CONTACT: JENNIFER CRONIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-9917
NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information on arthritis research and treatments
at the University of Iowa, you may arrange interviews with members of the
UI rheumatology staff by contacting Joan Felkner at 356-4262 (work) or
337-6194 (home). Because of staff members' hectic clinical schedules, please
call ahead to arrange interview times.
Jingle Bell Walk/Run to benefit UI arthritis research, treatment
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Many people scurry around malls this time of year
to shop. However, those who will participate in the local Jingle Bell Walk/Run
for Arthritis have a different reason for their Dec. 5 trip to Coral Ridge
Mall -- they want to raise money for local arthritis research and treatment.
The walk/run, which the Iowa Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation sponsors
each year, begins with registration at 8 a.m. near the Coral 10 Theatre
entrance. Interested individuals may pick up registration brochures at
many local businesses and public libraries anytime or register at the event
Saturday, Dec. 5.
Participants may opt for the indoor walk through the mall or the outdoor
5 kilometer (3.1 miles) run around the center. There is an Elf Run for
children age 9 and younger. Organizers also have planned a number of family
activities including a visit with Santa, fun with clowns, face painting,
free carousel rides, refreshments, door prizes and awards for participants.
There is no registration fee to participate; however, organizers encourage
individuals to collect pledges from family members and friends to support
the work of the Arthritis Foundation. Last year's 160 participants raised
roughly $7,000, which helped to support UI researchers and services for
patients. This year's goal is $7,500. In addition to the local contributions,
the Arthritis Foundation has contributed more than $229,000 to UI arthritis
researchers during 1998.
Iowa has the fourth highest rate of arthritis in the United States with
17 percent of Iowans having the often-debilitating disease. Nationwide,
arthritis affects nearly 43 million Americans -- or one in every six people.
The number could climb to 60 million by 2020 unless researchers come up
with steps to limit the disease's impact.
The Jingle Bell Walk/Run is the largest fund-raising run/walk event
in the country. The Iowa City location is one of about 200 sites around
the country and one of four locations in eastern Iowa where the Arthritis
Foundation will hold the event this year.
Interested individuals should not worry about having to complete the
walk or run to participate. Organizers also encourage people to sign up
as teams. Everyone who participates receives either jingle bell gloves
For more information, call Steve Breese, chairman of the Johnson County
Arthritis Foundation Board, at 339-7151 or publicity coordinator Joan Felkner