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13th annual gala in Chicago tops $2M

More than $600,000 was raised for a new ACS program - ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer

The American Cancer Society's 2019 Discovery Ball, one of Chicago's premier galas, raised more than $2.1 million this year. An after-party in the elegant Grand Ballroom in the Chicago Hilton featured a performance by the award-winning Canadian rock band, Barenaked Ladies.

The 13th annual gala, Where Hope Grows, featured UL as presenting sponsor and boasted nearly 800 guests and volunteers on Saturday, April 27.

Two individuals and two organizations were recognized for their support of American Cancer Society, and were introduced by our CEO Gary Reedy:

  • Cheryle Jackson, SVP, Global Business Development of AAR, and co-chair of the inaugural American Cancer Society ResearcHERs campaign, was recognized with the Survivorship Award in recognition of her courage, grit and grace navigating breast cancer and using her trials as an opportunity to mentor others and make a difference in their fight against cancer.
  • Longtime volunteer, Tyler Prince, is EVP for Salesforce and was recognized with the Leadership Award. From serving on our Illinois Area Board, as a vice chair of the Discovery Ball, as a Taste of Hope committee member and most courageously for sharing his story of surviving colon cancer. He has made a significant impact in the work ACS does as an organization.
  • North Chicago-headquartered global biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie, was recognized as the Lifetime Workplace Giving honoree in recognition of their lifetime giving history of more than $4.6 million to ACS. In 2018, AbbVie's annual Employee Giving Campaign raised more than $800,000 for American Cancer Society.
  • The Boeing company was recognized for their record-breaking success of Discovery Ball 2017, raising an astounding $6 million for the Society's mission, and for their innovative approach to employee engagement. This is the second time they have received the Corporate Partnership Award.

Survivor speaker Joe Koenig, president of St. Louis-based World Wide Technology shared his personal and inspiring story of tongue cancer and led guests to a paddle raise of more than $600,000 for a new ACS program, ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer. A video spotlighted doctors and researchers involved in the program and included Drs. Funmi Olopade, Michelle Le Beau, Huiping Liu. and Kathy Goss, and student researchers Aysha Ahmad and Hannah Lin. The goal of ResearcHERS, rolled out this spring in North Central, South, and West Regions, is to raise more than $1 million by women to fund women-led research at ACS. The program is expected to be rolled out to all Regions next year.

Contributing to the evening's fundraising success was a spirited live auction which included a private dinner and party at TAO Chicago, a Chicago sports fan package including Bears, Bulls, and Cubs tickets, a night at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, a trip to and a chance to sing on stage with featured performers Barenaked Ladies, and more.

Since 2007, the Discovery Ball has raised more than $36 million!

  • Groundbreaking ceremony held for our Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge in Dallas

    ​On May 7, the American Cancer Society broke ground on a 40,000-square-foot Hope Lodge facility in Dallas that will be located on property donated by Baylor Scott & White Health and adjacent to its Baylor University Medical Center campus.

    The facility will be named the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge in recognition of their $7.5 million lead gift, part of a $25 million campaign.  

    “Facing a cancer diagnosis and enduring treatment is already daunting enough, but worrying about travel, lodging, and other necessities can be a huge burden,” said Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team (pictured in the smaller photo with our CEO Gary Reedy). “Our family is grateful for the opportunity to help those who are in need of these types of services and exceptionally proud of what the Hope Lodge will bring to our community.”

    Once the doors are opened in 2021, the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge is expected to provide more than 18,000 nights of free lodging annually. The four-story building will include 50 private guest suites, each with two beds and a private bathroom. In addition, the facility will feature four kitchen areas, common living spaces, dining room, laundry facilities, library, meditation room, and outdoor garden. Our South Region headquarters also will be housed at this location.

    “The American Cancer Society is committed to removing the emotional, physical, and financial burdens that many cancer patients must face when they travel away from home for treatment,” said Jeff Fehlis, executive vice president, South Region. 

