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Sam's Day Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary; Local Family Event Will Benefit Largest U.S. Non-Profit Fighting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

DALLAS, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John Killian, Chairman of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest non-profit organization in the United States focused on finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne), and his wife Stefanie Killian, announced today that the 5th Annual Sam's Family Fun Day (Sam's Day) will take place on October 24, 2009 from 10am to 2pm on Flagpole Hill at White Rock Lake.


Sam's Day is named for the Killians' son Sam (7 years old), the youngest of four children, who was diagnosed with Duchenne in early 2005. Sam's Day was started in October of the same year by the Killian's financial advisor and close personal friend, Chris Messick, CFP of Northwestern Mutual. Chris, who recently received a community service award from Northwestern Mutual Foundation of $10,000 for his work on Sam's Day, is especially excited about this fifth anniversary year. "We really didn't know what to expect the first year we held Sam's Day. And now, here we are, five years later with an event that we are proud to say has increased awareness about Duchenne in the Dallas area and raised nearly $500,000 for research to help the thousands of amazing kids like Sam who are fighting this terrible disease."

Duchenne, the most common form of childhood muscular dystrophy, is a progressive and fatal muscle disorder affecting boys and young men that causes the loss of muscle function, wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function.

Sam's Day has become an annual destination for Dallas residents. It is a free, family-friendly event with bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, fast pitch machine with radar, train rides, clowns, face painters, magicians, and great food. This year, the event will also include mobile video games and laser tag provided by Games 2U. Other sponsors include Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., ING, Vinson and Elkins, and Northwestern Mutual Foundation.

Radio Disney, the number one, twenty-four hour, radio network in the country for kids, tweens, and families, is the media supporter of Sam's Day. They will be on-site and provide the soundtrack for the festivities. The event will also feature a silent auction that will include items such as a weekend trip for two to Horseshoe Bay Resort, a condo in Puerto Vallarta, and sports tickets and memorabilia.

The Killians, while happy that people attend Sam's Day to have fun as a family, emphasize the underlying message of the day. John says, "Good food, fun games, great entertainment are all part of what have made Sam's Day a success over the last five years. But what really excites us, are the conversations it sparks in the families that attend. Sam's Day gives parents an opportunity to talk to their own children about what it means to face adversity in life, and to talk about accepting people with different physical and mental abilities."

Sam's mom, Stefanie, adds, "There are so many distractions in today's world making it tougher and tougher for families to connect with each other while having fun doing it. We wanted to create an experience that our family would enjoy going to and then hopefully, other families would want to come as well. I think this year, on our five year anniversary, we have really nailed it. At least Sam thinks it's going to be the best Sam's Day ever!"

For more information on Sam's Family Fun Day, please visit

About PPMD

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. The organization's mission is to improve the treatment, quality of life and long-term outlook for all individuals affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy through research, advocacy, education and compassion. PPMD is headquartered in Middletown, Ohio with offices in Fort Lee, New Jersey. For more information, visit

SOURCE Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

SOURCE Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
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