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USA TODAY Concludes 'Spirit of the USA' Charity Program as Part of Newspaper's 25th Anniversary Celebration

The American Red Cross highlighted

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of USA TODAY's 25th anniversary celebration, USA TODAY concludes its "Spirit of the USA" 25- week charity program that highlights a different charity each week for 25 weeks.

The program began on March 30th and continued each Friday as USA TODAY thanked America for its support over the past 25 years by saluting the nation's generosity. USA TODAY has selected 25 charities and has celebrated the work of one charity per week for 25 weeks both in print and online via a signature USA TODAY Snapshot as well as on a special 25th anniversary web site on

The American Red Cross is the nation's partner in preventing, preparing for and responding to emergencies. Last year, the humanitarian organization led by almost a million volunteers, provided direct relief to victims of nearly 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills and preparedness tips to millions of Americans; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States.

"We are honored to be a part of USA TODAY's 25th Anniversary campaign and would like to echo USA TODAY in thanking the American public for its generosity, which we rely on to fulfill our mission," said Mark W. Everson, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "This is also an opportunity during National Preparedness Month to engage more people in becoming Red Cross Ready: to get a kit, make a plan and be informed."

Readers are encouraged to learn more about the American Red Cross by viewing the Snapshot on today's front page of USA TODAY and on as well as by visiting

Big Brothers Big Sisters, Thanks USA, Earth Day Network, NARSAD: The Mental Health Research Association, American Diabetes Association, Hispanic College Fund, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Disabled American Veterans, the Arbor Day Foundation, America's Second Harvest, MusiCares, The Nature Conservancy, The Humane Society of the United States, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Hole in the Wall Camps, First Book, Gilda's Club Worldwide, Special Olympics, VH1 Save The Music Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity International, Ducks Unlimited, Goodwill Industries International and the Multiple Sclerosis Society were previously highlighted as part of the "Spirit of the USA" program.

"USA TODAY wanted to find a way to give back to the nation during our 25th anniversary celebration by celebrating causes that are closest to the hearts of Americans. We selected charities that represented a broad range of interests including environment, health, animals, arts, education, human services, and public benefits. We hope our readers will join us in saluting these charities," said Susan Lavington, senior vice president of marketing, USA TODAY.

USA TODAY, the nation's top-selling newspaper, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on September 15th, 2007. It is published via satellite at 36 locations in the USA and at four sites abroad. With a total average daily circulation of 2.3 million, USA TODAY is available worldwide. USA TODAY is published by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). The USA TODAY brand also includes:, an award-winning news and information Web site that is updated 24 hours per day; USA TODAY Sports Weekly, a magazine for enthusiasts of college and professional football and baseball; USA TODAY Mobile, offering up- to-the minute news and information on a variety of mobile platforms and devices; and USA TODAY LIVE, the television arm of the USA TODAY brand that brings the spirit and quality of the newspaper to television.

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