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Real Utility Men, Women Wear Pink Hats at Ameren Illinois

QUINCY, Ill., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With inspiration provided by the breast cancer survival story of a lineman's wife, Ameren Illinois co-workers are wearing pink hats to raise awareness of and money for breast cancer research and early detection.

Ameren Illinois co-workers joined the Real Utility Men and Women Wear Pink Campaign by making a donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Each co-worker then received a pink hardhat or a cap. Recently, $16,000 was contributed to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The Ameren Illinois Real Utility Men and Women Wear Pink Campaign received inspiration from breast cancer survivor Alicia Pierson, the wife of Nick Pierson, an apprentice lineman based in Petersburg. The campaign was developed by the Ameren Illinois Division II Safety Committee and Division Manager Craig Gilson.

"Last April, Alicia shared her story with Division II co-workers," Gilson said. "Her message deeply touched each of us. More importantly, she helped motivate us to make a real difference. The response to our campaign has exceeded our expectations."

Initially, the Wear Pink Campaign targeted Ameren Illinois Division II co-workers. Later, the program was expanded to include all Ameren Illinois personnel. More than 900 pink hardhats and caps have been distributed.

Diagnosed in the spring of 2007, Alicia Pierson has undergone five surgeries, chemotherapy and other treatments. Today, she is free of cancer.

"I am anxious to see Nick's co-workers wearing their pink hats," Alicia Pierson said. "When you think of linemen, you think of rough, tough manly men, but they're just big teddy bears. You can tell they care about the women in their lives.

"The pink hardhats will show everyone that Ameren Illinois is a company that cares. Since many Ameren Illinois employees are men, to see them supporting a cause that affects so many women is awesome," she said.

Since its inception in 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has grown to become the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. The organization works to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care and energize science to find cures.

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 813,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com.

SOURCE Ameren Illinois