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Photo by Michael Ainsworth. Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County Special Events Manager Dana Packard with Park Place Lexus Plano General Manager Chris Brunner

 Park Place Lexus Plano recently donated $20,000 to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County as part of its December Give Back Campaign.

“During our Lexus December to Remember campaign we partnered with the organization to donate $50 for each car sold during the month,” said Chris Brunner, Park Place Lexus Plano General Manager. “Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County has been a great partner for many years now and we are thrilled to make this $20,000 donation to help them kick off the new year.” 

Since 1992, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County (CACCC) has provided life-changing services to children and families victimized by child abuse in Collin County. Last year, CACCC provided services to 3,936 clients. CACCC is the only agency in the community that offers services critical to healing, free for life. For more information, visit caccollincounty.org.

The Park Place Cares program supports more than 250 organizations around the Dallas-Fort Worth area throughout the year. Park Place’s members are also given the opportunity to volunteer their time and resources in their local communities. Teams from each of the Park Place Dealerships have been involved in building a Habitat for Humanity home in Dallas. The build began October, 2020 and will be completed this March. Park Place members have contributed approximately 1,000 hours on the construction of the home. 

Park Place Dealerships was founded in 1987. For the past 33 years, the company has been engaged in the community through its support of the arts, medical research, children’s advocacy and education. Park Place employs more than 1,400 members and operates eight full-service dealerships representing luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover. Park Place BodyWerks Collision Centers in Fort Worth and Dallas, and the Park Place Auto Auction, round out the company’s offerings. For more info, visit parkplace.com.

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Dr. Erin Butler at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas

Dallas-based TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation has provided $1.1 million to 10 research hospitals across the nation to fund pediatric research in 2021. The research grants were awarded to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Cook Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of California San Francisco and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

 

“We have all seen in the past year how important research is for medical breakthroughs,” said Joy Cruse, Founder and board chair of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “This is a historic year for TeamConnor as we are able to give our largest research grant amount in the history of our organization to prominent pediatric cancer researchers across the country. Families with children battling cancer need to know we are just as committed to funding research as ever before and we hope to see better treatments and significant developments to find cures for childhood cancers.”

 

Recipients of the grants include: 

 

Dr. Erin Butler at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas is researching the FGFR4 inhibition in pediatric fusion-positive RMS.

 

Dr. Meaghan Granger of Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas researching the development of a Cellular Immunotherapy program (CIT) for pediatric cancer.

 

Dr. Kelsey Bertand at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas is investigating the efficacy of a HER2-antibody drug conjugate against HER2+ ependymoma.

 

Dr. Jason Yustein at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas is targeting p21-activated kinases (PAKs) in pediatric sarcoma. 

 

Dr. Tara O’ Donohue at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, New York is researching for Phase I/II open-label, safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and anti-tumor activity study of TPX-0005.  This will be studied in combination with chemotherapy in pediatric and young adult subjects with advanced or metastatic solid tumors and primary CNS tumors. 

 

Dr. Chandrika Gowda at Penn State Health Children's Hospital in Hershey, Pennsylvania is researching CK2 for treatment of pediatric AML. 

 

Dr. Esther Berko at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is conducting research to unravel and harness cell-free nucleic acid to improve outcomes in pediatric solid tumors. 

 

Dr. Ernesto Diaz-Flores of University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco, California is in the research for Pre-clinical evaluation of a promising therapeutic opportunity for children with high risk ALL. 

 

Dr. Mignon Loh at University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco, California is working on the research of the implementation of a clinical trial for newly diagnosed JMML that integrates a risk stratification algorithm.  

 

Dr. Richard Lu at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio is targeting aggressive medulloblastoma with novel proton therapy strategies. 

 

Since 2008, TeamConnor has donated more than $4.5 million to numerous hospitals across the country in its mission to fund improved treatment options and ultimately cures for childhood cancers. For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or follow TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation on InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook.

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Steve Eager, Joy Cruse and Chris Vogeli at the 16th Annual III Forks Golf Classic

This year has been challenging for everyone and non-profits most certainly have had to pivot in their execution of events. For TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation, this meant reducing the number of people participating in outdoor events and getting creative for other events during the 2020 pandemic. As a result of the adjustments, as well as the generous support from donors and sponsors, TeamConnor raised more than $1.5 million this fall for crucial pediatric cancer research.

