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Wellness Initiative for 2008 Tour de Georgia Presented by AT&T Led by New Partnership With Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
Date:3/13/2008

ATLANTA, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Tour de Georgia Foundation announced today that it will enhance its educational program for children with the help of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa), which signed as a new Founding Partner for the 2008 Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T. The event, now in its sixth year, will start in Tybee Island, Ga. on April 21 and end in Atlanta, Ga. on April 27.

Emphasizing its initiative to fight childhood obesity and improve the health of children across Georgia, BCBSGa will provide health and wellness content in a revised educational booklet to be used in grades three through six. The school booklet is designed by Aucutt Design, publisher of the popular "Mike and the Bike" picture/audio book with original music, and the Stoneridge Group, based in Buford, Ga. The Tour de Georgia/BCBSGA educational booklet uses the sport of cycling to illustrate lesson plans for children related to nutrition and exercise, as well as math, history and geography. Additional health and wellness information is included in this year's booklet, and features characters by HealthMPowers - an organization funded in part by the BCBSGa Foundation that increases Health Education opportunities for middle schools throughout Georgia.

During the month of April, 20,000 booklets will be distributed to elementary schools close to the 12 Host Venues where the Tour will begin and end each day. An online booklet will be created with help from BCBSGa to extend these special lesson plans to students across the state. "We believe early education is a big step in improving the health and wellness of Georgia's children. Our partnership with the Tour de Georgia, and specifically through this educational booklet, is a way for us to meet our mission of improving the health of our communities," said Monye Connolly, president, BCBSGa.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has been a trusted leader in health care all across Georgia for many years. With our emphasis on promoting healthy lifestyles through exercise, like cycling, it is great to have them as a new Tour partner. In particular, we appreciate Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia for joining our initiative to promote good health and exercise to elementary students. A special educational booklet, using cycling to illustrate curriculum topics, will be available this spring," said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who serves as the chairman for Tour de Georgia Foundation, a 501 c3 organization that owns the cycling event.

Additionally, BCBSGA will have an interactive health display at all finish lines of the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T in the Health & Wellness Expo. Branded signage will be placed along the course, including a large inflatable archway on each stage near the finish to mark one kilometer to go for the racers.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has consistently served the health care needs of Georgians since the 1930's. Known for its stability and endurance in an ever-changing and challenging marketplace, the Georgia Blue plan is a trusted health care leader throughout the state. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia together with its branded affiliates provide health care services to more than 3.3 million members.

ABOUT BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF GEORGIA

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., the largest publicly traded commercial health benefits company in terms of membership in the United States, and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association which serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan counties and as Blue Cross, Blue Shield or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.) and Wisconsin Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia can be found on the web at http://www.bcbsga.com.

ABOUT AT&T

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access, and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com (c) 2007 AT&T Knowledge Ventures. All rights reserved. AT&T and the AT&T logo are trademarks of AT&T Knowledge Ventures. For more information, please review this announcement in the AT&T newsroom at http://www.att.com/newsroom.

ABOUT THE TOUR DE GEORGIA PRESENTED BY AT&T

The Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T is North America's premier, professional cycling event and rolling festival of community activities. The Tour was first held in 2003 and has become a spring tradition with a varying route of close to 660 miles of racing. Over 2.8 million spectators have traveled to Georgia to watch the event in the past five years, and direct economic impact has totaled over $148 million. The official beneficiary is the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The event is sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (2.HC ranking), and is part of the USA Cycling Professional Tour, making the event one of the top stage races for elite athletes around the world. The Tour de Georgia is owned and operated by the Tour de Georgia Foundation (501 c3) and managed by Medalist Sports (http://www.medalistsports.com). Route maps, host venue information, merchandise offerings and sponsor news is available at the official website, http://www.tourdegeorgia.com.

ABOUT THE AFLAC CANCER CENTER AND BLOOD DISORDERS SERVICE OF CHILDREN'S

The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is a national leader among childhood cancer, hematology, and blood and marrow transplant programs, serving infants to young adults. Recognized as one of the top five pediatric cancer centers in the country by Child magazine, the Aflac Cancer Center treats more than 325 new cancer patients each year and follows more than 2,000 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. The Aflac Cancer Center is one of many programs at Children's committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Children's, one of the top three pediatric healthcare systems in the country, is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. Visit http://www.aflaccancercenter.org or call 404-250-KIDS for more information.


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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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