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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nov. 10, 2011

CONTAC Jennifer Mathews, ETD Communications Director T: 773.209.3889 / jen@erasingthedistance.org

LOCAL NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION ERASING THE DISTANCE NEEDS AREA SUPPORT TO WIN UP TO $250,000 FROM CHASE COMMUNITY GIVING Area residents can make a huge impact by voting through the Chase Community Giving program! To vote, visit http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/, “Like” the Chase Community Giving program, and then cast your vote for ERASING THE DISTANCE. Hurry—voting ends on Nov. 22nd! CHICAGO, IL – ERASING THE DISTANCE, a non-profit arts organization working to shed light on mental health issues through theatre, is competing with charities nationwide for donations ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 through the Chase Community Giving program. Residents can help ensure their favorite charity’s success by simply voting for ERASING THE DISTANCE through the Chase Community Giving program running on the Facebook platform. Through the utilization of the social media networks, the Chase Community Giving program has already directed more than $15 million dollars toward charities nationwide, putting the power to bring positive change across the nation into the hands of those who need it most. Due to enthusiasm, the program is being continued into this fall - giving hundreds of additional charities, including ERASING THE DISTANCE, the opportunity to win grants to further their mission. ERASING THE DISTANCE founder and Executive Artistic Director Brighid O’Shaughnessy: “Every year we reach thousands of people at area high schools, colleges, faith groups, and more with our theatrical performances. We do this with only 2.5 staff members! Each show makes a difference to the people in the audience. Just yesterday, a young boy came up to us and said that after seeing our production, he decided he wanted to get help for depression he's been facing for over a year! A grant of $25,000 would allow us to reach even more people like this young boy by increasing the capacity and size of our staff.” The fall 2011 round of the Chase Community Giving program is designed to benefit smaller and local charities by being limited to 501c3 charities with operating budgets under $1 million. The top eligible charity receives $250,000 and the remaining 99 top charities earn $25,000 through $100,000 awards. More than $3 million dollars will be distributed to top vote getters. Charities previously awarded grants through Chase Community Giving are not eligible for this round of competition. ERASING THE DISTANCE is competing with thousands of charities across the country for awards from Chase. With the support of our volunteers, fans and local residents, ERASING THE DISTANCE has the opportunity to get much-needed resources to implement big changes. Just a few of the people ERASING THE DISTANCE has touched this past year alone include . . . Sarah (ERASING THE DISTANCE storyteller):


Erasing the Distance/Chase Community Giving pg. 2

“The gift you guys gave me in being willing to do this performance is truthfully unexplainable. By having my cousin not only offer, but actually come to support me during the performance, started a healing in an area I had long ago given up on.” Loyola Academy student (ERASING THE DISTANCE audience member): “Before today’s performance, I would often say ‘I’m so OCD’. I had no idea how serious and complex this issue really is and how hurt someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder would actually be to hear me say those words. I’m going to try really hard not to say that anymore.” Carly (ERASING THE DISTANCE story collector): “There are no words that can express the level to which I have been impacted. I allowed myself to experience and be emotionally changed by another person.” How You Can Help You can help ERASING THE DISTANCE win up to $250,000 by simply “Liking” the Chase Community Giving program at http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/ and THEN casting your vote for ERASING THE DISTANCE. Voting ends Nov. 22, 2011 at 11:59PM EST, so please vote now and let your voice be heard! About ERASING THE DISTANCE ERASING THE DISTANCE uses the power of performance to disarm stigma, spark dialogue, educate, and promote healing surrounding issues of mental health. ERASING THE DISTANCE collects true stories from people whose lives have been impacted by mental health issues. We sculpt the stories into theatrical pieces for the stage, which our ensemble of professional actors then perform for schools, faith groups, community organizations, and the general public. Every performance is followed by a moderated, interactive dialogue with the audience that addresses the themes they have just seen. Since ERASING THE DISTANCE’s inception in 2005, we have reached over 26,000 people across Illinois and the country. For more information on ERASING THE DISTANCE, please visit us at www.ErasingtheDistance.org. About Chase Community Giving Chase Community Giving is grant program inspiring a new way of corporate philanthropy by letting participants vote to help determine which small and local non profits will receive donations from Chase’s philanthropy funds. The program has given away over $15 million in grants to charities nationwide, with focuses including arts and culture; education and youth development; environment; animal welfare; health and social services; community development; medical research and awareness; recreation and sports; and international development. ###


Erasing the Distance vies for $250,000 from Chase Community Giving