 

“No one could have predicted how this pandemic would impact charities when the country was shut down in March,” said Joy Cruse, founder and board chair of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “We immediately began to look at how we could reschedule events to host in a safe manner. With the guidance of our incredible staff and committees, we were able to continue to raise funds for childhood cancer research. Unfortunately, children being diagnosed with cancer doesn’t stop because of COVID-19. It’s imperative we continue to fund researchers, so a child’s prognosis is not negatively impacted in the future.”

 

TeamTait for TeamConnor was created as a result of a shocking cancer diagnosis in July. Tait Cruse, the father of Connor Cruse and inspiration for the organization, was diagnosed with a rare form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Lymphoma, a cancer of the bone marrow. TeamTait for TeamConnor was organized by long-time friend Matt Russo, a managing partner in New York for Northwestern Mutual and supported by Northwestern Mutual offices across the country. More than 1,400 virtual participants united for a one-day fundraiser in September, which is childhood cancer awareness month, to benefit TeamConnor in honor of Tait.

 

The 16th Annual III Forks Golf Classic was held on October 19 at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano. Local media personality Steve Eager, Fox 4 reporter and evening news anchor, was the celebrity event host for the III Forks Golf Classic tournament. The III Forks Golf Classic sponsors included Title Sponsor, III Forks Steakhouse; Presenting Sponsor, Northwestern Mutual – Dallas; Park Place Lexus Plano; BenefitsTexas; Origin Bank; Town & Country Roofing; The Season Ticket; Rick & Becky Welday; Peter Millar; Corey McQuade; and Charles Armstrong.

 

The 10th Annual Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot was held on November 2 at the Dallas Gun Club. Sponsors included Presenting Sponsor, Northwestern Mutual - Dallas, Frost Bank, BenefitsTexas, Sewell, KA Wolfe, Charles Armstrong, Mullis Newby Hurst, Venture X, Dr. Matthew Roberts, Pitts Birdsong Bonds & Insurance, Chuck and Christy Harbison, and Michael Aguilar.

 

TeamConnor also was honored to have been chosen as the beneficiary of many local events including DFW NACE's Got Talent; Coins for Kids with Cancer Program at Leadership Prep in Frisco; Kendra Scott Gives Back; North Texas Giving Day; Queen’s Quest Stonebriar Golf Tournament; and Xtreme Tennis at Lifetime Fitness in Plano. 

 

Since 2008, TeamConnor has donated more than $4.5 million to numerous hospitals across the country in its mission to fund research for improved treatment options and ultimately cures for our children. 

 

TeamConnor hosts several events throughout the year to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research. For more information on TeamConnor events, contact Sydney Little, special events and outreach coordinator, at slittle@teamconnor.org or (214) 233-6741.

 

For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or follow TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedInYouTube or Facebook.

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1Oth-ANNUAL-NORTHWESTERN-MUTUAL-CLAY-SHOOT-4-820x2

DALLAS (October 26, 2020) – Lock and load, shooters! The 10th annual Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot returns to the Dallas Gun Club benefiting TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation on November 2, 2020.  Last year, the sold-out event raised more than $90,000 for childhood cancer research and programs implemented by TeamConnor.

“Watching my son Connor fight childhood cancer over a four-year period was grueling,” said Joy Cruse, Founder of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “Connor was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was only four years old. He beat it into remission only to develop a tumor from the radiation used to treat the neuroblastoma. Connor lost his battle when he was eight, but his legacy lives on. It’s imperative that we find better treatments, and ultimately cures, to help children who will be diagnosed.”

Registration for the 10th annual Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot will close Thursday, October 29th. Following the event, there will be a raffle with great prizes enticing to hunting enthusiasts.

In addition to Northwestern Mutual Dallas, sponsors for the event include Frost Bank, BenefitsTexas, KA Wolfe, Sewell, Armstrong Accountancy, Mullis Newby Hurst, Venture X, Dr. Matthew Roberts, and Pitts Birdsong Bonds & Insurance.

Since 2008, TeamConnor has donated nearly $4 million to hospitals and research facilities to find new treatment options and ultimately cures. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children, yet the federal government allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. 

