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Mercy Corps and Columbia Sportswear join forces to change lives around the world

May 16, 2011

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Columbia Sportswear to donate 2,000 Insect Blocker® shirts to Mercy Corps and up to $10,000 to be generated via Facebook® Places “Check-Ins” at Columbia Sportswear stores in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Mall of America, and Chicago

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today Mercy Corps was named the beneficiary of a new campaign by Columbia Sportswear (Nasdaq:COLM) to engage the public in supporting the humanitarian organization’s work to save and improve lives in the world’s toughest places.

Columbia Sportswear will donate 2,000 of its innovative Insect Blocker shirts to outfit Mercy Corps’ global field staff who serve in many of the world’s toughest places. The products have a total retail value of $160,000.

Columbia’s Insect Blocker products are infused with a synthetic version of a naturally-occurring insect repellent found in certain types of chrysanthemums. The repellant helps protect against mosquitoes, ticks, ants and other biting insects, providing invisible protection that requires no re-application or special care of any kind. The repellant is tightly bonded to fabric fibers and retains its effectiveness for up to 70 washings. Insect Blocker is EPA registered.

In spring 2010, Columbia donated Insect Blocker prototypes to Mercy Corps’ Haiti relief field staff who served on the frontlines of Haiti’s recovery and rebuilding efforts.

The second component of Columbia’s Mercy Corps campaign leverages the Facebook Places “Check-In” technology to generate monetary donations to Mercy Corps from Columbia. Between May 17-31, Columbia will donate $1 to Mercy Corps, up to $10,000 in total, for each person who uses a smartphone to “check in” via Facebook Places at one of Columbia Sportswear’s branded retail stores in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Mall of America, or Chicago. Customers who participate in the social media check-ins will also receive 25% off of their entire purchase for that day.

“We’re thankful for Columbia Sportswear’s support,” said Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps’ CEO. “These donations will help bolster our continued efforts to save and improve lives in some of the toughest – and buggiest – places around the world.”

Columbia Sportswear president and CEO Tim Boyle added, “We are proud to provide Mercy Corps with critical resources including our innovative technologies, such as Insect Blocker, to help support and protect Mercy Corps staff in their efforts to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the globe.