    The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge capital campaign, conducted in collaboration with Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation, surpassed its fundraising goal with extraordinary support from generous individuals and organizations. In addition to the Jones family, other major donors included the Don and Trudy Steen Charitable Foundation, Carmen and Jeff York, Moody Foundation, The Horner Family, Mabee Foundation, and Susan and Bob Shapard. 

    Nearly $32 million has been raised for this project to date, and ACS and the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation continue to seek philanthropic support for ongoing operating expenses.

    The American Cancer Society operates more than 30 Hope Lodge facilities nationwide. Each Hope Lodge community offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their treatment is away from home. Since 1984, we have provided more than 5.6 million nights of lodging to patients.

    TOP PHOTO: From left, Charlotte Anderson, Robin Robinson, Jim Hinton (partially hidden), Jim Turner, Julie Turner, Jerry Jones, Gene Jones, Gary Reedy, Jeff Fehlis, and Trudy Steen.

  • Dallas Cowboys owner and his wife donate $7.5M to Dallas Hope Lodge project

    Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for tomorrow, May 7. You can watch it here at 3 p.m. ET.

    The news broke Sunday in the Dallas Morning News: Dallas is about to get its first American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, thanks to a $7.5 million gift from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife Gene and property donated in Deep Ellum by Baylor Scott & White Health.

    Tomorrow, May 7, the Joneses and executives from ACS, Baylor Scott & White, and Baylor’s foundation will turn ceremonial shovels for a $25 million facility that will bear the Gene and Jerry Jones family name. The 40,000-square-foot facility will be adjacent to the Baylor University Medical Center campus, and it will house our South Region headquarters, as well.

    Scheduled to open in early 2021, the Lodge will include 50 private guest suites, each with two beds and a private bathroom. It will feature common living areas, five kitchen areas, a dining room, a pantry, laundry facilities, a library, a meditation room, and an outdoor healing garden. It is expected to provide more than 18,000 nights of free lodging a year.

    Pictured above holding a rendering of the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge, are Jim Hinton, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health, left, and Jeff Fehlis, our EVP, South Region. The photo is courtesy of Dallas Morning News staff photographer Tom Fox.

    The Dallas lodge will be the third in Texas. Lubbock opened in 2010, and Houston, which received $1 million from the Joneses, is scheduled to open next year.

    Read the much longer story in the Dallas Morning News. Also, check out the coverage on the local NBC TV website.

  • Dance Against Cancer founders ring Nasdaq bell

    This year's Dance Against Cancer raised more than $472,000, bringing its cumulative total to $1.97M

    On April 25, the American Cancer Society’s Dance Against Cancer co-founders Erin Fogarty and Daniel Ulbricht, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and Northeast Region EVP Kris Kim were invited to ring the opening bell for Nasdaq! They were joined on-air by more than a dozen members of the ACS family, both staff and volunteers. 

    The ceremony was livestreamed in full on Facebook and YouTube, and in part on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and FOX Business News. Photos of the ceremony along with the ACS logo were projected onto the NASDAQ MarketSite Tower overlooking Times Square.

    Over 70 dancers performed at this year’s Dance Against Cancer on Monday, April 22, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, including Misty Copeland, Maria Kowroski, Isabella Boylston, Stella Abrera, James Whiteside, and event co-founder Daniel Ulbricht. Genres of dance included ballet, tap, hip hop, breakdancing, and more. The 9th annual event raised over $472,000 – bringing Dance Against Cancer’s cumulative fundraising total to $1.97 million. 

    A huge thank you to volunteers Lauren Josey, Erin Fogarty, and Daniel Ulbricht, and senior development manager Robin Flay for making this opportunity possible.

    Last year, Dance Against Cancer volunteers, ACS staff, and Hope Lodge guests got to ring the closing bell. Market open and close ceremonies take place weekdays at the Nasdaq MarketSite Studio in Times Square and around the globe.

    PHOTO: Pictured in the smaller photo, from left, are Kris Kim, Daniel Ulbricht, and Erin Fogarty. 

