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Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV recognize Jackie O’Rourke as the "heart" of Franklin

"Heart of Your City" program on NH Chronicle highlights people making a difference in their communities

Manchester, N.H. (April 19, 2012) – Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV have named Jackie O’Rourke the “Heart of Your City" for her outstanding commitment to the city of Franklin. O’Rourke’s story, which highlights the positive impact she has made in the community, will be featured on the program NH Chronicle on April 20.

Heart of Your City is a year-long partnership between Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV that recognizes people who are making good things happen in New Hampshire’s 13 cities. Each honoree is featured on NH Chronicle and on the Destination Downtown section of WMUR-TV’s website.

O’Rourke, who recently celebrated her 80th birthday, was a dedicated teacher and cheerleading coach for more than 30 years. Starting her career at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., O’Rourke developed a love for teaching students with special needs. This compassion for others drove her to help implement the first special needs education program in the Franklin public school system, in 1992.

“People often tell me I’m the greatest cheerleader," said O’Rourke. “No matter what project or committee I’m working on, I always try to be as positive, enthusiastic and encouraging as possible. I love bringing people together to work toward a common goal and seeing our ideas come to fruition."

O’Rourke is also involved with several local nonprofit organizations. She served on the boards of directors of the Winnipesaukee Trail Association and the Franklin Opera House for the past 10 years. She is also active with Business Professional Women, the Franklin Historical Society and the Red Hat Society. O’Rourke continues to offer her consulting expertise to nonprofits, helping to leverage funding and plan events for the city.

“Jackie embodies what it means to be a role model," said Joe Carelli, President, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire. “She is passionate about making a difference and inspires others to achieve their own goals and aspirations. We are proud to work with WMUR-TV to showcase people like Jackie and the tremendous work they do in our New Hampshire communities."

“Jackie has been a true friend to the Opera House since its very beginning," said Steve Foley, Executive Director of the Franklin Opera House. “Her boundless energy and her willingness to share her time and talents are absolutely amazing. Jackie has always recognized the importance of the arts in the community and has been willing to give in any way she can to bring our ideas to life."

Other New Hampshire towns to be featured in the “Heart of Your City" program are Claremont, Dover, Laconia, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, Rochester and Somersworth. Cities that have already been highlighted include Berlin, Concord and Keene.

Nominations for Heart of Your City will be accepted throughout the year. If you would like to nominate an individual or group for this honor, please visit the WMUR website: www.wmur.com/destination-downtown

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 199 ATMs in New Hampshire.

RBS Citizens, N.A., is a subsidiary of 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 1,500 branches, approximately 3,900 ATMs and approximately 19,700 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. 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).

WMUR-TV (Ch. 9) is an ABC-TV affiliate headquartered in Manchester, N.H., and is owned and managed by Hearst Television, Inc., one of the nation's largest television station groups. Founded in 1954, WMUR-TV is New Hampshire's largest commercial TV station, reaching more than 1 million people. The station's news, feature and sports coverage have 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.