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It's a $1 million appeal to aid US hostages now held in rain. Merton Silbar, owner of a public relations firm in Glenview, III., decided that once the hostages are released, they may need financial help.

Silbar plans to send out a $1 million appeal next week aimed at the nation's 5,000 largest corporations. Even before the fundraising effort is officially launched, individuals from Florida to California have been mailing in contributions.

Silbar says he expects each hostage to receive about $20,000 from the project. He says he was "tired of all the intangible efforts . . . . in lamenting the fate of the US hostages . . . I wanted to do something positive."

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