Verizon Wireless Named Official Wireless Phone Provider for Miller Lite Ride for the Arts

MILWAUKEE — Verizon Wireless (formerly PrimeCo Personal Communications), the country's largest wireless communications company, will serve as the official wireless phone provider for the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts. The event will take place Sunday, June 4, 2000, departing from the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, and benefits the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).

"Sponsorship from companies like Verizon Wireless help make the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts one of the most successful recreational bike rides in the United States," explained Doug Kwikkel, co-chair of the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts. "Verizon Wireless's donation of wireless phones will help the event be a coordinated and safe one."

As the official wireless phone provider for the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts, Verizon Wireless will donate the use of phones to event staff to assist in coordination of the ride. In addition, Verizon

Wireless will provide courtesy phone service at designated oasis stations during the ride as well as at the Finish Line Party on Milwaukee's Summerfest grounds.

Verizon Wireless will also have team representation in the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts. A 15-person team of company employees will peddle their way through the course.

"It is very satisfying to us that Verizon Wireless is supporting the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts to benefit the 21 member groups of UPAF," said Eric Schaefer, Verizon Wireless' Area Director * Wisconsin. "We have every confidence that this year's ride will be a phenomenal success, and we are glad to be a part of it, both in event sponsorship and participation."

The Miller Lite Ride for the Arts benefits more than 21 performing arts groups in southeastern Wisconsin. It has grown to be one of the largest recreational bike rides in the country, attracting more than 10,000 riders each year. This event will also attract in-line skaters this year with the debut of a new five-mile in-line skate.

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 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 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: