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State Farm® Seeks Men and Women who’ve Empowered Their Lives and Inspired Others Despite Losing a Parent or Spouse


Know Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One?

Bloomington, Ill.- Fifteen percent of Americans do not have health insurance and it’s considered a national emergency. Twice as many Americans – 32 percent – don’t have life insurance, but few talk about it.

As part of its commitment to addressing the country’s life insurance gap, State Farm today launched the fifth annual Embrace Life® Awards call-for-entries period. As 2008 marks the fifth anniversary of the Awards, the contest now welcomes nominations for both men and women who have lost a spouse or parent, and renewed their lives and inspired others through their perseverance. There will be 13 Embrace Life Awards honorees this year.

“Over the past four years, State Farm has honored 20 women who have lost a loved one,” said 2007 Embrace Life Awards honoree, Elaine Cook. “Believe it or not, death is going to come to all of us at some point. But you can’t think that just because you’re young it won’t happen to you. You need to be prepared because you don’t want to leave your family struggling.”

Sharing the Story
Contest participants are invited to nominate a special individual by submitting an essay (of no more than 1,000 words) between March 10, 2008 and May 23, 2008. Entrants are not limited to the number of people they can nominate and are welcome to nominate themselves.

The essays will be judged by an independent panel of experts based on four criteria:

* A brief history of the nominee and the circumstances leading up to the loss of his/her spouse or parent;
* Information on how the nominee moved beyond grief to embrace life and inspire others;
* Overview of how the experience changed him/her;
* Life lessons from the nominee on what, if anything, he/she would do differently and what advice, both personally and financially, he/she would offer others facing a similar situation.

“The Embrace Life Awards celebrate the achievements and life lessons of those who have overcome the loss of their spouses or parents, turning adversity into hope, while educating families about the importance of life insurance and planning for tomorrow,” said Susan Waring, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of State Farm Life Insurance Company. “The men and women we honor are ordinary people who faced the unbearable, persevered through difficult times and proved life can do more than just go on.”

One such individual, 2007 honoree Irma Gonzalez Galvan, was left with four young children, no life insurance benefits and struggling to make ends meet when her husband was robbed and murdered. With few options remaining, Galvan opened her own restaurant to keep her family afloat.

“When you don’t have opportunities in front of you, you must create them,” Galvan explained. “I regret not sitting down and talking with my husband about a back-up plan if anything happened to us. But I learned my lesson and purchased life insurance soon after Louis died, and now I feel less pressure because I know my family is protected. To me, life is your family, and you’ve got to take care of your family.”

Participants must be at least 13 years of age to nominate someone for the Embrace Life Awards. Nominees must be at least 18 years of age at the time of entry and residents of the United States or the provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick or Alberta, Canada. Complete contest information and official rules can be found on All entries must be received by May 23, 2008.

A copy of the application form also can be printed at and submitted by mail. Mailed applications should include the essay and contact information: complete name, complete address, day/evening phone numbers, date-of-birth and email address. All U.S. entries should be mailed to: State Farm Embrace Life Awards Essay Contest, 1878 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610. Canadian entries (Alberta, New Brunswick or Ontario provinces only) should be mailed to: State Farm Embrace Life Awards Essay Contest, 17-7000 McLeod Road, Unit # 135, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 7K3.

About The Embrace Life Awards
The Embrace Life® Awards celebrate the achievements and life lessons of those who have overcome losing their spouses or parents. Since 2004, the Award has been offered to five women each year. This year marking the fifth anniversary of the program, a group of 13 men and women, who have lost their spouse or parent, will be honored with $10,000 each and a trip for two to Chicago where they will be recognized at the Embrace Life Awards Ceremony.

State Farm began this community initiative to raise awareness that preparing for the future today can help protect families’ hopes and dreams. The Embrace Life Awards program has educated individuals with the financial planning tools and life insurance information to fit their personal needs. It’s State Farm’s goal to support men and women in embracing life everyday. For more information on life insurance and financial preparedness, go to®.


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