Verizon Wireless to Receive Victim Services' Champion Award

Verizon Wireless to Receive Victim Services' Champion Award

May 9, 2000-NEW YORK, N.Y.-Verizon Wireless CEO Dennis Strigl today received New York City Victim Services' Champion Award for his company's efforts to aid victims of domestic violence.

The annual award, which recognizes businesses and individuals for their dedication and commitment to ending violence and victimization, was presented today at a luncheon in New York City. A corporate leader in the fight against domestic violence, Strigl was recognized for his company's "Wireless at Work" community service program which uses the Verizon's wireless technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications.

Since 1995, Verizon Wireless, formerly Bell Atlantic Mobile, has focused on assisting victims of domestic violence by donating wireless phones, specially programmed to dial 9-1-1, to victims who fear repeated attacks from their abusers. Working with local prosecutors, shelters and victim advocates, the company has donated more than 15,000 phones to date.

In addition, Verizon Wireless' HopeLine* service provides free voice mail service to individuals who do not have access to a personal phone line. Over 5,000 voice mail boxes have been donated to more than 8,000 homeless individuals and victims of domestic violence residing in shelters.

Verizon Wireless is a continuing partner with the Family Violence Prevention Fund and contributes annually to its National Workplace Resource Center on Domestic Violence.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 16 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. When the merger is complete, the new company will have a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets.

Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter.