Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bank of America Announces Initiative


LAS VEGAS - The Bank of America Nevada Foundation re-launched its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, a competitive grant program with awards totaling $500,000 to recognize, nurture and reward organizations, individuals, and students that are helping rebuild and revitalize neighborhoods in the Las Vegas community.

''This initiative brings a vast national concept like 'neighborhood excellence' home to Las Vegas by targeting needs that are critical right here,'' said George W. Smith, president of Bank of America Nevada. ''A committee of community leaders here in Las Vegas will decide which organizations and individuals will receive $500,000 in local grants and recognition. Our goal is to focus on what works best in our community.''

The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative is composed of three programs:

* Neighborhood Builders provides $200,000 in grant funding and leadership training over two years to two Las Vegas nonprofit organizations working to promote vibrant neighborhoods. The combination of operating support and leadership training helps strengthen the capacity and infrastructure of the selected organizations and promotes the professional development of their leaders.

* Local Heroes recognizes and honors five community heroes whose achievements and leadership on local issues contribute significantly to neighborhood vitality. Recipients will be able to direct a $5,000 contribution to an eligible nonprofit of their choice and will be celebrated at a public ceremony.

* Student Leaders recognizes five high school juniors or seniors that are recommended as exemplary young leaders with an interest in improving their neighborhoods. To further their personal and educational growth, each student will participate in an 8-week paid summer internship with a community-based organization, as well as a mentorship program with a Bank of America professional.

To apply or make a nomination, visit Bank of America Foundation's Web site at www.bankofamerica.com/foundation. Applications are being accepted through Thursday, June 30, 2005.

Recipients will be selected by a committee of private, public and nonprofit sector leaders chaired by Smith. Committee members include: Lou Emmert; general manager, Sprint: Dan Goulet, president and CEO, United Way of Southern Nevada; Sommer Hollingsworth, president, Nevada Development Authority; Steve McCracken, senior vice president, Bank of America; Emily Neilson, general manager, KLAS-TV Channel 8; and Peter Thomas, managing partner, Thomas and Mack Development.

The Bank of America Nevada Foundation gave more than $800,000 in financial support to 83 agencies in Nevada during the 2004 calendar year and Bank of America volunteers logged more than 3,500 hours in the community, supporting a variety of projects, including Habitat for Humanity, Opportunity Village and Junior Achievement.

For more information about Bank of America Charitable Investments, please visit the Foundation's Web site at www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.

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