PORTLAND, OR — Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, and the Portland Trail Blazers are teaming up for the third consecutive year to help curb domestic violence in our community. Fans attending the Portland Trail Blazers game against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 are invited to donate used wireless phones and accessories to benefit victims of domestic violence through the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® program. Fans can visit www.trailblazers.com to take advantage of a special offer on tickets to the Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets game in support of the HopeLine drive. Fans who make a donation will receive a voucher for a free pair of tickets to a future Trail Blazers game., HopeLine drop boxes will be located at all entrances of the Rose Garden Arena beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Through the HopeLine program, used wireless phones, batteries and accessories from any service provider are recycled or refurbished and sold. Verizon Wireless uses the proceeds to award grants and wireless phones with prepaid airtime to non-profit human services and law enforcement agencies to aid survivors of domestic violence. Last year, Portland Trail Blazers fans donated more than 700 used wireless phones and accessories to the program.
"I encourage everyone to support Verizon Wireless and their efforts to assist the victims of domestic violence," said Trail Blazers Guard and Verizon Wireless HopeLine champion Jarrett Jack. "I can't think of a better way to put old phones to good use."
Domestic violence is a widespread and pervasive social problem that threatens the health and safety of Oregon's families and communities. At least 1 in 10 Oregon women reported being abused by a current or recent partner. Each year, approximately 18 people are killed in Oregon as a result of domestic violence. Children witnessed 33 % of these assaults.
"As Chairperson of the Governor's Council on Domestic Violence, on behalf of Governor Kulongoski, we are honored to participate in the 10th anniversary of Verizon Wireless HopeLine program. We applaud the Portland Trailblazers for adding domestic violence prevention to their community outreach program. Together we are building a strong team to keep women and children in Oregon safe," said Denise Washington.
In 2005 Verizon Wireless awarded over $43,000 in HopeLine grants and wireless phones with airtime to YWCA Portland, Raphael House, Portland Woman's Crisis Center, Multomah Commission on Families/Children, Morrison Child and Family Services and Lane County Legal Aid.
Wireless phones and equipment can be donated to the HopeLine program year-round at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store across the country.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1970, the Portland Trail Blazers won its only World Championship in 1977 under the leadership of basketball great Dr. Jack Ramsay. The team focuses their community investment efforts on providing resources to children and their families to help create a healthy environment for them to learn, be strong, active and involved. The teams' partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland has resulted in contributions over $1 million over the past 10 years, including the 1995 opening of the Blazers Boys & Girls. The facility was the first in the nation sponsored by a professional sports team. In 2004, the Albina Head Start McCormack-Matthews Center opened in north Portland, providing education and health services to preschoolers and their families. The project is a Trail Blazers family effort with nearly $1 million in contributions coming from Trail Blazers owner, Paul Allen, the Trail Blazers organization, and Damon Stoudamire. With a corporate culture that promotes volunteerism, the Blazers Community Builders employee volunteer program was a key centerpiece in the Trail Blazers receiving the prestigious National Points of Light Award for Excellence in Corporate Community Service. The Trail Blazers were the first and continue to be the only professional sports team to achieve this honor.
ABOUT VERIZON WIRELESS Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million voice and data 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. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
ABOUT HOPELINE® Verizon Wireless encourages customers who are upgrading their wireless phone to participate in its exclusive HopeLine phone-recycling program. The national HopeLine program distributes previously owned wireless phones to victims of domestic violence, supports non-profit domestic violence advocacy groups and provides an environmentally safe method of recycling phones. Donations are accepted at all 1,200-plus Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the country. For additional information, customers can also visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.####