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The Upper Room named New Hampshire Champion in Action in area of family support

Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV to provide $25,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

MANCHESTER, N.H.    (April 16, 2010) - Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV have named The Upper Room as their 2010 second quarter Champion in Action® in the area of family support. As part of the award, The Upper Room, located in Derry, N.H., will receive a $25,000 grant, media coverage, and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its dedication to improving the lives of children and families across southern New Hampshire.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to join WMUR-TV in naming The Upper Room as its newest Champion in Action,” said Cathleen A. Schmidt, President, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire. “By providing financial, marketing, and volunteer support, we can assist this Champion in taking a big step forward in advancing its programs and services. The Upper Room has provided prevention and early intervention services for children, youths and families throughout southern New Hampshire for more than20 years. We are proud to recognize its efforts in the community and help it grow.”

The Champions in Action program is designed to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to New Hampshire communities. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service areas.

“Sharing in this initiative with Citizens Bank continues to be a source of great pride," said Jeff Bartlett, General Manager of WMUR-TV. “We are very pleased to help out organizations across the state that demonstrate such a strong commitment to making a difference in the lives of so many New Hampshire residents. They truly are champions.”

The Upper Room provides support for all parents through group workshops as well as short-term in-home parenting education and counseling. In addition, The Upper Room offers GED prep courses for youths ages 16-21 and has developed the Greater Derry Juvenile Diversion program, an alternative to court for first-time juvenile offenders.

“The Upper Room’s 13 programs recognize that the needs of families are growing and changing, and we strive to help participants make positive choices, develop healthy lifestyles, and gain independence,” said Kimberly Bavaro, Executive Director of The Upper Room.  “Last year alone, The Upper Room served 14,000 individuals, a 63 percent increase over the previous year, through direct services, workshops, and by providing resources and community referrals.”

According to Bavaro, The Upper Room has a proven record of success in helping improve the lives of the individuals and families it serves. After attending The Upper Room’s parenting education classes, 98 percent reported improved confidence in their parenting skills and improved family communication.  In addition, 95 percent of youths participating in anger management programs reported an increased ability to identify and understand the source of their anger.

As a Champion in Action, The Upper Room will receive:
• A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.
• Media coverage from WMUR-TV, including public service announcements and television profiles.
• Volunteer support from Citizens and WMUR-TV employees.
• Extensive public relations support.
• Promotional support, highlighting the current “Champion in Action” in all Citizens Bank branches and on its
• Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV Web sites.

“We are honored to be recognized by Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV as a Champion in Action,” said Bavaro. “Our family support programs offer the education, guidance, and compassion to help people reach their full potential. With the support of WMUR and Citizens Bank, we will be able to help address many of today’s challenging issues facing New Hampshire youths and families.”

A nonprofit organization focusing on environmental impact will be named for the third quarter Champion in Action in July 2010. A nonprofit organization supporting arts and culture will be named the fourth quarter Champion in Action and will be announced in October 2010. 

To learn more about The Upper Room, visit www.urteachers.org or call (603) 437-8477. The Upper Room is located at 36 Tsienneto Road in Derry, NH 03038, and can be reached at (603) 437-8477.


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 150 ATMs in New Hampshire.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $148 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 about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).


WMUR-TV (Ch. 9) is an ABC-TV affiliate headquartered in Manchester, N.H., and is owned and managed by Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., one of the nation's largest television station groups. WMUR-TV is New Hampshire's largest commercial TV station, reaching more than a million people. Founded in 1954, the station's news, feature and sports coverage has won numerous awards for professional and journalistic excellence. WMUR-TV is considered the broadcast news source of record for New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary election. WMUR-TV provides online news and information at www.WMUR.com