FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 1996
ARLINGTON, VA -- Thousands of bicyclists who commit their energy and spirit to the 1996 Philadelphia to D.C. AIDS ride June 21-23 will tap into the support and caring of Bell Atlantic and its employees.
Among the riders will be a team of about 20 Bell Atlantic employee cyclists who will make the three-day, 250-mile ride to demonstrate support of AIDS victims and loved ones and to raise funds for AIDS-related agencies in the two cities.
Bell Atlantic, a gold sponsor of the event, is providing financial support, in-kind services and a broad range of rider support activities, including a dramatic reading at the finish line by corporate spokesperson James Earl Jones intended to crystallize the emotion and spirit of the ride.
"Because AIDS impacts all of us within the larger community, Bell Atlantic is sponsoring riders, support teams, phone services and activities at both ends of the ride," said Patrick C. G. Coulter, vice president-corporate communications.
He noted that Bell Atlantic was recently named one of the top ten socially responsible companies in the country by Business Ethics magazine.
Coulter and Eric Rabe, assistant vice president-corporate communications, will be among the Bell Atlantic riders who mount their bikes at 6:45 a.m. on June 21 at the Philadelphia Civic Center, 34th and Civic Center Boulevard. The company gave $10,000 to help Bell Atlantic riders meet their pledge commitments.
As an AIDS Ride sponsor, Bell Atlantic gave $15,000 to support the ride and funded a safety video used to train riders in this and other AIDS rides around the country.
Bell Atlantic-NYNEX Mobile, the company's cellular telecommunications subsidiary, has donated cellular phones and air time for use by ride coordinators.
The Bell Atlantic bike riders will be supported by a crew of 12 employee volunteers, and 25 other employees will work with ride coordinators along the route.
All Bell Atlantic employees in the Washington metropolitan area have been invited to the finish line activities Sunday at 3 p.m. on the Washington Mall where Jones will read a poem, "The Riderless Cycle," that acknowledges AIDS victims and their loved ones.
Also within Bell Atlantic, employee resource groups have worked to support the ride and riders. The Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees group (GLOBE), the Bell Atlantic Association of Telecommunications Managers and Associates, Inc. (an African American professional group) and the Association of Latino Bell Atlantic Employees (ALBA) worked to help riders meet their pledge commitments.
Other Bell Atlantic AIDS-related activities include corporate and volunteer support for the Food and Friends program in Washington; participation in the Names Project and AIDS Memorial Quilt; donations totaling $10,000 during the 1995 AIDS Walk; and Community Threads, a Washington program that allows customers to contribute to the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington through their phone bills.
The Philadelphia to D.C. AIDS ride is one of five American AIDS Rides presented by Tanqueray. For information, contact Chris Robicahud or Mindy Eras, 310-274-7800.
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new communications, entertainment and information industry. In the mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth national and international business opportunities in all phases of the industry.
- Joan Rasmussen, 703-974-8815