Verizon Wireless Hosts Big Brothers and Big Sisters at Marconi Grand Prix

Cleveland, Ohio — On Friday, June 30th, a group of special kids will experience the thrill of championship car racing first hand before the big race even begins. As a corporate sponsor, Verizon Wireless will host 55 kids and chaperones at the Marconi Grand Prix track at Burke Lakefront Airport.

These young Clevelanders will be treated to lunch and a VIP tour of the pits and paddock area at the race. They will also be given an opportunity to take photographs in the victory circle, get celebrity autographs and meet Cart driver Luiz Garcia Jr. Garcia, of Brazil who was the 1997 Rookie of the Year in Indy Lights and won the Cleveland round in 1998. The day's activities will begin at 11:30 AM on Friday, Free Prix Day, with a track tour. Lunch will be served at 12:30 and at 1:30 the kids will meet with driver Garcia for pictures and autographs.

As part of race promoter International Management Group's (IMG) "Kids on Track" program, Verizon Wireless will join with three other corporate sponsors to expose young Clevelanders to the exhilarating sport of car racing. In addition to the obvious excitement kids feel about this fast-paced sport, the event also brings kids to the track who ordinarily might not be able to attend the Grand Prix. But most importantly, the program does more than just give kids the chance to be around speed and 'cool cars'.

It also exposes them to the camaraderie, teamwork and discipline that are the trademark of Grand Prix racing. It gives them a real life model to follow.

"Verizon Wireless is proud to be part of the "Kids on Track" program and is especially pleased to support the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland," says Jackie Keim, Sales Support Manager of Verizon Wireless. "It's always a tremendous thrill for me to see the wonder and excitement of the kids when they get on the track." Verizon Wireless, formerly AirTouch Cellular, was also a sponsor of the event last year.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 18 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless company 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. 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. Headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more Verizon Wireless information at