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Photo: New York Goes Orange for Pumpkin Festival and Lupus Awareness Month

With Help from Famed NFL Pro-Bowler Jerome 'The Bus' Bettis

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, October 27th, thousands of New York City families got "into the loop" with the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation at the first-ever Pumpkin Festival in Central Park, presented by Camp Sunshine and the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation. More than 30,000 carved pumpkins lined the park's paths, while the Foundation distributed nearly 10,000 orange lupus awareness wristbands saluting Lupus Awareness Month.

(Photo: )

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

Former NFL Super Bowl star Jerome "The Bus" Bettis made a special appearance at the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation's tent to help pass out wristbands and lupus fact cards, and sign autographs and take pictures with fans. As a presenting sponsor and long-time partner of Camp Sunshine, the Foundation also hosted the festival's Pumpkin Patch and gave away gourds to the first 7,500 attendees.

"For the past eight summers, we have sent New York City kids affected by lupus and their families to Camp Sunshine in Maine for a much-needed week of joy, peace and relaxation," said S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Executive Director, Margaret Dowd. "The Pumpkin Festival is a terrific opportunity for our organizations to bring New Yorkers together for a fun day in the park to support a wonderful cause and to educate more people about lupus."

In lupus, the body's immune system forms antibodies against itself, attacking otherwise healthy tissues and organs. Often characterized by extreme fatigue, fever, joint pain, and skin rash, lupus can cause life-threatening damage to the heart, kidneys and other major organs.

The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is New York City's leading resource for people affected by lupus. Ten years ago, the Foundation created the orange loop as the defining global symbol of lupus, and urges everyone to "Get into the Loop" and work for a time when lupus can be prevented, treated, and cured.

About the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation

The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, headquartered in New York and with offices in Los Angeles, is the leading lupus organizations in the country providing patient services, education, public awareness and funding for novel lupus research. For more information on lupus and Lupus Awareness Month, visit

SOURCE S.L.E. Lupus Foundation
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