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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.

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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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