For more information on TeamConnor events and sponsorship opportunities, contact Sydney Little, special events and outreach coordinator, at slittle@teamconnor.org or (214) 233-6741.

For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or follow TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

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Frisco resident Tait Cruse founded TeamConnor with his wife Joy in 2008 when their son Connor was going through cancer treatment and needed a bone marrow transplant. In his own battle today with leukemia and lymphoma, Tait Cruse needs a bone marrow transplant.

TeamConnor is partnering with DKMS to host a bone marrow donor drive in an effort to match donors with patients in need of the life-saving treatment. The bone marrow donor drive will run virtually online October 19th - October 25th. Individuals between the ages of 18-55 years old may also swing by onsite at the III Forks Golf Classic at Gleneagles Country Club, Monday, October 19th from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Donors will be able to pick up a packet, return to their cars to safely and privately fill out the form and swab their cheek in a COVID-19 safe manner.

The bone marrow drive will run virtually October 19th - October 25th. Anyone in good health between the ages of 18 - 55 can sign up as a potential donor. A kit can be sent to the donor’s address within three weeks with a postage paid envelope. A cheek cell sample is collected by the donor at home, and once the sample is tested, the donor will be placed in a national donor pool. Doctors search the database to find a matching donor for their patients. More information can be found at the DKMS website. 

“My family’s journey with cancer began in 2005 when our four-year-old son, Connor, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.” said Tait Cruse. “Connor lost his battle with cancer in July 2009 when he was just eight years old. But his legacy continues through the TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. Together, we have funded more than $3 million dollars in research grants to give pediatric cancer patients a fighting chance. Ironically, in July 2020, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and Lymphoma. Like 70% of patients with blood cancer, I do not have a perfect matching donor in my family, and there is not currently a matching donor in the national database. In fact, there are 15,000 patients, like me, currently searching for an unrelated donor.”

DKMS is the world’s largest bone marrow and blood stem cell donor center, worldwide. Quick facts about the need for more donors: 

  • Every 27 seconds, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer. 

  • More than 50,000 people die from blood cancer in the U.S. every year.

  • Only 30% of patients find a matching donor within their family. 

  • A bone marrow or stem cell transplant can be a lifesaving treatment for blood cancer and approximately 70 other diseases. 

Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children, yet the federal government allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor will host the 10th Annual Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot on November 2, 2020. For more information on TeamConnor events, contact Sydney Little, special events and outreach coordinator, at slittle@teamconnor.org or (972) 663-7302.  

For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, visit teamconnor.org or follow TeamConnor on  Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

DKMS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer. Founded in 1991 in Germany by Dr. Peter Harf, DKMS has expanded internationally by establishing entities in the US, Poland, the UK, Chile, together with BMST in India and in South Africa together with The Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS. Together, they have registered more than 10.7 million potential blood stem cell donors and have given more than 87,000 patients across the globe a second chance at life by facilitating blood stem cell transplants.

 

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Pictured left to right: Emily Allbright, Executive Director for TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation; Sydney Little, Special Events and Outreach Coordinator for TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation; Chris Brunner, General Manager at Park Place Lexus Plano and Mark Morrison, III Forks Event Co-Chair.

The III Forks Golf Classic presented by Northwestern Mutual Dallas and benefiting TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is slated for October 19, 2020. Two hundred golfers will gather in Plano at the prestigious Gleneagles Country Club for the 16th Annual event to compete on the 18-hole championship Kings and Queens courses. 

“This year’s event looks a little different due to COVID, but the need to raise crucial funds for childhood cancer research is as important as ever,” said Joy Cruse, founder of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “We’re very thankful for Park Place Lexus Plano’s continuing role as our Automotive Sponsor. They are donating the Lexus Champions for Charity Golf Package, which will be auctioned off live at the event. This is one of our most sought-after auction packages. The highest bidder will have the opportunity to play in the 2020 Lexus Champions for Charity National Championship, along with a friend, at the Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, California December 9 - 13, 2020.”

Lexus Champions for Charity (LCFC) supports charities from all across the country through the game of golf. To date, the Lexus Champions for Charity program has helped raise more than $450 million at over 5,200 events nationwide.  

“The III Forks Golf Classic is a great event with which we’ve been affiliated for many years,” said Chris Brunner, Park Place Lexus Plano General Manager. “We are honored to help raise money to fund life-changing research for childhood cancer. We hope our support will help get researchers a little closer to the pin.”

