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SWAP, Inc. named Champion in Action in Rhode Island in neighborhood revitalization category

Nonprofit agency receives unrestricted $25,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

Providence, R.I. (July 8, 2011) Citizens Bank and NBC 10 named SWAP, Inc. in Providence as the third quarter Champion in Action® for neighborhood revitalization. SWAP (Stop Wasting Abandoned Property) will receive a $25,000 unrestricted grant, media coverage and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its outstanding work.

The grant will be used to continue its work in local neighborhoods through the Neighborhood Support Program and the annual Friendship Flower Box program.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to name SWAP as the newest Champion in Action for neighborhood revitalization,” said Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank, Rhode Island. “SWAP’s positive impact in South Providence and specifically the Broad Street business district has encouraged people to shop, dine and live in these neighborhoods. This award will help SWAP continue to build and renovate homes, providing valuable resources to local residents.”

“NBC 10 is proud to recognize SWAP for its efforts to offer education, community programs and employment opportunities for young people. Its partnerships with neighborhood residents, agencies and businesses have maximized the ways SWAP helps in the community. We are pleased to name it a Champion in Action,” said Stephen DelPico, General Sales Manager of NBC 10.

Launched in 2002, Champions in Action is a joint initiative of Citizens Bank and NBC 10 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to Rhode Island communities. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service topics.

SWAP provides a wide-array of programs including:
• Its Friendship Flower Box program that beautifies more than 150 South Providence neighborhood homes and businesses.
• The Neighborhood Contractor Mentoring program that offers instructional classes and brings skilled jobs into the area while addressing neighborhood-housing needs.
• After-school and summer programs to provide job training and experience to neighborhood youth.

As a Champion in Action, SWAP will receive:
• A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from Citizens Bank.
• Media coverage from NBC 10, including public service announcements and television profiles.
• Volunteer support from Citizens and NBC 10 employees.
• Extensive public relations support.
• Promotional support, highlighting the Champion in Action in all Citizens Bank branches and on its ATMs.
• Exposure on both Citizens Bank and NBC 10 websites.

"To be recognized as the Citizens/NBC 10 Champion for neighborhood revitalization is especially gratifying this year because SWAP is celebrating its 35th anniversary of service to the community,” said Carla DeStefano, Executive Director of SWAP. “Thousands of volunteers and dedicated staff have devoted themselves to SWAP's work of revitalizing Providence neighborhoods through affordable housing. Our thanks go to Citizens Bank and NBC 10 for acknowledging our efforts."

Prior Rhode Island Champions in Action include: Bayside Family Healthcare in North Kingstown, the House of Hope in Warwick, The Providence Black Repertory Company in Providence, the Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation in Woonsocket, McAuley House in Providence, TechACCESS in Warwick, Sojourner House in Providence, Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation in Pawtucket, Rhode Island Free Clinic in Providence, The Genesis Center in Providence, the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, New Urban Arts in Providence, West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation in Providence, Tides Family Services located throughout the state, Community MusicWorks in Providence, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport, Welcome House of South County in South Kingstown’s Peace Dale neighborhood, Franklin Court Independent Living in Bristol, RiverzEdge Arts Project in Woonsocket, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council in Providence, The Institute for the Study and Practice for Nonviolence in Providence, Church Community Housing Corporation in Newport, Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island in Providence, Youth in Action in Providence, Molar Express in Cranston, Everett Dance Theatre in Providence, Olneyville Housing Corporation in Providence, the ASPIRE Program at the RI Foster Parents Association in East Providence, the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center in Warwick, Amos House in Providence, Connecting for Children and Families in Woonsocket, Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, Kids First in Providence, Social Ventures Partners Rhode Island, and Farm Fresh Rhode Island in Pawtucket.

For more information about the Citizens Bank / NBC 10 Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com/community/champions or www.turnto10.com.

To learn more about how to contribute through donations or volunteerism to SWAP call
401-272-0526.

About Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 82 branches and 198 ATMs in Rhode Island.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $132 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-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, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).   

About NBC 10
WJAR-TV/DT is the most watched television station in the Providence-New Bedford television market and NBC 10 News is southern New England’s leading news station. WJAR was first launched as a radio station in 1922 and then became the market’s first television station in 1949. WJAR-TV/DT is owned by Media General, Inc. RTV (MyRetroTV) Channel 10.2 is WJAR’s digital tier station and was first launched in the summer of 2009. RTV showcases classic television shows, as well as locally produced programming from WJAR.

About Media General
Media General is a multimedia company operating leading newspapers, television stations and online enterprises primarily in the southeastern United States. The company’s publishing assets include three metropolitan newspapers, The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal, 22 daily community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, and more than 150 weekly newspapers and other publications. The company’s broadcasting assets include 30 network-affiliated television stations that reach more than 33 percent of the television households in the Southeast and more than 10 percent of those in the United States. The company’s interactive media assets include more than 75 online enterprises that are associated with its newspapers and television stations. Media General also owns a 33 percent interest in SP Newsprint Company, a manufacturer of recycled newsprint.