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Highmark Inc. Awards $14,000 to 28 Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations

PITTSBURGH, July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Highmark Inc. recently awarded $14,000 in grants to 28 nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania to assist programs that are supported by its employee volunteers. Financial contributions came through Highmark's Employee Volunteer Grant Program, which reinforces the company's appreciation for those employees who volunteer for nonprofits in their communities.

Highmark recognizes that its employees know best the most pressing needs of the agencies where they volunteer. Through the Employee Volunteer Grant Program, employees are invited to apply for a $500 grant to support the nonprofit with which they volunteer.

The grants are generally given to organizations that do not already receive significant contributions through Highmark's corporate giving. An agency is eligible to receive one grant each year through the program. The following nonprofits received grants during the first quarter of 2009.

    Nonprofit Organization  Volunteer and Activity                   County
    ----------------------  ----------------------                   ------
    Monroeville Baseball    Sean Cassidy, TCoE tech testing         Allegheny
     Association             analyst, volunteers as a coach to
                             teach young athletes good
                             sportsmanship as well as the
                             fundamental skills needed to be a
                             proactive part of a team.
    Steel City Dragon-Boat  Norma Nolte, health equity and quality  Allegheny
     Association, Inc.       consultant, volunteers for Pink Steel,
                             a paddle boat team comprised of breast
                             cancer survivors and supported by the
                             Steel City Dragon Boat Association. As
                             a volunteer, she promotes awareness
                             and education about breast cancer.
    St. John Neumann        Bonnie Wickert, operations and software Allegheny
     Appalachia Work Camp    compliance support analyst, volunteers
                             for the St. John Neumann Appalachia
                             Work Camp traveling to Preston County,
                             W.V. each year to help rehabilitate
                             substandard housing conditions.
    The Ladies Ancient      Danette Kuzmanko, account service       Allegheny
     Order of Hibernians     manager for special accounts,
     (LAOH)                  volunteers for LAOH to promote
                             friendship, unity, and Christian
                             charity by aiding the sick, poor and
                             needy through grants, gifts and
                             community activities.
    The Pittsburgh Cultural Lisa Newman, eMarketing consultant,     Allegheny
     Trust                   volunteers as the chairperson of
                             Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh, an annual
                             fundraising event that showcases the
                             arts, entertainment and urban
                             development that is the essence of the
                             Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's work in
                             the cultural district.
    Project S.H.A.R.E.      Dave Kutz, senior software consultant,   Carlisle
                             volunteers for Project S.H.A.R.E.,
                             helping to distribute food to more
                             than 1,100 needy families a month.
    Cantate Carlisle        Timothy Miller, service representative, Cumberland
                             volunteers for the Cantate Carlisle
                             concert choir, performing benefit
                             concerts for the Carlisle chapters of
                             the Red Cross, Project Share and Big
                             Brothers/Big Sisters.
    Girl Scouts in the      Lisa Sanna, technical business analyst, Cumberland
     Heart of PA, Brownie    volunteers as a Brownie troop leader
     Troop 631               for the Girl Scouts in the Heart of
                             Pennsylvania. The Girl Scouts mission
                             is to build girls of courage,
                             confidence, and character, who make
                             the world a better place.
    Girl Scouts in the      Beth Ann Moore, application developer,  Cumberland
     Heart of PA, Troop      volunteers with Troop 1592 to help
     1592                    young women develop leadership
    Hampden Youth Baseball  Christopher Jones, application          Cumberland
     Association             developer project manager, volunteers
                             as a coach for the Hampden Youth
                             Baseball Association. The program
                             helps young athletes learn teamwork
                             skills and emphasizes the importance
                             of being active.
    Lend a Hand             Kathy Yinger, underwriting and risk     Cumberland
                             analyst, volunteers for Lend a Hand
                             and has traveled to Mississippi to
                             help hundreds of people in need due to
                             Hurricane Katrina.
    St. Barnabas Ministry   Lori Clark Robinson, community            Dauphin
     Center                  initiatives specialist, volunteers
                             with the St. Barnabas Ministry Center
                             summer program, which promotes
                             physical activity, good nutrition and
                             positive self-esteem for disadvantaged
                             youth in Harrisburg.
    4H Trailblazer Drill    Lisa Stroup, Benefit/DLPS analyst,        Dauphin
     Team                    volunteers for the 4H trailblazer
                             team. Her role is to organize
                             practice, send reminder e-mails,
                             organize a phone chain and help out
                             wherever needed. The team helps young
                             women realize the rewards that follow
                             their hard work.
    Christian Recovery      Verna Holton, membership/billing          Dauphin
     Aftercare Ministry,     administrator, serves on various
