CHICAGO, IL — Verizon Wireless is teaming up with the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks to raise awareness and reduce the incidence of domestic violence, the company announced today. As the official wireless service provider for both organizations, the company will sponsor with each team a program that includes production and distribution of a public service announcement as well as donations and promotional events during the remainder of each team's 2002-03 regular season.
"We're pleased to collaborate with the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks to increase awareness of domestic violence and to help its victims," said Tracy Nolan, president, Illinois/Wisconsin region, Verizon Wireless. "Together, we hope to bring heightened attention to the issue of domestic violence and its damaging effects on individuals, families and businesses, as well as assist the dedicated organizations and shelters in our community that are helping the victims."
This month, Verizon Wireless will release two public service announcements (PSAs) statewide to increase awareness of domestic violence and inform people where to call for help if they or someone they know are victims of abuse. One announcement features Chicago Blackhawks head coach Brian Sutter and his wife, Judy, and the other features former Chicago Bulls point guard John Paxson and his wife, Carolyn. Both announcements will air on the United Center jumbotron and on its closed-circuit television system during each team's home games and will be distributed to all broadcast outlets throughout Illinois for use on-air.
"We are proud to support our partner, Verizon Wireless, on such an important issue," said Steve Schanwald, executive vice president, Business Operations for the Bulls. "Assisting Verizon Wireless in its goal to increase awareness of domestic violence reinforces our joint commitment to help positively affect our hometown Chicago community."
"Domestic violence is a difficult issue that needs education and information to help turn the tide, and we're glad to play a part in the Verizon Wireless program," said Blackhawks owner/president, Bill Wirtz. "We're pleased that a highly recognized company like Verizon Wireless has stepped forward to team up with us." In addition to the PSAs, the programs includes the following elements:
- Two for Two: For every Bulls point scored throughout the 2002-03 basketball season, Verizon Wireless is donating $2 to CharitaBulls, the non-profit organization of the Chicago Bulls, and these funds will be directed to domestic violence prevention agencies. The maximum donation will be $15,000.
- Score Points for Domestic Violence Prevention: As sole sponsor of the Blackhawks' Home Team Goals charitable-giving program, Verizon Wireless is donating $75 to domestic violence prevention for each goal scored by the Blackhawks at the United Center during the 2002-03 hockey season. The maximum donation will be $10,000.
- Party/game for the "littlest victims" of domestic violence: Verizon Wireless will host 100 special guests, children affected by domestic violence, for one Bulls and one Blackhawks home game. Each guest will be treated to a buffet dinner at the United Center and will receive a lower-level ticket for the game. The teams will make their mascots available for each event.
- Verizon Wireless' HopeLineSM wireless phone drive: At the Chicago Bulls home game on Wednesday, February 19, and the Chicago Blackhawks home game on Friday, April 4, fans will have the opportunity to bring used wireless phones to the United Center for the HopeLine program. Both teams will promote the drive with in-arena public address/scoreboard mentions and on their Web sites. HopeLine phones are refurbished or recycled in an environmentally sound way and sold, and proceeds are used to purchase wireless handsets for victims of domestic violence.
These promotional and fundraising programs are part of Verizon Wireless' major sponsorship with the teams and are part of the company's ongoing commitment to support domestic violence awareness and prevention programs on a regional and national basis.
About HopeLine Domestic Violence Program
Through its HopeLine program, Verizon Wireless focuses primarily on putting wireless products and services to work to combat domestic violence. Verizon Wireless dedicates resources to both the prevention of domestic violence and the life-rebuilding process. Verizon Wireless has collected more than 945,000 used wireless phones for the benefit of domestic violence victims and advocacy groups. Since the HopeLine phone-recycling program launched nationwide in October 2001, Verizon Wireless has collected more than 475,000 phones.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 31.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.
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