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as it kicks off its annual Thanks and Giving campaign. This is the fourth year for the national campaign and the second year that GNC has joined as a partner in the effort.

Thanks and Giving was created by award-winning actress and St. Jude National Outreach Director Marlo Thomas and her siblings, Terre and Tony Thomas, the children of hospital founder Danny Thomas. The campaign encourages customers to "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not." GNC shoppers will see the St. Jude Thanks and Giving magnifying glass on a bright green background in their stores and can support the campaign by simply adding a donation to their purchases. Donations can also be made online at, or by calling 1-800-4STJUDE. Thanks and Giving begins nationwide on November 19 and continues through the holiday season. GNC got a head start -- stores began raising funds for the Thanks and Giving campaign on November 1.

"Thanks and Giving is privileged to partner with some of the country's most respected brands and companies and we're thrilled that GNC is involved again this year," said Marlo Thomas. "We know GNC's customers welcome the opportunity to help St. Jude continue its work in the fight against childhood cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases."

Thanks and Giving is an unprecedented coming-together of retail and corporate partners, media and celebrities asking everyone to join them in supporting St. Jude's groundbreaking research that benefits children in communities everywhere. St. Jude is the nation's leading pediatric cancer research and treatment center and the only one that covers all of the costs for medicine, treatment, food, travel and lodging. Eighty-five cents of each dollar received goes directly to research and treatment.

"One of GNC's main focuses is helping others to live well, so working with St. Jude to help children live longer, happier, healthier lives is a natural fit for us," said Tom Dowd, executive vice president of store operations and development at GNC's headquarters in Pittsburgh. "We're very proud of what we're doing."

For the national Thanks and Giving campaign, celebrity friends Jennifer Aniston, Antonio Banderas, Bernie Mac, Ray Romano, Robin Williams and Reggie Bush have donated their talent for new national television spots, produced by Tony Thomas, which will air on broadcast and cable networks in both general and Spanish-language markets; and in a 60-second movie trailer that will reach audiences on more than 20,000 movie screens and on American Airlines flights during the holidays. Radio spots featuring country artist Keith Urban will run on hundreds of stations throughout the campaign. Thanks and Giving will also include print ads in high-profile magazines from home decor, to lifestyle, entertainment and news. Full-page ads showcasing the campaign's corporate partners will be in newspapers in major cities and in USA Today. The national media blitz includes online banner ads on more than 3,000 Web sites, as well as outdoor billboards in prominent locations from coast to coast.

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded in 1962 by late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude has treated children from across the country and around the world.

-- No child is ever turned away because of a family's inability to pay.

-- St. Jude covers all costs for treatment and is the only pediatric

cancer research center that pays for travel, lodging and food for

patients and a family member.

-- Eighty-five cents of every dollar received goes directly to research

and treatment.

-- St. Jude has increased the survival rate of the most common form of

childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), from 4 percent

when the hospital opened to 94 percent today.

-- Every breakthrough at St. Jude is freely shared with the scientific and

medical community worldwide. That's why St. Jude is called the

"hospital without walls."

-- St. Jude is the epicenter for pediatric brain tumor research and has

one of the largest sickle cell disease programs in the country.

-- St. Jude discovered a way to lessen side effects, making radiation

treatment more effective for virtually all cancers.

-- St. Jude follows the progress of its patients long after they leave the

hospital, providing related follow-up services, advice and assistance

at no charge to the patients.

More information is available at, where visitors can view the celebrity spots, learn about the corporate partners, buy unique merchandise designed by the patients at St. Jude and meet some of the patients.

About GNC

GNC, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional products; including vitamin, mineral, herbal and other specialty supplements and sports nutrition, diet and energy products. GNC has more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the United States (including approximately 1,000 franchise and 1,250 Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in 48 international markets. The company -- which is dedicated to helping consumers Live Well -- also offers products and product information online at

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