Bell Atlantic and NYNEX Earmark $50 Million Toward Safe Haven Goal of Presidents' Summit

ALEXANDRIA, VA — At a meeting this morning with Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.), general chairman of the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX committed to redeploy a total of more than $50 million through the year 2000 for multi-faceted programs aimed at keeping children safe after school. The community-based programs will include projects and resources to give children safe, stimulating and nurturing environments during after-school hours when they are most vulnerable.

"I'm delighted that Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have each stepped up to the plate to make this commitment on behalf of young people," said Gen. Powell. "This is exactly the kind of corporate leadership that will enable all of us to work together to make a real difference for our children."

Providing a safe haven for young people after school is one of the fundamental elements of childhood development that the Presidents' Summit has targeted in a massive drive to secure commitments of volunteer time, money and other resources in support of America's youth.

"This program grows out of an idea we have been studying for the past 18 months. We want to make sure that good things happen to our children when they aren't in school and when they're not at home," said Raymond W. Smith, chairman and CEO of Bell Atlantic. "This is one of the most pressing community and social needs identified by our customers, social services professionals and child development experts."

"We see it as a reinforcement of the companies' ongoing dedication to employee volunteerism, education and to helping people with the power of technology," said Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO of NYNEX.

"We'll make sure that both our corporate giving and the new telecommunications technologies we offer help volunteers and communities find new ways to solve local problems," Seidenberg said. "With this program, we'll honor the adage, 'doing well by doing good.'"

Both chairmen agreed that the program has the potential to change millions of young lives in the northeast where the companies are principal providers of communications services.

The program elements have been designed and the resources identified from the companies' existing contributions budgets and the endowments of their charitable foundations. Specific details of the program will be announced in the coming months.

Bell Atlantic and NYNEX currently invest a total of more than $40 million a year in philanthropic programs in the regions they serve. The programs supported range from technology centers and performing arts training, to after-school activities that involve skills development, leadership training, and personal growth and enrichment. Many programs address the needs of young people for a safe haven during periods when there are no adults at home.

Employees from both companies also contribute tens of thousands of hours each year in volunteer activities. Some employees serve as mentors in self-esteem, leadership and achievement while others tackle the development and improvement of facilities that house youth programs. Youth activities remain a key focus of the companies and their employees.


To News Editors: A separate news release issued todayby Bell Atlantic and NYNEX describes the companies' $1.6 million dollars in communications support for the summit in Philadelphia.

For more information about the companies' involvement in the summit, please visit the summit web site