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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Helps to Rally More Than 25,000 Gifts for "Toys for Tots" Drive

IBC fulfills its toy-for-toy match program, generates more than 8,000 gifts through its own outreach

Philadelphia, PA - December 22, 2011 - In response to the donation crisis facing the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program in the Philadelphia region, Independence Blue Cross (IBC), the leading health insurer in Philadelphia, PA, today announced its effort to drive last-minute donations delivered more than 25,000 gifts for Toys for Tots across all five counties during the past six days, with more than 8,000 gifts coming directly from IBC's on-site collection and its strong outreach to business leaders, broker partners, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, associates, and customers.  The overwhelming response to IBC's effort has helped to make up a tremendous shortfall in donations for Toys for Tots this holiday season - a shortfall, which just a week ago reflected 90,000 fewer gifts for distribution to local children in need.

"One thing I have learned from living and working in the Philadelphia region is that our community always rallies and always finds a way to be generous when our neighbors are in need," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. "The response to our Toys for Tots initiative - from both companies and individuals - has been inspiring.  I am so happy that we were able to bring people together for the U.S. Marine Corps and help to ensure that thousands of children in our region will now receive a gift this holiday season."

In addition to its immediate gift of 1,000 toys on December 15, IBC fulfilled its toy-for-toy match donation program, up to 2,500 gifts, resulting in a total donation of 3,500 new toys from the company. Further, IBC's outreach to key partners also drove generous donations (in both toys and monetary donations) from AmeriHealth Mercy, Brian Communications, Elliott Lewis Corporation, FMC Corporation, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), K'Nex Brands/The Rodon Group, Novak Strategic Advisors, The Riff Group, Tierney Communications, and WMGK-FM.

U. S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Marc Palos, coordinator for the Philadelphia chapter of Toys for Tots, said, "We're unbelievably grateful to Independence Blue Cross for taking the lead to help us to meet the need of Toys for Tots this holiday season. We simply couldn't have made up such a shortfall in gifts without IBC's commitment. The thousands of gifts donated in just the past week through the company will make a difference but what's more is the increased giving - across the region - because of attention driven by IBC's initiative.  So many more children will now experience a wonderful holiday because of this effort." 

Visit our website for more information about the success of the IBC Toys for Tots Initiative.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.1 million people. For 73 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More information about Independence Blue Cross is available at www.ibx.com. Fan us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter@ibx.

About Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 65th year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season. Our gifts offer these children hope, recognition, and a positive memory they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of the books, games and sports equipment that we provide as gifts make a significant contribution to the educational, social and physical development of these children. In 2010, Marines distributed toys to more than 7.2 million children who might now have otherwise experienced the magic of the Christmas holiday season. Additional information can be found online at www.toysfortots.org.

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