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Valassis Leads by Example in Raising Awareness, Money to Help Find Missing Children

May 24, 2011
LIVONIA, MI—May 24, 2011—Valassis, one of the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies, continues its commitment to make a difference in the lives of missing children by calling on the public to join it in recognizing National Missing Children’s Day on May 25. This call to action is part of 26 years of efforts by the company to raise awareness and money for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

May 25 is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school. It has been observed as National Missing Children’s Day since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan.

Etan’s story captivated the nation. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer, was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the country and around the world. The search for Etan continues; he is still missing.

On this annual day, all of the children who are missing are remembered and awareness raised to this all important cause. One of the tenets of Valassis’ Have You Seen Me? program is that no child is forgotten.

Since 1985, the program has featured the names and faces of missing children across its products, generating more than 43,000 leads. Today, the program can be found on the RedPlum Shared Mail package, cooperative coupon booklet and on and

In addition to raising awareness of the cause by donating its media space, Valassis employees raise money each year for NCMEC. In 2010, $76,250 was raised and the company’s 2011 goal is $80,000. Money is raised through a host of fund raisers throughout the year, including the company’s half-day-off program prior to summer holiday weekends, a payroll deduction program, golf outings and flower sales.

Valassis also requested that NCMEC be named the charity spotlight at this year’s Restaurant Leadership Conference held in Scottsdale, AZ. Each year, more than 1,400 restaurant executives and suppliers gather for three days at that industry’s premier networking event, and its charity foundation, CARRE, selects an organization to support with awareness and fund-raising activities.

The fund-raising efforts were kicked off by Valassis Chief Marketing Officer Suzie Brown who co-hosted the charity effort with Susan Lintonsmith, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers CMO. Brown shared Valassis’ history with NCMEC, the 150 children directly recovered as a result of the Have You Seen Me? program and the exceptional contribution by Valassis employees in raising money for the cause. Red Robin is also a long-term supporter of NCMEC and includes fund raising and child-ID kit distribution at each of their restaurant grand openings

Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, shared the experience of his daughter’s abduction (Elizabeth was abducted from her home in 2002 and recovered nine months later), then urged the conference participants to step up and help in the recovery of missing children. Smart’s comments hit home when he spotlighted restaurants where missing children have been recovered, stressing the important role the restaurant industry plays. Overall, the event helped raised over $25,000 for NCMEC.

About Valassis
Valassis is one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, offering unparalleled reach and scale to more than 15,000 advertisers. Its RedPlum™ media portfolio delivers value on a weekly basis to over 100 million shoppers across a multi-media platform—in-home, in-store and in-motion. Through its digital offerings, including and, consumers can find compelling national and local deals. Headquartered in Livonia, MI, with approximately 7,000 associates in 28 states and eight countries, Valassis is widely recognized for its associate and corporate citizenship programs, including its America's Looking for Its Missing Children program. For more information, visit

Source: Valassis.


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