Verizon Foundation Gives $125,000 in 'Good Neighbor Grants' to 3 Somerset County Institutions

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - The Verizon Foundation today announced $125,000 in Good Neighbor Grants to three Somerset County institutions. The grants will support the use of the latest technologies to help provide services to people with cerebral palsy, low-income seniors and developmentally challenged individuals.

Verizon unveiled the awards at a news conference at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge, adjacent to the new Verizon Center for corporate operations. The center will soon accommodate 2,800 executives from the company's various business units.

Attending the news conference were Bernards Township Mayor Carolyn Kelly; Verizon New Jersey President Dennis Bone; Lee Brathwaite, vice-president of Verizon corporate real estate; various other Verizon and local officials; and representatives from the not-for-profit institutions receiving the grants. The institutions are: The Matheny Medical and Educational Center of Peapack, The Ridge Oak Senior Living Facility and the Bethel Ridge Home.

"Verizon and its employees are deeply involved in the communities where we work, live and play," Bone said. "We have a long and proud tradition of supporting a broad range of local organizations that serve those in need. These grants to three important Somerset County organizations are another indication of our commitment to remain a good neighbor in New Jersey."

Patrick Gaston, president of the Verizon Foundation, said, "These grants reflect our core values. We believe in using the latest technologies to help a diverse range of individuals lead even more productive lives."

The three Verizon Good Neighbor Grant recipients are:

  • The Matheny Medical and Educational Center of Peapack, for expansion of its distance learning program. The school addresses the medical, educational and special needs of dozens of children and adults from around the state who are diagnosed with significant developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida.
  • The Ridge Oak Senior Living Facility in Basking Ridge, to improve technology and computer services at the facility. Ridge Oak serves more than 400 low-income senior citizens daily.
  • The Bethel Ridge Home for developmentally challenged individuals. The Liberty Corner facility will use the grant to employ new technologies for job placement and medical and diagnostic support. Funds will also help determine the feasibility of utilizing new technologies to link Bethel Ridge with other group homes in the area.

The Verizon Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. In 2004, the foundation awarded more than 26,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.

The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer 528,000 hours in their communities and provided $37.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million customers nationwide, and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers in 28 states. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of nearly 215,000 and generates annual revenues of more than $71 billion from four business segments: Domestic Telecom, Domestic Wireless, Information Services and International. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.