BLOOMFIELD, Conn., November 09, 2011 - Cigna (NYSE:CI) today announced the company will honor the men and women who served and defended our nation with a Go the Distance for Veterans program launching Friday. This unusual running-giving program integrates Cigna's employee giving campaign and Cigna Foundation grants with Cigna's fourth annual sponsorship of the 2012 Walt Disney World© Marathon Weekend in January 2012.
Here is how the Go the Distance for Veterans program works:
A Cigna Foundation grant to Achilles International will fund six runners with disabilities, including four wounded veterans, to run in the 2012 Walt Disney World© Marathon Weekend. Members of the Cigna team, including Chief Executive Officer David M. Cordani, will run side-by-side with the wounded veterans to guide them through the Disney 13.1 mile half-marathon in Orlando on Jan. 7, 2012. Runners selected are active members of Achilles, a non-profit organization dedicated to enabling people with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics.
"It is an inspiration and an honor for us to help those who have taken the call to service to the highest level," Cordani said. "Cigna salutes all veterans and members of the armed forces, whose personal histories are told through their selfless service on behalf of others. I look forward to celebrating with the veterans as they cross the finish line at Disney."
At the same time, to encourage Cigna employees to support veterans and troops still serving on active duty, and their families, Cigna Foundation is establishing a permanent employee matching gift program with the Service to the Armed Forces Fund of the American Red Cross. Cigna will offer a 2:1 match of all employee gifts made from Veterans Day to the Disney Marathon Weekend. Thereafter, a 1:1 match will be provided. The Service to the Armed Forces program dates back to the founding of the American Red Cross by Clara Barton in May 1881.
The third component of the Go the Distance for Veterans program includes doubling the amount of Cigna's Healthy Lifestyle awards - from $100 to $200 - for Cigna employees who run or walk at Disney to benefit non-profit organizations whose primary mission is serving veterans and the troops. These Cigna Foundation awards were established at the Disney Marathon last year and enable employees to designate grants for charity in combination with participation in a run or walk.
"Cigna wants to demonstrate our sincere gratitude to America's wounded veterans and those serving on active duty. Our support pays tribute to the collective human spirit and the potential for each individual to lead life to the fullest," Cordani said. "Our new program recognizes the heroes who come from all the families, workplaces and communities around us."
In addition to the Go the Distance for Veterans program, the Cigna Foundation offers long-term help to veterans and troops by supporting groups devoted to healing the psychological scars of war and reconnecting veterans with society:
- P2V - rescues shelter animals and pairs them with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or other mental health issues.
- Society for the Arts in Health Care - supports programs that provide healing arts for veterans at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence on the Navy Campus in Bethesda, Maryland.
- Operation Music Aid - supplies guitars and keyboards to wounded military service personnel now in military hospitals for extended care.
- Equal Justice Works - arranges fellowships for attorneys who provide legal services to veterans.
The CIGNA Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from CIGNA Corporation and its subsidiaries. The CIGNA Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where CIGNA employees live and work.
Cigna (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions and has nearly 70 million customer relationships throughout the world. All products and services are provided exclusively by such operating subsidiaries and not by Cigna Corporation. Such operating subsidiaries include Life Insurance Company of North America, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. To learn more about Cigna, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to http://www.cigna.com/newsroom/rss. Also, follow us on Twitter at @cigna, visit Cigna's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/cigna and listen to Cigna's podcast series with healthy tips and information at http://www.cigna.com/podcasts or by searching "Cigna" in iTunes.