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    Massachusetts Retailers Unite

    More than 900 stores participate in fundraiser for The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund.

    BOSTON -- On the week of the country's most patriotic holiday, 23 retailers in Massachusetts, including convenience store retailers Cumberland Farms and Tedeschi Food Shops, are joining forces to support local families who lost loved ones in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    Through July 6, 915 stores across Massachusetts will sell paper American "flags" for $1 each, with all proceeds going to the more than 175 Massachusetts families who had a loved one killed or injured in the events of September 11. The funds will be distributed through The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, a non-profit support organization providing financial, legal and counseling services for the families of 9/11 victims living in Massachusetts.

    "The post-September 11 fundraising has been phenomenal, but it hasn't been enough for Massachusetts families," said Roderick MacLeish, president of the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund.

    MacLeish said out of the $1.3 billion that had been raised nationwide for September 11-related causes as of March 2002, Massachusetts families received a total of $5.4 million of that amount, an average of just over $30,000 a family.

    Retailers will ask donors to sign or otherwise personalize the paper flags, which will then be posted in most retail locations as a show of support. Retailers are hoping to raise upwards of $500,000 over the course of the week.

    Other retailers participating in the fund-raiser include BJ's Wholesale Club, Big Y World Class Markets, Filene's, Marshalls, Price Chopper, Stop & Shop Supermarkets and Walgreens.

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