SleepBetter.org and Carpenter Co. Complete Historic Pillow-in-Space Launch

High Desert, NV, September 22, 2013 – History was made in the Nevada desert today, as five explorers completed a first-of-its kind launch into (near) space.  The explorers in this case were Pillow characters from SleepBetter.org, a sleep education website created by Carpenter Co.  The Pillows’ flight, part of the Pillow in Space program, was the culmination of an entire summer of exploring and teaching Americans about healthy sleep.

Pillow in Space Mission PatchStarting at the beginning of the summer, visitors to SleepBetter.org and its Facebook page were given the opportunity to participate in the Postcards from Pillow program by adopting Pillow and bringing the cute, fluffy character with them everywhere.  These new Pillow Parents were encouraged to send postcards from their adventures and use their new fluffy friend as a reminder of healthy sleep habits.  Pillow visited all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and by the end of the summer, Pillow Parents sent in more than 400 postcards, all of which are viewable in the Postcards from Pillow Gallery.

“We created these cute little pillow characters and they were snapped up immediately by some of the fastest acting of our nearly 350,000 Facebook fans,” said Dan Schecter, Senior Vice President Consumer Products. “It’s been absolutely amazing and very gratifying that America has taken these little pillow guys to heart, given them life, taken them around the country and then competed to have theirs chosen to go into space.”

Four of SleepBetter’s Pillow Parents were presented the opportunity to send their friends on today’s exciting Pillow in Space flight due to their high level of participation in the Postcards from Pillow program.  The fifth spot on the Pillow in Space launch was filled through an essay competition.  The “Pillownauts” are named McStuffy O’Fluffigan , Pillow Featherbed, Phil O.T. Pillow, Pilwoah and Starlight Sweet Dreamsalot.

The Pillow in Space launch was conducted through a partnership with JP Aerospace, a crowd-funded volunteer space organization run by John Powell.  The Pillows assisted with the launch by caring for a payload of 2,000 miniature experiments that fit into ping-pong balls, called PongSats, which were designed by school children from across the United States.

Across the country and throughout the day there have been “watch parties” allowing school children to witness and cheer the launch of their science projects and the five pillownauts.

A replay of the launch program produced by SleepBetter and Carpenter Co. will be available at http://sleepbetter.org/pillow-in-space/.

About SleepBetter.org

Created by Carpenter Co., SleepBetter.org is dedicated to helping people sleep better. Designed as an online resource, the website creates a forum for visitors to define, discuss and discover solutions to fit their particular sleep needs. SleepBetter.org’s quest is to continually gather pertinent sleep information, then share this knowledge with the general public. The site also shares tips on the best sleep-related products, both in stores and online. SleepBetter.org has created the SleepBetter seal as a way to easily identify products recommended for their superior quality or scientifically based design. For more information, please visit www.SleepBetter.org.

About Carpenter Co.

Carpenter Co. is the largest manufacturer of comfort cushioning products in the world. The Richmond, Va.-based company manufactures a wide variety of polyurethane foam and polyester fiber products, all designed to make the world more comfortable. Born and built in the United States, Carpenter Co. has a 65-year history of designing the world’s most comfortable products and remains on the cutting edge of product development, creating innovative products that improve sleep and enhance active lifestyles. The Carpenter Co. Consumer Products Division offers a dynamic line of trusted products, including Isotonic®, ErgoFresh™, Ambient™ and IsoCool™ by Isotonic® pillows, mattress pads and neck pillows as well as comfort technologies like Avena™ and Avela™ and new technologies like IsoFresh™. For more information, visit www.carpenter.com.

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RVA Has a “Secret Millionaire”

RVA Has a “Secret Millionaire”

(Richmond, Virginia) – In both her business and philanthropic endeavors, Virginia’s Debbie Johnston has long worked to change lives.  Now, the entire country will learn about her, as the founder and CEO of Chesterfield-based Care Advantage, Incorporated will be featured on ABC’s hit TV show Secret Millionaire on Sunday, August 18.

Raised on a small farm in rural Virginia, Johnston’s parents scraped together $3,000 to send her to nursing school.  In her years as a registered nurse, she realized that there was something missing in patient care – help for the patient after they leave the hospital.  She founded Care Advantage in 1988 to fill that need.  Today, the company has 17 offices across the commonwealth, employs about 3,000 employees and services over 1,200 clients statewide.

