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Midnight Golf Program named a Champion in Action in Michigan

Charter One Bank and WXYZ-TV 7 provide $25,000 grant, volunteer and promotional support in recognition of excellence in youth programs

DETROIT     (January 29, 2009) - Charter One and WXYZ-TV 7 have named the Midnight Golf Program as the 2009 Champions in Action® winner in Michigan in the area of youth programming. As the beneficiary of this award, Midnight Golf will receive a $25,000 grant, public relations and volunteer support.

The Champions in Action program was launched in November 2005 by Charter One and WXYZ-TV 7 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations that champion change in our communities and work to address the needs of southeast Michigan.

The Midnight Golf Program improves the lives of under-served young adults through personal development, educational preparedness, community activism and the game of golf. These young adults emerge as socially responsible men and women prepared to maximize their potential both on and off the golf course. 
Since 2001, more than 300 young people have completed the Midnight Golf Program with the majority of program participants enrolled in colleges and universities throughout the country.  Today, the program has grown to include 125 participants per year. During the nine-month program, participants meet with mentors and PGA Professionals for bi-weekly sessions that include a life skills segment, group dinner and golf lessons. Midnight Golf provides training that produces positive peer relationships, improved social and decision-making skills, increased self-sufficiency and expanded life choices including a focus on college or vocational training. Taught by PGA Professionals, golf is incorporated into the program to teach the importance of following rules, appropriate dress, courtesy and respect for self and others. 

“Midnight Golf uses the game of golf as a backdrop to teach life skills and help young adults to thrive academically and personally,” said Sandra Pierce, President, Charter One, Michigan. “Through golf, participants learn respect for self and others, social and professional etiquette and determination to succeed. We admire Midnight Golf’s creativity in reaching young adults and opening doors to new experiences and possibilities.”
"WXYZ-TV 7 is proud to partner with Charter One to recognize the important contributions of the Midnight Golf Program,” said Bob Sliva, Vice President and General Manager, WXYZ-TV 7. "We congratulate the organization and look forward to working with Midnight Golf to help raise awareness and advance its mission.”

As the 2009 first quarter Champion in Action, Midnight Golf will receive:
• A $25,000 grant in unrestricted funds from the Charter One Foundation.
• Media coverage from WXYZ-TV 7, including public service announcements.
• Volunteer support from Charter One colleagues.
• Promotional support in all Charter One branches and ATMs throughout Michigan.
• Exposure on both Charter One’s and WXYZ-TV 7’s Web sites.

“We are thrilled to be chosen as a Champion in Action. It is a privilege to have our program recognized for the impact we have on our community’s youth,” said Reneé Fluker, Executive Director of the Midnight Golf Program. “Most of our participants come from difficult backgrounds and circumstances and just need support and encouragement to achieve their goals.”

Community leaders and representatives of WXYZ-TV 7 and Charter One comprise a committee which selects a Champion in Action each quarter for its work on a particular social concern. 2009 categories include: Youth Programming, Housing, Financial Literacy and Environmental Impact.

About Charter One

Charter One is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. It has 462 branches and more than 730 ATMs. It has 119 branches and 133 ATMs in Michigan. Charter One’s Web site is charterone.com.  

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $161 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 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). CFG’s Web site is citizensbank.com.  

Information on Midnight Golf Program
(313) 863-0463