Verizon Wireless Sponsorship Makes Chicago Students Spellbound

Verizon Wireless Sponsorship Makes Chicago Students Spellbound

December 8, 2000



Whether the word is spelled or spoken, communications is the desired result. That's what has led Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless communications provider, to assume a major role as a presenting sponsor of the Chicago Tribune Spelling Bee.

More than one million students and 4,000 schools are expected to participate in the 2001 Chicago-area programs, one of the regional tournaments leading to the National Spelling Bee to be held in May 2001 in Washington D.C. The national program is owned and operated by Scripps Howard of Cincinnati, OH.

"We are delighted to help bring this exciting educational competition to life this year. We will look for record participation and will enthusiastically support our local contestants who may go on to the national competition," said Greg Klimek, Chicago Region President for Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless' presenting sponsorship role will involve the company in both the city and suburban Chicago-area spelling bees. The competitions are open for kindergarten through Eighth Grade students attending public, private, parochial, charter and home schools throughout an eight-county area.

Local contests at area schools will begin in late January with the final Chicago area competitions slated for March 15. The city tournament will be held at Tribune Tower, while the suburban spelling bee will be held at the Tribune Media Center in Oak Brook. Winners of both tournaments will advance to the national competition in May.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S.with 26.3 million wireless voice and data customers and 3.5 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. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The company has a footprint covering nearly 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 Bedminster, NJ, is 32,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.