In addition to helping people through her business, Johnston is well known for helping people throughout the community through her involvement in dozens of charities in the Richmond area.  It’s that philanthropic spirit that drove her to be a Secret Millionaire.  During each episode of the program, America’s most successful business people are followed for one week as they leave behind their lavish lifestyles, conceal their true identities, and go to live and volunteer in some of the most impoverished and dangerous neighborhoods in the country.

Johnston traveled during 2011 to Richmond, California for her Secret Millionaire experience.  The program was delayed multiple times and will be shown for the first time on August 18.  During her time in California, Debbie immersed herself in the “other” Richmond community and lived as an undercover volunteer until her big reveal.

For more information on the Secret Millionaire program, visit this link: http://abc.go.com/shows/secret-millionaire

Debbie Johnston is available for interviews before the premier of her episode of Secret Millionaire.  Additionally, she will be throwing a viewing party on Sunday evening for employees and friends, and members of the media are invited to that event.  To set up an advance interview or to attend the viewing party, call one of the contact numbers at the top of this release.

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Local And Regional Organizations Team Up To Offer Special Golf Opportunity For People With Disabilities

Local And Regional Organizations Team Up To Offer Special Golf Opportunity For People With Disabilities

Sheltering Arms is kicking off the 2013 golf season with an exciting program designed especially for people with physical disabilities. In partnership with the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Hospital, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Eastern Amputee Golf Association, Sheltering Arms is offering the nationally acclaimed ‘First Swing’ program for individuals right here in central Virginia.

Friday, April 26, 2013
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Windy Hill Sports Complex
16500 Midlothian Turnpike

Anthony Netto and the Paragolfer®

Anthony Netto and the Paragolfer®

The one-day clinic will bring golf professionals, physical and recreational therapists, and people with physical disabilities together to teach, learn and play golf. Instructors Louis Namm, who lost his legs while serving in Vietnam, and Anthony Netto, who has been confined to a wheelchair for more than a decade, will spend the morning instructing golf and therapy professionals on the basics of teaching adapted golf techniques to people with disabilities. The professionals will then offer driving range clinics and on-the-course assistance for these individuals and their families in the afternoon.

In addition to this personalized instruction, attendees who use wheelchairs for mobility will have the opportunity to try the ParaGolfer®, a device that lifts people from a sitting to standing position in order to participate in a variety of sports. A special clinic for first-time ParaGolfer® users will be held on Thursday, April 25th from 10:00-2:00.

“Programs like the ‘First Swing’ and ‘Learn to Golf’ clinics help us show people hands-on that they can enjoy their favorite recreation and leisure activities, even if illness or injury has limited mobility,” says Alison Clarke, Director of Community Recreation Services at Sheltering Arms. “There are so many adaptive tools and techniques, as well as technological advancements like the ParaGolfer®, that we can use to help people overcome their physical challenges and get back to doing the things they love.”

About Sheltering Arms
Sheltering Arms helps patients find the Power to Overcome the obstacles of illness and injury with a complete range of physical rehabilitation and wellness services.  To learn more about Sheltering Arms’ two hospitals and nine outpatient clinics visit http://www.ShelteringArms.com, call 1-877-56-REHAB, or connect with Sheltering Arms on Facebook. (www.facebook.com/shelteringarms) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/SheltArmsRehab).

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FightSMA Hails Reintroduction of National Pediatric Research Network Act (NPRNA) in the U.S. Senate

FightSMA Hails Reintroduction of National Pediatric Research Network Act (NPRNA) in the U.S. Senate

(Alexandria, Virginia) – FightSMA, an international non-profit organization with a goal of finding a treatment or cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, today thanked the sponsors and champions of the National Pediatric Research Network Act (NPRNA) of 2013 (S.424), who reintroduced the bill in the U.S. Senate last night. The move comes just weeks after a bipartisan companion bill (H.R.225) passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic cause of infant death. FightSMA helped to develop the NPRNA in order to speed development of a cure for SMA and many other pediatric diseases.

fightsmaFightSMA and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, two of the bill’s endorsing organizations, are tremendously grateful to the sponsors and supporters of the NPRNA in the Senate,” said Martha Slay, co-founder and past president of FightSMA. “This bill gives hope to thousands of families across the nation.”

