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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (Highmark) recently presented Allied Services Foundation with $7,500 as part of the company’s support for WNEP’s Ryan’s Run 7, a charity campaign raising funds and awareness for children and adults with disabilities, life-changing injuries and chronic illness served by Allied Services. Highmark partnered with Allied Services to sponsor the School Rules Contest, which encourages local schools to come up with creative ways to support the campaign. In 2016, schools throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania raised more than $12,000 for Allied Services.

This year, the School Rules Contest also offered students the opportunity to take part in a 5-week running program, the “Kick-Start Running Club,” sponsored by Highmark. The program included tips on healthy eating and ways to incorporate exercise into daily life. At the end of a 5-week running program, elementary, intermediate and high school students tested their abilities by taking part in WNEP’s Ryan’s Run 5k at Scranton Memorial Stadium. For many, this was their first race. Following the 5k, students and their families joined the crowd in cheering on pediatric and adult patients of Allied Services participating in the All-Abilities Walk.

“Highmark is committed to encouraging people of all ages and abilities to lead active, healthy lifestyles,” said Susan S. Hubley, director of Community Affairs.  “By supporting organizations like Allied Services, we’re able to work together to help build stronger and healthier communities.”

Highmark’s contribution – and all donations to WNEP’s Ryan’s Run 7 – will benefit children and adults with disabilities at Allied Services. Over the past six years, the funds raised enable the non-profit health system to invest in cutting-edge rehab devices that help patients with a wide range of conditions from Alzheimer’s to brain injury, cerebral palsy to stroke. For more information visit alliedservices.org/ryansrun or call 570-348-1407.

PHOTO ID: left to right, Riley Marcks, North Pocono School District; Ryan Leckey, Reporter/Producer of Leckey Live, Newswatch 16 This Morning; Eileen Marsico, Client Manager, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield; Jim Brogna, VP of Corporate Advancement & Communications, Allied Services; Corey Burns, Assistant Chief Photographer, WNEP TV.