Red Bull Arena - March

Red Bull Arena to host Covenant House Sleep Out on behalf of homeless youth presented by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

HARRISON, NJ (September 24, 2014) - Red Bull Arena will host the first ever Covenant House Sleep Out: New York Red Bulls Edition, on October 17, to raise awareness and funds for New Jersey's homeless youth.

The sleep out, presented by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ), will unite fans of the Red Bulls, Horizon and Red Bulls employees and local soccer enthusiasts, who will sleep at the arena overnight in support of homeless youth.

"This Sleep Out with the New York Red Bulls and Horizon is going to touch the lives of so many homeless kids in New Jersey in such a powerful, tangible way," said Covenant House New Jersey Executive Director Jim White. "It is amazing that the Red Bulls have agreed to let us use their beautiful arena and have rallied around the cause of supporting homeless youth. We thank Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for its leadership and commend Horizon employees for participating in this charitable effort.

"The sight of hundreds of people on cardboard boxes sleeping out on behalf of homeless youth in that arena will make such a powerful statement," said White. "This Sleep Out is about raising funds for our kids, and raising awareness. But it is also a powerful human rights movement ... a movement that says it is not ok for children to be homeless on the streets of New Jersey."

Throughout the course of the evening, participants will have the opportunity to meet with Red Bulls team members, as they rally around the important issue of youth homelessness.

"The Red Bulls are proud to join together with Covenant House New Jersey to raise awareness around youth homelessness in New Jersey," said Red Bulls Head of Commercial Operations Marc de Grandpre. "We're excited about the opportunity to partner with Covenant House New Jersey to help homeless children and lend our support on an important issue in our community."

"Horizon is very excited to be part of this special event that will raise the awareness of youth homelessness and we will encourage our employees to get involved and hopefully pack the stadium," said Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield's Jonathan R. Pearson, Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Community Affairs. "I want to thank the Red Bulls for hosting the Sleep Out and for supporting the important work of Covenant House in Newark and the neighboring communities to help children and families."

"There are homeless kids all across New Jersey, sleeping in parks, under the boardwalks, and abandoned buildings, but they are largely invisible," said Covenant House President Kevin Ryan. "Homeless teenagers blend in, they couch-surf, they hide in the wide open. They're running from violence and abuse. Or a parent died. Or poverty crushed their families. Or drug addiction scalded their homes and they have no one left to look out for them.

"No one is saying sleeping at the Red Bull Arena for one night is anything like what homeless kids go through on the streets," said Ryan. "But the funds and awareness raised at this Sleep Out will help Covenant House save the lives of more homeless kids."

For more information about how you can support the Covenant House Sleep Out: New York Red Bulls Edition, presented by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, contact Janette Scrozzo at jscrozzo@covenanthouse.org or Wayne Paglieri atwpaglieri@covenanthouse.org.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's oldest and largest health insurer, is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health services corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, serving 3.7 million members with headquarters in Newark and offices in Wall, Mt. Laurel, and West Trenton. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com.

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