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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Sep 30, 2004, 10:00 am ET

    Press release

    Children of Chornobyl Relief Fund to host National Convention celebrating 15th Anniversary of its first humanitarian medical mission

    November 19-21, 2004 gathering draws delegates from US, Canada, Ukraine

    Short Hills, NJ — On November 19-21, the New Jersey-based Children of Chornobyl Relief Fund will host its Third National Convention celebrating the 15th Anniversary of its first medical shipment to Ukraine. An award-winning humanitarian organization with 13 chapters, CCRF was founded in November of 1989 in response to the growing medical crisis in Ukraine stemming from the world's worst nuclear disaster. Since then, CCRF has delivered over $51 million dollars of aid to Ukrainian hospitals and orphanages, to become the leading U.S. charity serving Ukraine.

    The November Convention will be held at the Ramada Conference Center on Route 10 in East Hanover, New Jersey. It is expected to draw medical experts, community activists and celebrities from across the United States and Canada. Among the distinguished guests who will serve as keynote speakers will be NBC correspondent Martin Savidge, the President of RKO Pictures, Paul Speaker, and Dr. William Novick, a renowned cardiac surgeon featured in the 2004 Oscar-winning documentary "Chernobyl Heart".

    "This will be our first convention since 1997," said Dr. Zenon Matkiwsky, the co-founder and President of CCRF. "This will be a unique opportunity to celebrate the successes of the past 15 years and to honor some of the people who have played a vital role in the development of our medical mission." As the retired Chief of Surgery at Union Hospital (Saint Barnabas Medical System), Dr. Matkiwsky is recognized as an expert on the Chornobyl aftermath. He has testified in the United States Senate and at the United Nations on the current health situation in Ukraine. With the help of CCRF's staff and volunteers, Dr. Matkiwsky has helped to introduce new technology and training programs in Ukrainian hospitals that have led to sharp reductions in infant mortality and improvements in cancer remission rates.

    Recently, the Kyiv Post, Ukraine's largest English-language newspaper hailed CCRF as one of the most effective charities serving Ukraine. In 1995 CCRF was honored by then Governor Christine Todd Whitman with the Governor's Volunteer Award. The Fund has also been recognized in TIME Magazine's Local Heroes column and in the Voices of Vision series produced by the Teaching Learning Network for broadcast on many public television stations.

    In addition to presentations on medical programs to combat birth defects, immune deficiencies and pregnancy complications, the November Convention will also provide training workshops on community fund raising, corporate outreach and press relations for volunteers from across the country. The Convention will culminate in a gala fundraising banquet on the evening of November 20th.

    Registration fees for the entire weekend will be $185 in advance and $220 at the door. The full package for Saturday's workshops and banquet will be $150. Special Convention rates for overnight guests will be available at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center. For more information on corporate sponsorships and advertising rates in the program book, please contact Alexa Milanytch at (973) 376-5140.

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