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Comcast SportsNet to honor Bulls' John Salmons

22nd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to be televised liveon Comcast SportsNet on Thursday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m.

(Chicago – February 2, 2010) – Some of Chicago's best-known professional athletes will take center stage to receive honors at the 22nd Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards presented by Four Seasons Heating & Air Conditioning to benefit the March of Dimes. Over the past two decades, the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards has raised close to $7 million for the March of Dimes. The dinner, which is also presented by Navistar, will be held on Thursday, February 11, 5 – 9 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The emcee is Chicago radio legend and personality Steve Dahl.

The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago's professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams as well as the Chicago community. This year's honorees include John Salmons (Bulls), Jonathan Toews (Blackhawks), Ryan Dempster (Cubs), A.J. Pierzynski (White Sox), Alex Brown (Bears) and Jon Busch (Fire). In addition, Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox legend and future Hall of Famer is this year’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” recipient. This year’s “Farmers Insurance Inspirational Athlete” award winner is 19-year-old Maribel Melendez, who has persevered as an athlete, student, and mentor, despite being born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

The 900-plus expected attendees for the 22nd Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards will also be able to participate in a silent auction featuring Chicago sports packages and “Dream Day” tickets, vacation packages including airfare, autographed jerseys of star athletes, tickets for Chicago sports events, golf outings, spa packages, dinner packages, hotel stays and much more. Fans are urged to visit CSNChicago.com and click on the “Sports Awards” link for complete event details, ticket/table sales and online auction bidding.

Daniel C. Ustian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Navistar International Corporation, the parent company of Warrenville, IL based International Truck and Engine Corporation, is the honorary chair of this year’s Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards. William T. Barry, Senior Vice President of Draper & Kramer is the event’s Chairman and James J. Corno is the President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

In addition to presenting sponsors Navistar and Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning, additional event sponsors include Farmers Insurance, silver level sponsors include Draper & Kramer and Grubb & Ellis and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Property Valuation Advisors, Wintrust Financial, Doug Kramer, Ernst & Young, KPMG and UBS are bronze level sponsors.

The event will begin with a reception at 5:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. The awards ceremony, which will be carried live on Comcast SportsNet in HD, starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $300 per person. Tables with preferred seating for 10 are $4,000 each. Regular tables of 10 are available for $3,000. To purchase tickets to the 22nd Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards, please call Amanda Condon at 312.596.4722 or visit CSNChicago.com.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health that works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or naceersano.org.

Comcast Sports Group operates 10 sports networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and sports news and analysis to 40 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, and CSS. Comcast Sports Group also manages New England Cable News (NECN), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.