     Inc. (CRAM)             committees as needed for CRAM, which
                             provides pre-release and re-entry
                             services to prisoners and ex-offenders
                             with a vision that clients will
                             experience a successful return to the
    FGC&M Community         Roberta Thomas, documentation analyst,    Dauphin
     Outreach Feeding        volunteers with the FGC&M Community
     Program                 Outreach Feeding Program helping to
                             register people for the distribution
                             program, find food for the needy,
                             arrange for pickup and delivery to the
                             church and monitor the program
    Hershey Little League   Kevin Huddy, internal auditor,            Dauphin
     Baseball                volunteers to help the Hershey Little
                             League organize and build the fields
                             as needed. The program teaches the
                             fundamentals of baseball and the
                             importance of exercise and teamwork.
    Keystone Greyhounds GPA Betty Smeltz, dental claims reviewer,     Dauphin
                             volunteers for the Keystone
                             Greyhounds, which helps to find
                             responsible, loving homes for
                             greyhounds who no longer qualify for
                             the racetrack.
    Muscular Dystrophy      Beth Ann Moore, application developer,    Dauphin
     Association (MDA)       volunteers for the MDA with her
                             family, acting as ambassadors for
                             fundraising activities and helping to
                             assemble program packets.
    Lupus Foundation of     Scott Sturgis, facilities planning        Dauphin
     America, Central PA     analyst, and Lisa McNair, senior tax
     Chapter                 analyst, volunteer for the Harrisburg
                             branch of the Lupus Foundation,
                             helping to raise funds that are used
                             for patient education and resources.
    Ronald McDonald House   Linda DeLuca, application architect,      Dauphin
     of Hershey              volunteers at the Ronald McDonald
                             House of Hershey and helps with
                             household chores such as answering
                             phones, preparing rooms, cooking and
                             checking families in and out of the
    Susquehanna Service     Crystal Garman, documentation analyst,    Dauphin
     Dogs                    volunteers as a full time puppy raiser
                             for Susquehanna Service Dogs. She is
                             currently raising a puppy with the
                             goal that it will someday become a
                             service dog to help an individual live
                             a more independent life.
    Cub Scout Pack 263      Sheila Fasig, manager of central        Lancaster
                             underwriting- special accounts,
                             volunteers with Cub Scout Pack 263 as
                             the assistant cub master, den leader,
                             popcorn sale chair and a member of the
                             majority of event committees. The Cub
                             Scout program promotes citizenship,
                             teamwork and self-confidence.
    The Susquehanna Waldorf Tija Hilton-Phillips, regulatory        Lancaster
     School                  affairs manager, volunteers at The
                             Susquehanna Waldorf School where she
                             participates in the Parent
                             Association, the Development Committee
                             and the Auction Committee.
    Voices of Palmyra, Inc. Anastasia Cole, manager of group retail   Lebanon
                             marketing, is a member of Voices of
                             Palmyra, which provides entertainment
                             for the local communities.
    Boy Scouts of America,  Tony Beward, TCoE tech testing analyst,   Juniata
     Troop 160               volunteers as troop committee chairman
                             for Boy Scouts of America Troop 160.
                             The organization impacts the lives of
                             youth through developing character and
    Vita-Perry County       Kelly Bumbaugh, operations, volunteers      Perry
     Literacy Council        for the volunteer income tax agency
                             (VITA) providing free local, state and
                             federal income tax preparations.
    Ar-Ken Youth Football   Cheryl Hika, HPO quality reviewer,   Westmoreland
                             volunteers with the Ar-Ken Youth
                             Football organization, which provides
                             opportunities for children to stay
                             active and participate in organized
                             athletics. Hika began volunteering
                             with the organization because she saw
                             how it positively benefited her own
    Annie E. Sterline       Cathy Hughes, cost analyst, volunteers       York
     Library in Lewisberry,  at the Annie E. Sterline Library
     Inc.                    assisting with fundraising activities,
                             treasury reports, grant applications
                             and more.

About Highmark

As one of the leading health insurers in Pennsylvania, Highmark Inc.'s mission is to provide access to affordable, quality health care enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. Based in Pittsburgh, Highmark serves 4.6 million people through the company's health care benefits business. Highmark contributes millions of dollars to help keep quality health care programs affordable and to support community-based programs that work to improve people's health. Highmark exerts an enormous economic impact throughout Pennsylvania. A recent study states that Highmark's positive impact exceeded $2.5 billion. The company provides the resources to give its members a greater hand in their health.

Highmark Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visit

SOURCE Highmark Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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