  • ACS launches "Change to Spare"

    As we continue to drive relevance in today's digital world, it's imperative to give donors simple, easy ways to give. On April 25, the Digital Product team launched our Change to Spare program on a platform for non-profits called Cheerful.

    Change to Spare allows users to securely link a credit card or bank account to the program and round up to the nearest dollar on all their purchases. The rounded up "change" will be donated to the Society to fund, among other things, our world class research, free rides to treatment, a 24/7 helpline, and free lodging for cancer patients. Users will receive monthly statements to keep track of their contributions. They can set limits on donations or pause at any time.

    Learn more at, where the program is explained. To sign up, visit

  • American Cancer Society's newly formed philanthropic impact fund makes first investment

    Convertible note financing of Castle Biosciences, an innovator in skin-cancer diagnostics, is first investment for BrightEdge

    Castle Biosciences, Inc. and the American Cancer Society's newly formed philanthropic fund, BrightEdge, today announced that the fund's participation in a convertible note financing of Castle Biosciences of approximately $12 million. The investment is BrightEdge's first since its formation to invest in companies developing promising cancer-related therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, and technologies.

    Castle Biosciences is a commercial-stage dermatological-cancer company focused on providing physicians and their patients with personalized, clinically actionable genomic information to make more accurate treatment decisions. Last year, the company processed tests for more than 13,000 patients. To date, it has received over 40,000 diagnostic orders.

    "Since the company's founding in 2008, we have developed and commercialized what we believe are some of the industry's most innovative skin cancer diagnostics designed to improve treatment options and, ultimately, patient outcomes," said Castle Biosciences' founder, president and CEO Derek Maetzold. "As the recipient of BrightEdge's first investment, we are more committed than ever to the mission we share with the American Cancer Society to fight for a world without cancer."

    Castle Biosciences' lead product, DecisionDx®-Melanoma, is a proprietary gene expression profile (GEP) test designed to help doctors assess treatment options for patients with invasive cutaneous (skin) melanoma. The company also markets DecisionDx®-UM, a GEP test that predicts metastatic risk for patients with uveal melanoma, a rare and deadly eye cancer. Both are commercially approved and covered by several private insurers. Medicare recently approved both tests for reimbursement coverage under policies administered by two of its insurance contractors, Palmetto GBA and Noridian Healthcare Solutions.

    "The significance of this investment goes well beyond simply representing BrightEdge's first deal," said Bob Crutchfield, managing director of BrightEdge. "Castle Biosciences met the key criteria of our new impact fund. It both has potential to deliver a strong financial return and moves us forward in BrightEdge's ultimate mission to drive innovation and win the fight against cancer." 

    The American Cancer Society expects to raise an additional $100 million from private donors to augment its initial $25 million commitment to BrightEdge to make mission investments that advance innovation.

    About BrightEdge 

    BrightEdge is the American Cancer Society's donor-funded, philanthropic impact fund. The fund is led by a board comprised of the Society's leaders and a management team with expertise in investment and venture capital. BrightEdge operates under a charitable fund model that invests in for-profit companies developing novel cancer-focused therapies and technologies. The fund relies on the expertise of the Society's medical and science professionals to evaluate the mission value of its investments. The fund's goal is to accelerate delivery of promising cancer-related solutions through capital investment, market awareness and a shared commitment to eradicate cancer. BrightEdge is based in Atlanta. For more information, visit

    The American Cancer Society is the sole member of BrightEdge, LLC.  An investment or other finance vehicle does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any products or services of the company.

    About DecisionDx-Melanoma

    DecisionDx-Melanoma is a GEP test that uses an individual patient's tumor biology to predict individual risk of cutaneous melanoma metastasis or recurrence, as well as sentinel lymph node positivity, independent of traditional staging factors, and has been studied on more than 2,900 patients. Using tissue from the primary melanoma, the test measures the expression of 31 genes.

