* All U.S. Chrysler, Jeep®, and Dodge Dealers will donate $1 for every car sold from November 2005 through December 2006, Chrysler Group to match funds raised
* November is National Diabetes Month
Auburn Hills, Mich. and Boston, Mass., Nov 10, 2005 –
Chrysler Group and the Iacocca Foundation announced details today for a new diabetes fundraising effort. Chrysler Group will become an official sponsor of JoinLeeNow (www.JoinLeeNow.org), an initiative by the Iacocca Foundation that is raising funds for a clinical trial to test a potential cure for type 1 diabetes. As part of the sponsorship, Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge dealer advertising associations are contributing on behalf of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers $1 for every car sold beginning November 1, 2005, the first day of National Diabetes Month. The program will run through the end of 2006. All funds raised will go to the Iacocca Foundation’s JoinLeeNow fundraising campaign to raise money for diabetes research.
“Lee has and always will be a big part of the Chrysler Group family,” said Gary Dilts, Chrysler Group Senior Vice President-Sales. “Everyone at Chrysler is excited that we can be part of the Iacocca Foundation’s cause.”
Mr. Iacocca appeared in five advertisements for the Chrysler Group this summer. Mr. Iacocca donated his fees for the commercial to the Iacocca Foundation’s JoinLeeNow campaign. Chrysler is now the official sponsor of the JoinLeeNow campaign and will work with Mr. Iacocca and The Iacocca Foundation to raise funds for diabetes research.
Chrysler Group will help the Iacocca Foundation achieve its goal of finding a cure for diabetes, a disease that kills more than 200,000 people in the United States annually and causes health complications including blindness, amputations, heart disease, nerve damage and kidney failure. The Iacocca Foundation’s JoinLeeNow initiative is half way to reaching its goal of funding a clinical trial for a potential cure for type 1 diabetes…a treatment that has been found to successfully cure diabetes in mice.
“I promised my late wife that I would help to find a cure for type 1 diabetes in my lifetime. I feel like we are finally close. I’m very grateful for everything Chrysler is doing to help us reach our goal,” said Lee Iacocca, Chairman of the Iacocca Foundation.
Launched in August of 2004, JoinLeeNow has raised six of the 11 million dollars it needs to fund a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital that will be conducted by Dr. David Nathan and Dr. Denise Faustman. The first phase of the clinical trial program will test a potential cure for type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the islet cells of the pancreas, which are the cells in the body that produce insulin. Dr. David Nathan and Dr. Denise Faustman are testing a treatment to stop the immune system’s destruction of the insulin -producing cells. Dr. Faustman and other researchers have demonstrated in the lab that once the destruction of the insulin-producing cells is reversed, the body appears to be capable of regenerating these cells. The clinical trial is based on research by Dr. Faustman that has been almost exclusively sponsored by the Iacocca Foundation for the last six years. This research has significant implications not only to the future of diabetes treatment, but also to other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
For more information about the Iacocca Foundation and diabetes, or to make a donation, go to http://www.joinleenow.org.
About the Iacocca Foundation
With the proceeds of his best-selling autobiography, Lee A. Iacocca established the Iacocca Foundation in 1984 in honor of his late wife, Mary K. Iacocca, who died from complications of type 1 diabetes. Since 1984, the Iacocca Foundation has given more than $20 million to diabetes research. More information is available at http://www.iacoccafoundation.org.
About the Chrysler Group
The Chrysler Group, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., is a unit of DaimlerChrysler AG, the world’s fifth largest automaker. Its brands, including Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge, feature some of the most recognizable vehicles like the Chrysler 300, Jeep Liberty, and Dodge Magnum. In 2004, the Chrysler Group sold 2.7 million vehicles worldwide.
About Lee Iacocca
Lee Iacocca was the Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler form 1978 to 1992. Prior to Chrysler, Mr. Iacocca spent 30 years at the Ford Motor Company and was President when he left in 1978. Among other accomplishments, Mr. Iacocca is credited with creating the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Minivan, as well as saving Chrysler from bankruptcy. His autobiography, Iacocca (1984), and a second book, Talking Straight (1988), were bestsellers. He dedicated all of the proceeds from his books to the Iacocca Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that promotes diabetes research. In the early 1980s, at the request of President Regan, Mr. Iacocca spearheaded the campaign to refurbish the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which raised more than $500 million. Mr. Iacocca is a graduate of Lehigh University and Princeton University.
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