Verizon Donates $5,000 to Fund for Slain Employee

NEW YORK - Verizon Communications is honoring the memory of slain Roanoke, Va., employee Danny Overstreet and emphasizing its commitment to workplace diversity with a $5,000 contribution to a fund established in Overstreet's name. The donation was made through the Verizon Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm.

Mike Rieley, Roanoke area manager for Verizon Virginia, will present the check today to Scott Armstrong, representing Overstreet's co-workers, who established the fund in his name. The fund will benefit charities that Overstreet supported.

Overstreet, 43, died Sept. 22 when a gunman walked into a gay bar in Roanoke and opened fire, killing Overstreet and wounding six others. The gunman was apprehended and charged with first-degree murder and other crimes. The Roanoke City Police Department investigated the incident as a hate crime, according to published reports.

"We want to express our sincere condolences to Danny's mother and to his co-workers who considered him a friend as well as a colleague," said Verizon President and co-CEO Ivan Seidenberg. "This donation underscores Verizon's commitment to a culture in which we embrace one another's differences and treat our colleagues with respect. Our goal is a work environment that is diverse, open and, above all, free of prejudice - a commitment made all the more urgent by this tragic incident."

Overstreet was a consultant in Verizon's Residence Sales Service Center in Roanoke. His co-workers remember him as a man with an engaging laugh who went out of his way to help customers and strangers alike.

Contributions to the Danny Overstreet Fund can be made in care of the First Citizens Bank, 1959 Valley View Blvd., Roanoke, Va. 24012.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 more than 100 million access line equivalents and 25.6 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 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 .