Verizon Awards $1.15 Million in Grants To Organizations in Eastern, Western Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA - On the day when Pennsylvanians will begin to enjoy the benefits of long-distance service from Verizon Communications, the company reaffirmed its strong commitment to the state with three grants totaling $1.15 million from Verizon Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm.

At a news conference to launch Verizon Long Distance in Pennsylvania, the company also announced the Verizon Foundation grants for the new Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center in Philadelphia, the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve in Latrobe and the Extra Mile Education Foundation in Pittsburgh.

"For more than 100 years, millions of customers throughout Pennsylvania have depended on Verizon to provide reliable local phone service at reasonable rates," said Daniel J. Whelan, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "But our company has always been about more than telecommunications - we have a proud record of corporate citizenship, of volunteerism."

"These grants reinforce Verizon's ongoing commitment to Pennsylvania, be it network infrastructure, philanthropy or superb customer care," said Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon Retail Markets.

Verizon Foundation will award Philadelphia Youth Tennis $1 million for the new Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center - $500,000 each in 2002 and 2003. Philadelphia Youth Tennis will target much of the foundation support for literacy and technology programs at the facility in the East Falls area of Philadelphia. The center enables Philadelphia Youth Tennis to meet the growing academic program needs of children and their families.

A $100,000 foundation grant will support technology-based education, conservation and environmental programs at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve in Latrobe. The reserve will use the funds for a number of archeological digs and to develop a research center to help college students and teachers in their studies.

Verizon Foundation will award a $50,000 grant to the Extra Mile Education Foundation to help enhance technology-based education at four inner-city Pittsburgh parochial elementary schools: Holy Rosary in Homewood/Brushton; St. Agnes in Lower Oakland; St. Benedict the Moor in the Hill District, and St. James School in Wilkinsburg. Each of the schools serves a predominantly low-income population.

The $1.15 million is in addition to the $3 million in grants made by Verizon Foundation and Verizon Pennsylvania to organizations throughout the commonwealth this year.

Verizon Foundation

Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation on the Internet.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 125 million access line equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.