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    Commissaries Prep to Promote "Family Day"

    FORT LEE, Va. - A military family will win a trip to New York and a special dinner courtesy of a worldwide commissary contest to draw attention to "Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children."

    FORT LEE, Va. - A military family will win a trip to New York and a special dinner courtesy of a worldwide commissary contest to draw attention to "Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children."

    Non-military retailers are also getting involved in promoting Family Day in coordination with the Food Marketing Institute.

    Created by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, "Family Day" is the fourth Monday of September each year. This year it falls on Sept. 25.

    According to CASA research, the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use drugs. And they get better grades. Last year 1.3 million Americans pledged to have dinner with their children on "Family Day," according to CASA.

    "The military community certainly has a strong sense of family, but focusing on an event like this that reminds us just how important something as simple as eating dinner together is to the health of our children," said Patrick Nixon, director of the Defense Commissary Agency, in a statement. "The concept is terrific on its own, but to draw even greater attention, the military sales team of the Coca-Cola Company is sponsoring an online contest."

    In addition to the three-day, two-night trip to New York, the winning family will get a dinner cooked by Sandra Lee, best-selling author and host of the Food Network show "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee." Lee's latest cookbook, "Semi-Homemade Grilling," will also be awarded to second place winners.

    More information is available on the DeCA Web site at www.commissaries.com. The contest is open from Sept. 1-30.

    "This is a unique event for us," said Doug McAlister, director of the Coca-Cola worldwide military sales team. "Coca-Cola is the national corporate sponsor of 'Family Day,' but the military sales team is taking it a step further for the benefit of the entire military community. Conducting the contest online gives military retirees, Guard/Reserve and active duty a chance to enter -- whether they are in Germany or Guam, Illinois, or Iraq."

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