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ING Awards $100,000 in Grants to Combat Childhood Obesity
Date:9/1/2009

ATLANTA, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ING today announced that it has awarded 50 schools across the U.S. with $2,000 grants to help students combat childhood obesity. Through its ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program, financial services leader ING, in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), is helping to introduce fifth- through eighth-grade students across the country to the benefits of running through school-based running programs.

Fifty schools will receive $2,000 in funding to support its new ING Run For Something Better program, offering students a minimum of an eight-week running program that will conclude with a culminating running event in celebration of the students' achievements. NASPE has developed unique running lesson plans, based on the National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE, 2004), and specifically targeted for fifth- through eighth-grade students. These activity plans, coupled with other program materials such as distance logs and a running journal, will aid in the development of running skills and preparation for a culminating running event.

"We are pleased to offer schools a grant that encourages healthy lifestyles changes, personal development, goal-setting and group participation," said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. "ING is committed to making it easier for schools to not only close the gap in student achievement, but also advance student physical well being through ING Run For Something Better."

Grant awards were available in all states to public elementary or middle schools for running programs that targeted fifth- through eighth-grade students. Over 300 schools applied for the ING/NASPE School Awards Program. A NASPE review board consisting of 100 teachers and education administrators reviewed all applications.

Nearly one-third of U.S. children and teens are now overweight or obese. Inactive and obese children risk multiple consequences including reduced bone strength, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels and asthma. If addressed at an early age, many of these conditions can be avoided. NASPE Executive Director Charlene Burgeson said, "NASPE is appreciative to ING for helping our efforts to promote the importance of children's physical fitness and provide teachers and coaches with the resources they need to create fun and practical running programs for their students."

    Press inquiries:
    Audria (Aud) Belton Benn           Juliet Prillaman
    ING                                NASPE
    Office: 770.980.5715               Office: 703.476.3485
    Cell:  404.934.8743                jprillaman@aahperd.org
    audria.benn@us.ing.com

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 115,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves nearly 30 million customers across the nation.

ING's diversity management philosophy and commitment to workforce diversity, diversity marketing, corporate citizenship and supplier diversity fosters an inclusive environment for employees that supports a distinctive product and service experience for the financial services consumer.

For more information, visit www.ing.com/us.

About the ING Run For Something Better

The ING Run For Something Better is a fundraising campaign that supports community and school-based youth running programs. Linked to ING's long-distance race sponsorships, the program was created to introduce kids to the benefits of sport, a habit of physical fitness, and a healthy lifestyle that prevents conditions such as childhood obesity. In today's world of poor nutrition and less-active lifestyles -- which may contribute to childhood obesity -- ING is using its position as a sponsor of marathons as a platform for helping kids get fit through free, school-based running programs. Nationally, ING has committed over $2.5 million to fund grants and school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better. Since 2006, over a half a million dollars has been raised by individual donors through the orange laces program. ING has also created a special charitable fund to encourage others to support the cause by making their own contribution. When someone donates $10 or more to the ING Run For Something Better, ING will recognize their contribution by giving them a special pair of orange shoelaces to wear showing that they are "tied" to supporting kids' fitness. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of orange laces go to the ING Run For Something Better fitness programs.

For more information about the orange laces, go to www.orangelaces.com.

About the ING Foundation

The ING Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in the communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. Through charitable giving and employee volunteerism, the foundation focuses on sustainable programs in the areas of financial literacy, children's education and diversity.

For more information, visit www.ing-usafoundation.com.

About NASPE

The preeminent national authority on physical education and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is a non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for practice in physical education and sport. NASPE's 16,000 members include: K-12 physical education teachers, coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, sport management professionals, researchers, and college/university faculty who prepare physical activity professionals. NASPE seeks to enhance knowledge, improve professional practice, and increase support for high-quality physical education, sport and physical activity programs. It is the largest of the five national associations that make up the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD). For more information, visit www.naspeinfo.org.

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Rhonda Mims

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