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Staples and Chicago Bear Matt Forte Present $25,000 Makeover Prize to Local Park

Chicago’s Eugene Field Park Claims Top Prize in 2009 Staples Dream Park Challenge

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 6:11 pm EST

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Through the Staples Dream Park Challenge, we’re proudly supporting our local parks, which are a home-away-from-home for many youth in our communities."

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world's largest office products company, and Chicago Bears player Matt Forte today announced Eugene Field Park in Chicago is the grand-prize winner of the Staples Dream Park Challenge, a Chicagoland park improvement initiative. Forte, Brian McCaskey, senior director of business development for the Chicago Bears, and Rodney Westerhouse, Staples district manager, presented a check for $25,000 to Eugene Field Park representatives at a ceremony today at Soldier Field. This is the third time Staples and the Bears have teamed-up for the Dream Park Challenge, which has awarded close to $150,000 in park improvements to 29 Chicagoland parks in three years.

“This year’s Dream Park Challenge was a hard-fought contest from start-to-finish, with so many parks in the running for the top spot,” said the Bear’s Forte. “I am truly impressed by the level of effort and participation displayed by all of the parks, but Eugene Field Park clearly demonstrated the most passion and teamwork to win.”

From Sept. 15 to Nov. 16, Chicagoland residents were invited to vote online at www.StaplesDreamPark.com for one of 14 local parks to receive $25,000 in improvement money. Eugene Field Park finished first in the contest with 125,171 of the 373,380 total votes cast. Second-place Nowell Park in Joliet, Ill. will receive $10,000 and third-place Madison Meadow Park in Lombard, Ill. will get $5,000 for park improvements. The remaining 11 parks will each receive $500.

“The Staples Dream Park Challenge gave the Eugene Field Park community an opportunity to work together and show how much they value their local park,” said Tim Mitchell, Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO. “We are grateful to Staples and the Chicago Bears for continuing to partner with us, and we look forward to realizing the neighborhood’s vision thanks to this contest.”

Behind a well orchestrated marketing and communication plan implemented by members of the Friends of Eugene Field and other park supporters, Eugene Field Park won the challenge by more than 25,000 votes. The park plans to spend the $25,000 on a complete audio and visual system for the park that includes a scoreboard, stereo system and digital projector.

“Staples is committed to making a positive difference in Chicagoland,” said Rodney Westerhouse, district manager of Staples. "Through the Staples Dream Park Challenge, we’re proudly supporting our local parks, which are a home-away-from-home for many youth in our communities.”

Staples continues to demonstrate its commitment to Chicagoland by investing in grassroots local community organizations. Since it first opened its doors in Chicagoland, Staples has donated more than $600,000 to educational non-profit organizations in the area. Each Chicagoland store location has adopted a local non-profit partner by contributing funds or providing much-needed support, such as office product donations.

About Staples

Staples, the world’s largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2008 sales of $23 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples serves businesses of all sizes and consumers in 27 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In July 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express, one of the world’s leading suppliers of office products to businesses and institutions. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6115016&lang=en

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Contact:

Chicago Bears
Jim Christman, 847-739-5221
Jim.Christman@bears.nfl.com
or
Staples, Inc.
Amy Shanler, 508-253-6709
amy.shanler@staples.com

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