Staples Dream Park Challenge with the Bears

(PRESS RELEASE) Local residents can visit from Sept. 16 through Nov. 17 to vote for their community park to win $25,000 in improvements. The park that receives the most online votes will be the Staples Dream Park Challenge with the Bears winner and will be announced at a celebration with Chicago Bears player Adewale Ogunleye at Solider Field this winter.

In total, 15 parks are participating in the Challenge to receive money to implement park improvements. The participating parks and communities are:

Century Park (Bolingbrook)LakeShore Park (Oak Lawn)Twin Lakes Park (Villa Park)Schussler Park (Orland Park)Bartrum Park (Elk Grove Village)Dove Park (Palatine)Mills Park (Elmwood Park)Renwick Community Park (Plainfield)Arrowhead Park (Naperville)McCarthy Park (Tinley Park)Chase Park (Chicago North Side)Grand Crossing Park (Chicago South Side)Marquette Park (Chicago West Side)Palmer Park (Chicago South Side)Pulaski Park (Chicago North of Loop)

The park that receives the most online votes will win $25,000, the second-place park will win $10,000, and the third-place park will receive $5,000 to help with park improvements. The 12 remaining parks will each receive $500 to be used toward park enhancements. In addition, voters will be automatically entered into a drawing to meet Chicago Bears player Adewale Ogunleye at Soldier Field for the celebration of the Dream Park Challenge winner.

Local residents can learn about the program and vote for their local park by visiting . Residents can vote once per day online and also visit their local Staples store to pick-up a free "power card," which has a unique code that when entered on , makes your online vote count 10 extra times. Once the code is entered and the vote is placed, the card cannot be re-used. However, customers can pick up one additional power card with each Staples visit (limit one card per visit). Voting is open to anyone in the Chicagoland area.

Voting will end on Nov. 17 and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter at a celebration with Bears player Adewale Ogunleye at Solider Field.

The park is a gathering place for many neighborhoods. It is where children learn to play sports, develop their teamwork skills and realize the important role they play in their communities. By giving public parks an opportunity to raise money for park improvements, Staples and the Bears are helping to make sure Chicagoland parks remain a place for children to learn and communities to grow.

The parks were selected based on their overall need, usage, input from city and county park employees, and proximity to Staples operating areas.

Last year's winner was LaFollete Park in Chicago. They are using their $25,000 to buy lockers, a scoreboard and bleachers to benefit youth sports programs. The runner-up parks - Dunham Park in Dunning and Ada Park in Morgan Park - received $10,000 and $5,000 respectively for park improvements.

To help make his park the winner, James Bailey, the coach of the LaFollette Jr. Bears team, organized family weekends for all of the teams that use LaFollette Park. During the family days, Bailey and other parents drove to Staples stores around Chicagoland to collect "power cards," which enable online votes to count 10 extra times. That's one idea - other strategies that work include putting up flyers in community buildings, sending emails to friends and families and getting your city and local officials to help spread the word.

Staples continues to demonstrate its commitment to Chicagoland by supporting grassroots community organizations near its stores. Since its first local store opening in 2005, Staples and its charitable arm, Staples Foundation for Learning, have donated close to $600,000 to area educational non-profit organizations. Each Chicagoland store has adopted a local non-profit partner by contributing funds or providing much-needed support, such as office product donations.

Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With $27 billion in sales, Staples serves businesses of all sizes and consumers in 27 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In July 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express, one of the world's leading suppliers of office products to businesses and institutions. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at .

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