    The test has been validated in three multicenter studies that have included 690 patients and have demonstrated consistent results. Performance has also been confirmed in five prospective studies including more than 780 patients. The consistent high performance and accuracy demonstrated in these studies provides confidence in disease-management plans that incorporate DecisionDx-Melanoma test results.

    Prediction of sentinel lymph node positivity has also been validated in two prospective multicenter study cohorts that included more than 1,400 patients. Impact on patient management plans for one of every two patients tested has been demonstrated in multicenter and single-center studies. More information about the test and disease can be found at

    About Castle Biosciences

    Castle Biosciences is a skin cancer diagnostics company dedicated to helping patients and their physicians make more-informed decisions about treatment and follow-up care based on the individual molecular signature of a patient's tumor. The company currently offers tests for patients with cutaneous melanoma (DecisionDx®-Melanoma, DecisionDx®-CMSeq; and uveal melanoma (DecisionDx®-UM, DecisionDx®-PRAME and DecisionDx®-UMSeq), with programs in development for other underserved cancers, the most advanced of which is focused on cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Castle Biosciences is based in Friendswood, Texas (Houston)and has laboratory operations in Phoenix, Arizona. More information can be found at

    DecisionDx-Melanoma, DecisionDx-CMSeq, DecisionDx-UM, DecisionDx-PRAME and DecisionDx-UMSeq are trademarks of Castle Biosciences Inc. Any other trademarks mentioned in this release are the property of their respective owners. 

  • Happy Fit2BeCancerFree day! Good luck to our CEOs!

    Watch the leaderboard on to track the leading competitors. Clearly, some have been tracking their steps since early this morning!

    The American Cancer Society’s Fit2BeCancerFree, a one-day, virtual step-tracking challenge led by the CEOs Against Cancer members, is taking place today, Wednesday, April 10. Tracking his steps today will be our own CEO, Gary Reedy.

    This event gives executive leaders across the country the chance to highlight the importance of healthy living and physical activity by tracking their steps during the workday and by encouraging their associates to do the same.

    In addition to some serious bragging rights, the Fit2BeCancerFree winner with the most steps will get to have dinner with our CEO. Participants also will be recognized for their use of social media, and how well they engaged employees and associates. 

    Participants were mailed a new Fitbit Versa smartwatch, with directions for setting up the Movespring app and syncing it to the live leaderboard at They also received a social media kit, key messages and template press releases, infographics and banners, and tips for incorporating more physical activity into the workday, such as walking meetings. The leaderboard is tracking the results of the top participants throughout the day. 

    “Creating a world free from cancer can start in the workplace when we inspire our employees to live healthy and active lifestyles,” said Gary. “About half of cancer deaths could be prevented if everyone lived a healthy lifestyle, including not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. The Fit2BeCancerFree challenge is designed to encourage corporate leaders to lead by example, inspiring more activity among their employees throughout their workday, and helping us make a measurable difference in saving lives from cancer.”

    We currently have 13 active CEOs Against Cancer chapters nationwide with about 300 members.

  • Final Four: It was a big weekend for Coaches vs. Cancer

    This past weekend's Final Four NCAA men's college basketball games in Minneapolis, as well as the championship game on Monday, provided Coaches vs. Cancer a springboard to help raise money and support for our mission, as well as a unique opportunity to further engage college coaches, their spouses, and the basketball community in the fight against cancer. 

    The goal was to develop new local and national volunteer, healthcare, and corporate relationships and sponsorships, as well as expand on the success of the program to date with the opportunity to showcase the impact CvC has had and continues to have on the fight against cancer.

    Attending from ACS were our CEO Gary Reedy and his wife, Cindy; Sharon Byers, our chief development, marketing, and communications officer; Howard Byck, senior VP, Corporate Alliances & Solutions; Daryl Evans, VP, Strategic Sports Alliances; Christi Erickson, VP, Regional Distinguished Partners, North Region; Dan Heist, ACS Board chair and his wife Pam; and Scarlott Mueller, a former ACS Board chair, and her husband, Jim. 

