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Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center is new Champion in Action in Pittsburgh

Agency receives $25,000 grant, volunteer and promotional support

PITTSBURGH       (January 21, 2009) - Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV today named the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center as their first quarter Champion in Action® under the category of youth programming. Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center, which has been providing supporting at-risk, low-income youth in the Butler area for more than 70 years, will receive a $25,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Foundation, and extensive volunteer and promotional support from Citizens Bank, WPXI-TV and Pittsburgh Cares.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to join WPXI-TV in naming Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center as our newest Champion in Action,” said Ralph J. Papa, Chairman of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. “Under the leadership of Executive Director Catherine Colleen Folmer, this tremendous organization promotes the mental, moral, spiritual and physical welfare of the community and strives to encourage better relationships between diverse backgrounds.”

“As an organization committed to the community, WPXI-TV is proud to partner with Citizens Bank to honor the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center,” said Ray Carter, WPXI-TV’s general manager. “On behalf of WPXI, I congratulate the leadership, staff and volunteers of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center. Through their hard work and dedication they offer social, educational and recreational outlets for youth of all abilities and income levels.”

Through Champions in Action, Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV recognize and support nonprofit organizations for the contributions these groups make to communities in the Pittsburgh region. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service areas.

As a Champion in Action, the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center will receive:

• $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.
• Media coverage from WPXI-TV, including public service announcements and TV profile.
• Volunteer support from Pittsburgh Cares and Citizens and WPXI-TV employees.
• Extensive public relations support.
• Promotional support, highlighting the organization in all Citizens Bank branches.
• Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV Web sites.

What makes the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center a Champion in Action? 
 
• Founded by members of the African-American community in 1936, the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center has supported youth of all abilities and income levels in a fully integrated environment without regard to their families’ ability to pay.
• During the summer months the center offers supervised activities where children can develop new friendships and enjoy constructive playtime. In addition to their youth programs, community classes such as arts and crafts, ceramics, quilting, tai chi, and gardening are offered.
• The Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center provides a variety of supportive programming for youth ages three and over, including opportunities for special needs children to learn and play in an inclusive environment. Its Kid’s Club meets daily after school and on Saturdays, providing at-risk youth with the opportunity to socialize, receive homework assistance and interact with staff mentors in a safe and nurturing environment. Children with challenges and their families meet bi-monthly at Family Game Night where children of all ages can interact and enhance motor and social skills through structured, educational activities.

 “We are honored to be recognized as a Champion in Action,” said Catherine Colleen Folmer, Executive Director of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center. “At the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center we believe that youth of all abilities should have the opportunity to participate in programs and activities in a safe and nurturing environment.”

In addition to the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center, the following organizations have been selected as Champions in Action since the program was introduced in western Pennsylvania in 2004: Wilkinsburg Community Ministry, Aliquippa Alliance for Unity and Development, Beginning with Books, The Neighborhood Academy, HEARTH, Human Services Center Corporation, Washington Community Arts and Cultural Center, Rainbow Kitchen Community Services, Sojourner House MOMS, Little Sisters of the Poor, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Health Hope Network, YouthPlaces, the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, Family Tyes, and NeighborWorks®.

To learn more about the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center, located at 501 Fairground Hill Road in Butler, call 724-287-5648 or visit www.dunbarcenter.org.

About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania

Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has approximately 400 branches and more than 690 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 15 retail branches and 37 ATMs in southern New Jersey and a commercial loan office in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $161 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,600 branches, 3,500 ATMs and 24,000 employees. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 13-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets and deposits. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).

About WPXI

WPXI-TV is a Cox Television station in the Pittsburgh television market. Cox Television includes 15 television stations, three national television sales representation firms, a television production company, and a Washington, D.C. news office. Cox Television is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., based in Atlanta. WPXI-TV’s Web site is wpxi.com.

About Pittsburgh Cares

Pittsburgh Cares, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing community engagement through volunteerism and enhancing the impact of regional service partners. In 2006-07, Pittsburgh Cares coordinated more than 950 volunteer projects.  Pittsburgh Cares volunteer network has provided more than 44,500 hours of service over the past year and with an average of 217 new volunteers per month, our impact continues to grow stronger.  Pittsburgh Cares coordinates three specialized programs: Youth Engaged in Service (YES), Campus Cares, and Business Cares. YES is an outreach program that connects youth under 18 year of age to volunteer opportunities. Campus Cares works with the local college community including Greek Life, student organizations, individual students, and faculty/staff to connect them to a wide variety of volunteer and service-learning opportunities. Business Cares coordinates employee volunteer programming for small, mid-size and large companies in Greater Pittsburgh through customized contracts. For more information on Pittsburgh Cares, please log onto www.pittsburghcares.org or call 412-471-2114.