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Release: Immediate

UI's Fry, Lee, Blevins join "Weekend of Champions"

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Children who are "champions" over illnesses will tell their stories on this year's Children Miracle Network (CMN) telecast airing Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1.

This year they have some help from new team members University of Iowa Hawkeye coaches Hayden Fry, Angie Lee, and Gayle Blevins, who have volunteered their time to several special events supporting CMN because they know the importance of teamwork. Lee says, "The partnership is the same . . . it's a team of children, their parents, health care specialists and volunteers working together to make a difference."

The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 31, and continues through 5 p.m. Sunday, June 1 -- originating live from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. In addition, a portion of each hour will originate from UI Hospitals and Clinics and feature stories of area "champion" children who have received health care at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at UIHC.

In Iowa the CMN Weekend of Champions can be seen on KCCI-TV, Channel 8 Des Moines; KIMT-TV, Channel 3, Mason City; KGAN-TV, Channel 2, Cedar Rapids; and WQAD-TV, Channel 8, Quad Cities. Television personalities who will host the event from UIHC include Sandy Riesgraf and Brian Roche KGAN-TV, Amy Kuns and Kevin Skarupa, KIMT-TV, Rich Henkels, WQAD-TV, and Mollie Cooney, KCCI-TV.

The 1997 Weekend of Champions is part of a nationwide fund-raising effort for the Children's Hospital of Iowa and 162 other hospitals affiliated with CMN.

Since its founding in 1983, CMN has helped raise more than $1.04 billion for its affiliated hospitals for children -- $141 million in 1996 alone. Funds raised in this region benefit children's health care at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at UIHC. In Iowa last year $954,165 was raised and since participating in the network, UIHC has received more than $6.3 million for children's health care.

CMN hospitals are selected for their ability to treat children with all afflictions, including cancer, birth defects, accidents, and muscular and cardiovascular diseases. The hospitals associated with the network are recognized as the premier pediatric health care facilities in their communities. The UIHC's Children's Hospital of Iowa serves the health care needs of more than 100,000 children and adolescents annually.