    Here is a rundown of Friday - Monday events:


    • Two teams of cancer fighters — the Hardwood Heroes — 10 a.m. US Bank Stadium. Led by National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA®) coaches Jim Calhoun and Bo Ryan, kicked off the Final Four® by going head-to-head to raise awareness for cancer research. Playing on the same court as the National Championship Game, team Calhoun won by just one point. Team Calhoun included Paul Nelson, Jacquelyn Harvey, Anne Barlow, Karli McGill, Karim Sadak, Derek Peterson, Kyle Taylor. Team Ryan included Mike Thompson, Melissa Kovalesky, Chris Weight, Elizabeth Neil, Seth Haacke, Jonathan Benson, Laura Sampson.
    • National High School Basketball Coaches Meeting, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Minneapolis Convention Center - A gathering of National High School Basketball Coaches Board Members & State Representatives. Coaches vs Cancer is their charity of choice and we will have a 5- to 10-minute speaking opportunity. 
    • Coaches vs Cancer Booth in Conjunction with NHSBCA Booth, 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; Minneapolis Convention Center - An opportunity for Coaches at various levels of coaching to stop in, learn more about CvC, chat with the NHSBCA Team, and see how they can engage with Coaches vs Cancer in their home arena.
    • INFINITI Timeout For The Win Celebration, 11 a.m. US Bank Stadium Medtronic Club Lounge - A new addition for 2019, this 150-person luncheon included select Head Coaches participating in the #TIMEOUT FOR THE WIN promotion, Hardwood Heroes Game Coaches & Players, & key partners.  
    • Listening Session with Sharon Byers, chief development, marketing, and communications officer; 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Minneapolis Convention Center - An intimate gathering of select staff to discuss work of the Trust in Leadership and Decision-Making internal workgroups.  
    • NABC Welcome Reception, 5 - 7 p.m. CST, Hilton Downtown - Annual gathering of National Association of Basketball Coaches including select coaches, staff, core partners, and members of the NABC.  
    • Minnesota Timberwolves vs Miami Heat Game, 7 p.m., Target Center - Tickets for Youth & High School Council Members and ACS Staff provided by the Minnesota Timberwolves and distributed to staff via Flash Seats. 

    • Coaches vs. Cancer Council Meeting, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. CST; Minneapolis Convention Center - The Coaches vs. Cancer Council included many of the most successful college basketball coaches nationwide. The attendees represented many of our most dedicated volunteers who have driven the most fundraising for Coaches vs. Cancer.
    • Coaches vs Cancer Booth in Conjunction with NHSBCA Booth, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Minneapolis Convention Center - An opportunity for Coaches at various levels of coaching to stop in, learn more about CvC, chat with the NHSBCA Team, and see how they can engage with Coaches vs Cancer in their home arena.
    • Naismith Nominee Service Project, 11 a.m. - noon; University of Minnesota – Masonic Children’s Hospital - Ja Morant of Murray State (Naismith Player of the Year Nominee), Grant Williams of Tennessee (Naismith Player of the Year Nominee), Zion Williams of Duke (Naismith Player of Year Winner), and Matisse Thybulle of Washington (Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Winner) visited with pediatric patients.
    • Coaches vs. Cancer Wives Brunch, 10:30 a.m. - noon CST, Minneapolis Convention Center - The Wives Brunch, held annually during the NCAA Final Four, provided the opportunity for our coaches’ wives/partners to network with colleagues and work to leverage their passion for the American Cancer Society.  
    • NCAA Men’s National Championship Semifinals, US Bank Stadium - Auburn vs. Virginia, 6:09 p.m. ET; Texas Tech vs. Michigan State, 8:49 p.m. ET

