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The Ronald McDonald House Pop Tab Palooza underway

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Updated: 11/09/2013 10:45 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville is kicking off a year-long celebration of 25 years of service with a big celebration on Saturday.

The event, held at the Ronald McDonald House, started with a free 3-mile awareness walk followed by food and drinks for the family. But it isn't just about celebrating. The event is also the kickoff of the first ever Pop Tab Palooza. The goal of the charity is to collect 25,000 pounds of pop tabs. That equals to 33 million tabs from cans of soda. By mid-day Saturday, organizers said 10 million tabs (8,000 pounds) were collected.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities says it expects to raise $35,000 for the programs at Saturday's events.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville supports the health and well-being of children by providing lodging and other services for critically ill, chronically ill and seriously injured children and their families. Through the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room programs, the nonprofit organization offers compassion and service in support of families whose children are seeking healing in Jacksonville.

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