Nashville's Christmas Seals Chairman -- Chris Sanders

Former football standout and Tennessee Titan wide receiver brings excitement, passion and compassion to the fight against lung disease.

Nashville, TN (October 2, 2009)

Chris SandersThe American Lung Association in Tennessee is pleased to announce Chris Sanders as the 2009 Christmas Seals Campaign Chairperson in Nashville. Sanders will join the Lung Association this holiday season to help raise awareness of the century-old charity's mission to save lives by preventing lung disease and promoting lung health.

The Christmas Seals Campaign began in 1907 when volunteer Emily Bissell developed and the decorative holiday seals to raise $300 to fight tuberculosis, a widespread and devastating disease at that time. Today, Christmas Seals donations nationwide and here in Nashville are still an important tradition that helps make the Lung Association's lung health education, advocacy and research work possible.

 "We are thrilled that Chris has agreed to serve as the 2009 Christmas Seals

Chairperson here in Nashville," says Gail Bost, the Lung Association's director of development for Tennessee. "He is such a popular and recognizable figure and is so committed to helping the community. Plus as an athlete he understands the need for strong, healthy lungs."

Chris Sanders is a businessman, community activist, and world-class athlete who has received numerous awards for his work on and off the football field. During the former National Football Leaguer's seven years with the Titans (WR #18), he completed 177 receptions for 3,285 yards and 17 touchdowns. He played in Superbowl XXXIV, made the NFL's All-Rookie team in 1995, and broke Jesse Owens' long jump record (11 times All-American) at The Ohio State University.

Currently a counselor at Montgomery Bell Academy, Sanders believes his greatest achievements are working with youth and speaking with them through motivational assemblies nationwide. He speaks on some of his early mistakes that nearly caused him to lose his college scholarship, and often tells students, "I believe you are destined for greatness. Always remember, every decision you make can take you closer to greatness."  

Chris Sanders has shown tremendous commitment to the community. He created the Chris Sanders Foundation to help move displaced families from shelters to homes. He sees his involvement with the Christmas Seals campaign as another opportunity to encourage people to make positive decisions that will lead them to greatness.

The theme of this year's Christmas Seals Campaign is 'Celebrate Another Year." This year's seals and campaign are geared at recapturing the warmth and nostalgia of past holiday traditions, while adding modern touches like e-cards, social media and a festive new website and web-store at www.ChristmasSeals.org.

Christmas Seals will begin arriving in Nashville mailboxes the first week of October. Statewide, about 225,000 Tennessee homes and businesses will receive the colorful seals. However, thousands more individuals are expected to see the Christmas Seal message this year through public service announcements, e-mail and Facebook messaging.

"This year's campaign is exciting because we are literally going from yesterday's lick it and stick it stamps to today's click-it and send-it seals, and more," says Bost, who adds that donations to Christmas Seals are as important now as when the first campaign was done.

"Back then we took on TB, which was the number one killer," says Bost. "Today lung cancer is the number one cancer killer, asthma is the number one cause of missed school days, and smoking is the number one cause of premature death and preventable disease, but Christmas Seals can help us change this, just like they helped us fight TB."

For more information about Christmas Seals, or to order a supply of 2009 seals or send a Christmas Seal to someone on-line, go to www.ChristmasSeals.org.