    • Naismith Awards Brunch, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Nicollet Island Pavilion - Annual brunch presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club that recognizes the men’s/women’s player, coach, and contributor of the year awards.
    • Suits & Sneakers and Key CvC Item Chat with Staff, 2 p.m. CST - Internal brainstorming and next steps session around Suits & Sneakers, Pink Out Games, and wives engagement.
    • Minnesota Timberwolves vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game, 2:30 p.m. CST, Target Center -Tickets for Youth & High School Council Members and ACS Staff provided by the Minnesota Timberwolves.  
    • NABC Guardians of the Game Dinner and Awards Show, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Minneapolis Convention Center - Featured the most prominent student-athletes and coaches in men’s college basketball. It is also the only opportunity to see both NCAA National Championship Game head coaches interviewed live on stage. The goal of the show is to focus attention on the positive aspects of basketball and the role coaches play in the lives of student-athletes, in addition to the contributions coaches make to their communities. Gary presented our Coaches vs. Cancer 2019 Champion Award to Pat Chambers, head men's basketball coach at Penn State.

    • CEOs Breakfast with CEO Gary Reedy,  7 - 8:30 a.m. Downtown Hilton Duluth Room - Intimate gathering of executives & innovation leaders in the Twin Cities hosted by Gary Reedy and North Region EVP Dave Benson 
    • Officials vs Cancer Breakfast, 9 a.m. Minneapolis Hilton Lobby Restaurant - Small gathering of Sports Alliances staff and key Officials vs Cancer volunteers to discuss recognition, 2019-2020 planning, and program expansion.  
    • Small Staff Luncheon with CEO Gary Reedy,11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Zelo at Nicollet Mall - Small luncheon with CEO Gary Reedy, North Region EVP Dave Benson, and Minneapolis-based ACS staff representing multiple areas of work.
    • NCAA Men’s National Championship Finals, US Bank Stadium, 9 p.m. ET.

  • Coaches vs. Cancer announces 2019 awards

    Two coaches and a youth basketball official honored by ACS for their work to fund the fight against cancer

    Penn State University head basketball coach Pat Chambers (pictured at the right), Hickory Christian Academy's Gary Bowne, and youth basketball official Lou Levine are the winners of this year's Champion Award, a prestigious national honor from the Coaches vs. Cancer program. This is the first time three people have won the award in the same year. Additionally, Levine is the first official to be recognized. 

    The Champion Award honors coaches who have shown extraordinary leadership and commitment to the American Cancer Society's mission of saving lives, celebrating lives, and fighting cancer from every angle. The awards were presented by our CEO Gary Reedy (pictured above with Pat Chambers) during Final Four Weekend at the Guardians of the Game Awards Show in Minneapolis.

    Coach Chambers has been actively involved in Coaches vs. Cancer since he joined Penn State in 2011, raising more than $1.3 million during his tenure. He and his staff put on an annual golf tournament, Suits And Sneakers Week, the 3-Point Challenge, a campus 5K Walk/Run, and a Coaches vs. Cancer Day, where sponsors attend a men's basketball game and receive recognition throughout the game. With Coach Chambers at the helm, Penn State has become a national leader in raising critical funds and awareness for Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society.

    Coach Bowne has been involved with Coaches vs. Cancer for over two decades and has helped raise $200,000 as a high school coach. He serves as chair of the Coaches vs. Cancer Youth Council, and has been instrumental in recruiting other high school coaches and supporters.

    Since 2014, Lou Levine has raised over $500,000 for the American Cancer Society. He has donated more than 1,600 basketball game fees which total over $100,000. In addition to his personal fundraising, he has been instrumental in the growth of the campaign through his outreach to coach and sporting official associations throughout the Northeast.

    Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers coaches, their teams, and communities to join in saving more lives. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.

    The Champion Award was instituted in 1996, with former Missouri Coach Norm Stewart receiving the inaugural honor. Since that time, the award has been presented to head coaches nationally including Jim Boeheim, Denny Crum, Roy Williams, Riley Wallace, Fran Dunphy, Gary Williams, Mark Few, Mike Brey, Bruce Weber, Jim Calhoun, Tom Izzo, Oliver Purnell, Paul Hewitt, Lon Kruger, Bo Ryan, Steve Lavin, Fran McCaffery, Frank Martin, Bill Self, Greg McDermott, and Andrew Kettel.

    For more information on the Coaches vs. Cancer program, visit

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