'Wild Things Are Happening' At St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

'Wild Things Are Happening'
At St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

James Earl Jones Delights Patients of St. Christopher's Hospital for
Children And Area Students with Reading from Sendak's 'Where the
Wild Things Are'

May 21, 1998

Media contact:

Sharon Shaffer,
(215) 963-6843

PHILADELPHIA -- James Earl Jones, the legendary stage and screen star
and well-known voice of Bell Atlantic, delighted patients and area students
today during his visit to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

Jones read to the youngsters from the Maurice Sendak's renowned
children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" and discussed with them the
valuable lessons they can learn from it.

Jones' appearance at the hospital was sponsored by Bell Atlantic in
conjunction with this week's Bell Atlantic Classic, the Senior PGA golf
tournament that begins tomorrow at Hartefeld National, in Avondale, Pa.

Bell Atlantic has provided extensive support for St. Christopher's, raising
more than $6 million since 1991 through its tournament sponsorship.
Proceeds from the Bell Atlantic Classic have been used to build the Bell
Atlantic Teaching Center, a state-of-the-art auditorium located at the
hospital. In 1997, St. Christopher's Hospital also made a critical stride in
the advancement of pediatric medicine by establishing the Bell Atlantic
Genetics Center for Children, a multidisciplinary program devoted to
research, education and the care of children with genetic diseases.

"The positive message Mr. Jones brought to the children is especially
important at this time when so many young people are looking for guidance
in an increasingly complex world," said Calvin Bland, president and CEO
of St. Christopher's Hospital. "We are grateful to Bell Atlantic for making
this happen."

Patricia Beadling, vice president for Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania, expressed
hope that Jones' visit was both fun and inspirational. "Bell Atlantic is
committed to enhancing the quality of life for the people in the
communities we serve," she added. "The substantial financial support
generated for St. Christopher's through the Bell Atlantic Classic is evidence
of that."

Also during the event, Bell Atlantic announced $75,000 in donations to
support pediatric AIDS research. The donations -- made possible through
the sale of "Wild Things" merchandise to Bell Atlantic employees -- went
to doctors in Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C., and were
announced through a three-way video link using high-speed Bell Atlantic
phone lines.

Checks for $25,000 each were presented to Dr. Mark Bagarrazi, assistant
professor of pediatrics in St. Christopher's section of immunology for the
prevention and control of HIV infection and its progression to AIDS in
infants and children; Dr. Nicolas Carballeira, director of the Latino Health
Institute in Boston; and Jim Graham, executive director of the Whitman-
Walker Clinic, the largest provider of services to people living with HIV
and AIDS in the Washington area.

Dr. Bagarrazi was recognized for the ground-breaking research he is
conducting at St. Christopher's aimed at finding a vaccine to prevent HIV
infection and AIDS in children. Dr. Carballeira was cited for offering an
array of health care services, including social and clinical services, for
persons living with HIV and AIDS in the Boston area's Latino community
since 1987. Graham, who joined the Whitman-Walker Clinic in 1984, was
recognized for his role in providing quality health care for people living
with HIV and AIDS and for championing programs that recognize the
special needs of children and families who have been affected by the

Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX --
is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines
and 6.7 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 22 countries.