Mitch Barnes Receives Community Service Award and $25,000 Grant from Northwestern Mutual for Work with Louisville-Based DREAM Foundation

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Mitch Barnes is Honored as the "Most Exceptional Volunteer" at Northwestern Mutual's Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, WI

My wife Meredith and I, along with our family, are so grateful to have the opportunity to bring such joy to so many families with special needs children

The Kentucky/Southern Indiana Group of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network is pleased to announce that Mitch Barnes has been recognized as the "Most Exceptional Volunteer" in Northwestern Mutual's national Community Service Award (CSA) program. Barnes received the honor for his outstanding service and involvement with The DREAM Foundation, Inc., a Louisville-based non-profit that builds accessible playgrounds for children with special needs and provides funding support for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.

Northwestern Mutual, which marks its 150th anniversary this year, named a total of 25 winners across the United States in its annual competition.

Barnes was presented with the Community Service Award during Northwestern Mutual's Annual Meeting of Network Representatives on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at the company's headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A $25,000 grant will be presented to The DREAM Foundation from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation later this summer.

"The grant money from the Foundation will go directly to the Play Together Playground Project - to support the building of accessible playgrounds that allow special needs children a chance to learn and play together at parks throughout Louisville," said Barnes. "My wife Meredith and I, along with our family, are so grateful to have the opportunity to bring such joy to so many families with special needs children," said Barnes. Barnes and his wife founded the DREAM Foundation over 8 years ago after their son Mitchell was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.     

Barnes added that the DREAM Foundation also provides scholarships and research programs focused on finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and other childhood diseases.

"Our company has made it a priority to give back to the communities where our financial representatives serve," said Ed Zore, President & CEO of Northwestern Mutual. "Our Community Service Award program is designed to salute our representatives for their dedicated community service and to lend financial support to their respective organizations."

Zore noted that since Northwestern Mutual started the award program in 1995, the company has donated more than $2.2 million dollars on behalf of its representatives to over 200 non-profit organizations nationwide. "For 150 years we have encouraged our representatives to be active in their communities, and our company is honored to contribute to local groups that have a positive impact on people's lives," he added.

Now in its 13th year, the CSA program is open to more than 9,000 Network representatives of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network to recognize exemplary volunteer involvement and dedication to charitable organizations and philanthropic projects.

The program, which is funded by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, will donate a total of $265,000 this year to the representatives' community service organizations. The Foundation has donated more than $70 million to national and Milwaukee-area nonprofit organizations in the past five years. For decades, the Company has been committed to improving the quality of life by concentrating its charitable contributions in the areas of education, health and human services, and the arts and culture.

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) has been serving the financial needs of its policyowners and clients for 150 years. The company, with over $1 trillion of life insurance protection in force, maintains the highest available ratings for insurance financial strength from all four major rating agencies: Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings, A. M. Best and Moody's.

For 24 years, a FORTUNE magazine survey has named Northwestern Mutual "America's Most Admired" company in the life/health insurance industry. Further information on Northwestern Mutual, its subsidiaries and affiliates can be found at: http://www.nmfn-louisville.com.

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