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NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley named Champion in Action in neighborhood development category

Nonprofit agency receives unrestricted $35,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

New London, Conn. (July 9, 2012) – Citizens Bank and NBC 10 have named NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley in Woonsocket a 2012 Champion in Action® in the category of neighborhood development. NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley will receive a $35,000 unrestricted grant, media coverage, and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its outstanding work in providing homebuyer education classes and job training seminars to local residents. NeighborWorks was named a Champion in 2003 and is the first Rhode Island organization to be recognized for a second time since the program was enhanced earlier this year.

NeighborWorks will use the grant to continue its revitalization initiatives in nearby Woonsocket neighborhoods and northern Rhode Island to create mixed-use development, new housing and the expansion of the city’s commercial district.

"Citizens Bank is pleased to name NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley as the newest Champion in Action in the neighborhood development category," said Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank, Rhode Island and Connecticut. "NeighborWorks first received this award in 2003 and has continued to demonstrate that neighborhood revitalization goes beyond bricks and mortar. Its comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization continues to thrive and grow."

"NBC is proud to recognize NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley for its programs that promote financial education and housing counseling services through its Home Ownership Center," said Vic Vetters, Vice President and General Manager, NBC 10. "Through these programs, families regain control of their finances and build assets, creating neighborhood stability."

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. 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the program, which has awarded more than $1 million in grants and promotional support to 39 nonprofits in Rhode Island.

NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley provides a wide array of educational programs, including:

  • Community building activities to support afterschool programs, community planning forums and community gardens;
  • Partnerships that provide job training and family support to local residents;
  • Financial coaching, homebuyer education, college prep and youth programming that move low-income families up the ladder to success.

As a Champions in Action, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley will receive:

  • A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Charitable Foundation;
  • Media coverage from NBC 10, including public service announcements and television profiles over the course of six months;
  • Volunteer support from Citizens Bank and NBC 10 colleagues;
  • The opportunity for the organization’s executive director to participate in a "president-to-president" mentorship with Citizens Bank of Rhode Island and Connecticut President Ned Handy;
  • Extensive public relations support;
  • Promotional support on all Citizens Bank branch DCN screens and on its ATMs;
  • Exposure on both the Citizens Bank and NBC 10 websites.

"It is a tremendous honor for our organization to be selected as a Champions in Action," said Joe Garlick, Executive Director of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley. "We began in 1989 as a small group working in one neighborhood. Today, we work with many partners across many disciplines. This award will help us continue to create great neighborhoods around the northern Rhode Island region."

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 of 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 Venture Partners Rhode Island in Providence, Farm Fresh Rhode Island, in Pawtucket, SWAP in Providence, Lucy’s Hearth in Middletown and Community Boating Center in Providence.

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 to NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley through donations or volunteerism, call 1-401-454-7245.

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 83 branches and 191 ATMs in Rhode Island.

RBS Citizens, N.A., is a subsidiary of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $130 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has more than 1,460 branches, approximately 3,800 ATMs and approximately 19,200 colleagues. Its 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. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.

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.

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 currently 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.