Preservation Alliance Receives Champions in Action Award

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Citizens Bank New Hampshire and WMUR-TV have named New Hampshire Preservation Alliance as their second 2012 Champion in Action® in the category of neighborhood development. As a Champion in Action, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance will receive a $35,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Foundation, media coverage from WMUR-TV, and extensive promotional and volunteer support from Citizens and WMUR-TV over the next six months.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to join WMUR-TV in naming New Hampshire Preservation Alliance as its newest Champion in Action,” said Joe Carelli, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New Hampshire. “The organization’s efforts to help local leaders, citizens and neighborhood development groups revitalize and reuse irreplaceable historic landmarks make a lasting impact on our communities and contribute to the economic vitality of the state.”

N.H. Preservation Alliance received the Champion in Action Award for its success in finding new uses for historic properties, stimulating local investment, creating jobs, bringing people together and inspiring ongoing community development activities. Over the last decade, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance has gone from assisting a few dozen projects to more than 100 a year. In 2006, it created the Seven to Save program that focuses on significant historic properties threatened by neglect, deterioration and insufficient funds.

Founded in 1985, the N.H. Preservation Alliance now works with 7,500 individuals, businesses and organizations through their programs. Champions in Action is an innovative program launched in 2002 by Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to the Granite State. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the program has awarded 46 New Hampshire nonprofits nearly $1 million in grants and promotional support. Throughout RBS Citizens Financial Group’s footprint, the Champions in Action program has provided more than $6.8 million to more than 260 organizations.

“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 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.”

In the six years since the Seven to Save program began, the Preservation Alliance’s efforts have helped community leaders and private investors across the state turn deteriorating or blighted properties into success stories.

Here are a few examples:

• The long-vacant Victorian school in Ashland now houses the Tri-County Community Action Program.

• The Epsom Meetinghouse, slated for demolition to make way for a new development, was successfully moved to a new site.

• The University of New Hampshire converted a major portion of its landmark 1963 New England Center in Durham into dormitory space.

• Advocates for the 1876 Upper Village Hall in East Derry prevented its demolition, developed reuse plans and began substantial repairs.

• Planning work is underway to revive the 70-meter jump and other landmarks of skiing history at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford.

• The covered walkway at White Island Lighthouse on the Isles of Shoals, part of the NH State Parks system, was completely rebuilt according to historic specifications following a devastating storm.

“Across New Hampshire, historic buildings are vital components of community identity,” said Jennifer Goodman, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. “Preserving and reusing these buildings strengthens our villages, towns and cities; builds sustainable neighborhoods; and supports economic growth.” As a Champion in Action program winner, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance will receive:

• A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Charitable Foundation;

• Media coverage from WMUR-TV, including public service announcements and television profiles over the course of six months; • Volunteer support from Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV colleagues;

• The opportunity for the organization’s executive director to participate in a “president-to-president” mentorship with Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New Hampshire President Joe Carelli;

• Extensive public relations support;

• Promotional support highlighting the Champion in Action in all Citizens Bank branch DCN screens and on its ATMs; and

• Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV websites.

To become a Champion in Action, nonprofit organizations must meet selection criteria and apply for the award. For more information about the Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com or www.wmur.com.

The Preservation Alliance will host behind-the-scenes talks and tours at Seven to Save sites in Wolfeboro and Haverhill in August 2012, and will announce the 2012 list at the Pandora Mill in Manchester on October 16, 2012.

For more on these events, go to www.nhpreservation.org or call 603.224.2281. Find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Hampshire-Preservation-Alliance/202674918763 

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 80 branches and 199 ATMs in New Hampshire. 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 WMUR-TV 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. Founded in 1954, WMUR-TV is New Hampshire's largest commercial TV station, reaching more than a million people. 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.