A few teams are still available for the golf tournament at www.teamconnor.org. Registration will close at noon on October 9th. Golfers will sign in at 10 a.m. October 19, with an 11 a.m. tee off time. There will be an online silent auction that will open up for bidding prior to the event on Tuesday, October 13th and will close before the outdoor awards dinner, immediately following the golf tournament. 

Supporters of TeamConnor can bid online in advance starting October 13th for any of these auction items: 

  • North Park Centre VIP Shopping Experience
  • Stonebriar Shopping Package
  • Flemmings gift card & Tangerine Salon Gift Card
  • Wine & Dine package with a Magnum of 2017 Merlot and a $100 III Forks Gift Card
  • Neely & Chloe Tote and $100 Gift Card to III Forks
  • $100 III Forks gift card and a $50 Iron Cactus Gift Card
  • Christmas Vietri Pottery
  • 14" commissioned Fine Art Portrait
  • Peter Millar Private Shopping Event at the Legacy West store 

Sponsors for the 2020 event include title sponsor III Forks Steakhouse; presenting sponsor Northwestern Mutual Dallas; Park Place Lexus Plano; BenefitsTexas; Town & Country Roofing; Rick & Becky Welday; Peter Millar Legacy West; The Season Ticket; Cory McQuade, Charles Armstrong and Origin Bank.

Since 2008, TeamConnor has donated nearly $4 million to hospitals and research facilities across the country to find new treatment options and ultimately cures. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children, yet the federal government allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. 

TeamConnor will host the 10th Annual Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot on November 2, 2020. For more information on TeamConnor events, contact Sydney Little, special events and outreach coordinator, at slittle@teamconnor.org or (972) 663-7302.  

For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, visit teamconnor.org or follow TeamConnor on InstagramTwitterLinkedIn or Facebook.

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TeamConnor was founded in 2008 while Connor Cruse was in the midst of his four-year battle with neuroblastoma cancer.  Today, Connor’s father, Tait Cruse, is fighting a similar battle. 

 

In July, 2020, Tait Cruse was diagnosed with a rare form of combined Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Lymphoma, cancer of the blood and bone marrow. TeamTait for TeamConnor has been organized by Tait’s fellow Northwestern Mutual managing partner and friend, Matt Russo, and supported by the Northwestern Mutual Home Office and other Northwestern Mutual offices across the country.   

 

On September 25th, a virtual event will unite people from all over the country for a one- day fundraiser benefiting TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation in honor of Tait Cruse. From 6:00 am until midnight participants can walk, run, swim, bike, Peloton, jump rope, climb a mountain, or participate in anything athletic to stand against cancer. Participants are encouraged to post photos on social media with the hashtag #TeamTait4TeamConnor.


Participants can register at TeamConnor.org. TeamTait for TeamConnor has already raised more than $423,905 to date and is striving to reach a $1 million goal.

 

“Tait has been gathering a lot of strength and inspiration from our son Connor and how he bravely faced his cancer,” said Joy Cruse, founder of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “This is not our first rodeo, as we walked a similar journey with Connor.  We know what we are facing. It is hard and it is painful, but we will pull up our bootstraps, grab our sword and face this giant head on. God is in this fight with us! Connor lost his battle July 10, 2009, but TeamConnor remains committed to fight for all children who are battling cancer.”

 

Since 2008, TeamConnor has donated more than $3 million to numerous hospitals across the country in its mission to fund research that attempts to find new treatment options and ultimately cures for our children. 

 

TeamConnor hosts several events throughout the year to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research, including the 16th Annual III Forks Golf Classic, October 19, 2020; and the 10th Annual Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot, November 2, 2020. For more information on TeamConnor events, contact Sydney Little, special events and outreach coordinator, at slittle@teamconnor.org or (972) 663-7302.   

 

For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or follow TeamConnor on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

 

 

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Just in time to get in the mood for fall, Dairy Queens in Texas will be serving up the new Caramel Apple Pie Blizzard this fall.  
 
