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YMCA of the USA Announces New Year's Resolution to Better Support Health-Seeking Americans

Corporate, Academic and Other Collaborations Help YMCAs Increase

Opportunities for People of All Ages in their Pursuit of Health and

Well-Being in Spirit, Mind and Body

CHICAGO, Dec. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- YMCA of the USA President and CEO Neil Nicoll today issued a New Year's Resolution for the nation's oldest and largest community service organization, based on recent alarming studies related to the nation's ongoing lifestyle health crisis. Since taking on the CEO role in June 2006, Nicoll has focused on uniting the YMCA movement around a new Mission Impact strategic plan.

Recognizing the current health challenges facing families and individuals, the YMCA is leading on a new, ambitious strategic plan focused on three areas of emphasis where the organization believes it can make the most profound and significant contribution to America: holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening and health and well-being for all. Activate America(R) is a cornerstone of the YMCA's commitment to health and well-being.

"Through Activate America, YMCAs are resolved to shift the way we work with health seekers to more effectively support Americans in establishing better and lasting habits around their health," said Nicoll. "While we don't assume that YMCAs can single-handedly improve health and well-being of Americans, we believe improvements cannot be made without the YMCA."

"We applaud YMCAs for their commitment to promoting health and well-being for children, adults, families and communities. All of us at Kimberly-Clark are delighted to partner with the YMCA's Activate America effort and to join with them in issuing a challenge to American's to adopt healthier lifestyles in 2008 and beyond," said Carolyn Mentesana, Vice President, Kimberly-Clark Foundation. "YMCAs are at their best when they are responding to social needs, and America's health crisis presents the YMCA movement with another opportunity to be at its best."

Among the YMCA's earliest and most enduring corporate supporters for Activate America, Kimberly-Clark has played an important role in helping the YMCA respond to the health and well-being needs of Americans. Kimberly-Clark's alliance with the YMCA began in 2000 with the organizations' shared objective to strengthen families. Since that time, the corporation has contributed more than $12 million to support a variety of initiatives, including several related to Activate America:

-- Organizational change in support of health seekers

-- Development of the Activate America vision and messaging

-- Kimberly-Clark Everyday Healthy Day grants to local YMCAs for

community-based programs

-- YMCA Healthy Kids(R) Day -- the nation's largest health day for


-- Activate America: Pioneering Healthier Communities(R): mobilizing

community leaders to respond to the public health challenges of

obesity, physical inactivity and poor nutrition

In addressing the lifestyle health crisis, YMCA of the USA also collaborates with other corporate and government entities and continues to deepen its impact through a diverse range of expert advisors, among them Stanford University School of Medicine.

"The YMCA's commitment to the health and well-being of all Americans through Activate America has huge potential to reverse the declining health trend in America," said Wesley Alles, PhD, a senior research scholar at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Alles has provided expert support to this YMCA effort from its inception.

Throughout its nearly 160-year history, the YMCA has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of the communities and individuals it serves. Activate America is an ambitious public health initiative that is seeking to make healthy living a reality for millions of Americans by directly helping individuals and families live healthier lives, and by helping YMCAs lead both their communities and the nation in reducing barriers and increasing support for healthy living.

ABOUT KIMBERLY-CLARK CORPORATION: Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people -- nearly a quarter of the world's population -- trust Kimberly-Clark brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest Kimberly-Clark news and to learn more about the company's 135-year history of innovation, visit

The YMCA: A Long-Standing Commitment to Health of Spirit, Mind and Body

YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the nation's 2,663 YMCAs, which serve nearly 20.2 million people each year, including 9.4 million children under the age of 18. Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening and health and well-being for all, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America's communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Visit to find your local YMCA.


Leah Pouw, YMCA of the USA


Lynn Harmon, Harmon Group for YMCA of the USA


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