The bill was reintroduced in the Senate on International Rare Disease Day. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) continue their leadership from the 112th Congress by once again serving as the bill’s lead sponsors. Joining them as original cosponsors will be Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The NPRNA will now be referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, where it is expected to be considered by committee members in the coming weeks.

“We’re calling for all SMA families and friends to do what they can to support this legislation,” said Slay. “Your work during the 112th Congress brought the legislation closer to the president’s desk than it has ever been, and a phone call, letter or email to your senators now can make all the difference. With your help, we can push the NPRNA over the finish line!”

About FightSMA
FightSMA, an international nonprofit group, was founded in 1991 to accelerate a treatment or cure for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of infant death. Since its formation, FightSMA has awarded research grants at more than 40 universities and research institutions in the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. For more information about FightSMA, visit http://www.fightsma.org.

SleepBetter.org and Rhett & Link Video Reaches Six Million Milestone YouTube

SleepBetter.org and Rhett & Link Video Reaches Six Million Milestone YouTube

Viral Blockbuster “2 Guys 600 Pillows” Continues to Grow Two Years After its Release

(Richmond, VA. Jan. 23, 2013) – Rhett & Link’s viral masterpiece, created for Carpenter Co.’s SleepBetter brand, has broken through yet another barrier.  Despite being released more than two years ago, the blockbuster online video “Two Guys 600 Pillows” is continuing to grow, and this week exceeded six million views on YouTube.

“Internetainers” Rhett & Link create some of the most popular videos on the web.  Their “2 Guys 600 Pillows” video illustrates the attachment that individuals can develop with their pillows and how difficult it can be to say goodbye to that favorite pillow when it’s gotten too old to use anymore.  The action and, amazingly, the singing in the video, were shot backwards and then reversed to create breakthrough special effects.  A separate video that shows how they created “2 Guys 600 Pillows” can be seen only at SleepBetter.org.

“Two Guys 600 Pillows” launched on YouTube on Sept. 14, 2010.  It immediately went viral, with more than two million views in the first two weeks.  The video was included in Time’s 2010 “Top 10 of Everything” and was awarded two Webby Awards.  The Webby is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.

Recently, SleepBetter.org and Rhett & Link released their second joint video, “Spot the Differences”.  Illustrating what could be happening while you sleep, including monsters under your bed and visits by The Sandman and the Tooth Fairy, this video has a unique twist.  It’s the first live action split-screen spot the differences video, challenging viewers to find all of the discrepancies between the two screens.  Since its release on Nov. 13, 2012, it’s been viewed nearly 1.2 million times on YouTube.

“On the surface these videos are pure fun, but their messages get people thinking about sleep and bedding,” said Dan Schecter, senior vice president of consumer products at Carpenter Co. and creator of SleepBetter.org.  “Our goal is to lead a national conversation about the health benefits of a good night’s sleep and the role of high quality bedding in sleeping better.”

About Carpenter Co.
Carpenter Co. is the largest manufacturer of comfort cushioning products in the world.  The Richmond, Va.-based company manufactures a wide variety of polyurethane foam and polyester fiber products, all designed to make the world more comfortable.  Born and built in the United States, Carpenter Co. has a 64-year history of designing the world’s most comfortable products and remains on the cutting edge of product development, creating innovative products that improve sleep and enhance active life styles.  The Carpenter Co. Consumer Products Division offers a dynamic line of trusted products, including Isotonic®, ErgoFresh™, Ambient™ and IsoCool™ by Isotonic® pillows, mattress pads and neck pillows as well as comfort technologies like Avena™ and Avela™ and new technologies like IsoFresh™. For more information, visit www.carpenter.com.

About SleepBetter.org
Created by Carpenter Co., SleepBetter.org is dedicated to helping people sleep better. Designed as an online resource, the website creates a forum for visitors to define, discuss and discover solutions to fit their particular sleep needs. SleepBetter.org’s quest is to continually gather pertinent sleep information, then share this knowledge with the general public. The site also shares tips on the best sleep-related products, both in stores and online. SleepBetter.org has created the SleepBetter seal as a way to easily identify products recommended for their superior quality or scientifically based design. For more information, please visit www.SleepBetter.org.

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