In previous years, Dairy Queen served the Apple Pie Blizzard treat, but kicked it up a notch with the added flavor of caramel.  The new Caramel Apple Pie Blizzard is made with vanilla soft-serve and blended with pieces of real apple pie. Of course, the blizzard would not be complete without the whipped cream topping and dash of nutmeg.  The chain’s latest frozen treats bid farewell to summer and say hello to cooler weather, because every season is soft-serve season.  In addition to the Caramel Apple Pie Blizzard, DQ’s fall 2020 limited-time Blizzard menu also includes: 

  • Oreo Mocha Fudge Blizzard
  • Choco-dipped Strawberry Blizzard
  • Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Blizzard
  • Brownie Dough Blizzard


About Texas Dairy Queen Operators’ Council 
There are few brands as iconic as DQ. Innovative DQ treats and eats, along with the unique DQ restaurant concepts, have positioned Dairy Queen restaurants in Texas as a leader in the quick service restaurant industry. The Texas Dairy Queen Operators' Council is a nonprofit organization made up of Dairy Queen franchisees operating in Texas. The Council develops the advertising and marketing program for Dairy Queen franchisees in Texas and controls the Texas Country Foods menu sold at the nearly 600 Dairy Queen restaurants in Texas. The Dairy Queen restaurants in Texas are franchised by American Dairy Queen Corporation and the Dairy Queen franchise system includes approximately 7,000 franchised locations in the United States, Canada, and 21 other countries, including the nearly 600 Dairy Queen restaurants in Texas. 
 
For more information about the Texas Dairy Queen Operators’ Council, visit dqtexas.com or follow us on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook

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Park Place Lexus Plano donor giving blood for Carter BloodCare

 

Park Place Lexus Plano recently hosted its second blood drive of the year collecting blood from 18 donors and potentially saving over 40 lives. 

 

With 38 percent of the population eligible to give blood, less than four percent actually donate. This leaves the community blood supply constantly struggling to keep up demand for patients battling cancer, emergency surgeries, and unexpected disasters. Blood donors are the only way to provide for transfusions because blood cannot be manufactured. Companies and the community can get more information or sign up to give blood at carterbloodcare.org.

 

Park Place Lexus Plano will host a third blood drive in December to support Carter BloodCare and its needs. 

 

Park Place was founded in 1987 and employs more than 1,700 members operating eight full-service dealerships in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The company represents luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover. For more info, visit parkplace.com.

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Adrian is jumping for joy at the announcement and surprise of being the first Kluber’s Kid chosen in Texas.

 

 

ARLINGTON (September 8, 2020) – The Kluber Family Foundation, established by Texas Rangers pitcher Corey Kluber and his wife Amanda, have spent more than ten years supporting seriously ill and physically challenged children and families. The Kluber’s recently selected an eleven-year-old boy to be a part of the Kluber’s Kids program.

 

Adrian, a Fort Worth resident, is the first Kluber’s Kid chosen in Texas and was recently featured during a broadcast of the Texas Rangers game against the San Diego Padres at Globe Life Field. 

 

Adrian is a huge Rangers fan and plays second base for his baseball team.  He has battled kidney disease since the age of three and had a full kidney replacement at the age of 10, donated by his brother. As a result of COVID, Adrian was only in school for 60 days following his surgery and will be taking virtual courses through 2020.

 

As a way to support seriously ill children during the COVID pandemic, the foundation sends a ‘party box’ to the homes of a Kluber’s Kid. The ‘party boxes’ include a Texas Rangers jersey, Texas Rangers baseball hat, Texas Rangers gift card to redeem tickets for next season, an official Kluber’s Kids t-shirt, a Corey Kluber signed photo, baseball/Texas Rangers themed party décor, a meal, snacks, and drinks, and an encouraging video message from Corey and Amanda. A DoppleRanger, a 2D image of Adrian, was created for the Rangers/Padres game which was also featured on the TV broadcast. 

 

The Kluber Family Foundation will host the 2020 Curveball for a Cause Celebrity Gala, on September 13 during a completely virtual event. Fox Sports Southwest anchor John Rhadigan will emcee the virtual event with Kluber and several of his Texas Rangers teammates making virtual appearances.

 

The mission of The Kluber Family Foundation is to impact the lives of families who have seriously ill and chronically ill children, by providing them with daily support through live-improving resources and life-changing experiences. Since its founding, the Kluber Family Foundation has impacted more than 480,000 individuals. More information is available at coreykluber.org.

 

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