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(319) 335-8037; fax (319) 335-8034

Release: Immediate

NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information on arthritis research and treatment at the University of Iowa, you may contact UI rheumatologists Dr. Robert Ashman, (319) 356-2287; Dr. Kenneth Saag, (319) 356-4413; or Dr. Scott Vogelgesang, (319) 356-7725

Jingle Bell Walk/Run will raise money for Arthritis Foundation

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Participants in the Jingle Bell Walk/Run for Arthritis will "ring in" the holiday season by raising money for arthritis research and treatment.

Sponsored by the Iowa Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, the Jingle Bell Walk/Run will be Saturday, Dec. 6 at the University of Iowa Recreation Building in Iowa City. Participants can take part in an indoor 5K (3.1 miles) walk, or an outdoor 5K walk/run. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk/run starts at 9:30 a.m. Everyone who walks or runs will get either gloves or shoelaces with jingle bells to add to the festive atmosphere of this event.

In addition to the walk/run, a variety of family activities and entertainment is planned, including music, refreshments and kids' activities.

Registration for the Jingle Bell Walk/Run for Arthritis is free, but participants are encouraged to collect pledges from family and friends to support the work of the Arthritis Foundation. Participants who collect pledges will receive t-shirts, sweatshirts and other prizes. Prizes will also be awarded for teams who participate in the walk/run.

Nearly 40 million Americans have arthritis -- that's one in seven people. By the year 2020, the number could swell to roughly 60 million. Iowa has a particularly high incidence of the often-debilitating disease -- 17 percent of Iowans have arthritis. In 1997, the Arthritis Foundation has contributed $230,000 to UI researchers to help find new treatments and cures for arthritis and related diseases.

To register for the Jingle Bell Walk/Run for Arthritis or to make a donation, pick up a registration brochure at area public libraries, banks and senior centers, or call (319) 339-7151 or (319) 337-6194.