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Highmark Inc. Awards $7,500 to 15 Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations
Date:9/9/2009

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Highmark Inc. recently awarded $7,500 in grants to 15 nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania and beyond to assist programs supported by its employees' volunteerism efforts. The grants were awarded through Highmark's Employee Volunteer Grant Program, which reinforces the company's appreciation for employees who volunteer their time and services to help local organizations carry out their missions in the community.

Highmark recognizes that its employees know best the most pressing needs of the agencies where they volunteer. Through this program, employee volunteers are invited to apply for a $500 grant to support the institute with which they volunteer.

The grants are generally given to organizations that do not already receive significant contributions through Highmark's corporate giving program. Nonprofits are eligible to receive one grant per year through the program.

The following organizations received grants through Highmark's Employee Volunteer Grant Program during the second quarter of 2009.

      Nonprofit
     Organization            Volunteer and Activity                 County
     ------------            ----------------------                 ------

    Children's Grief   Joan Punt, senior account executive,       Albuquerque,
    Center of New      volunteers to raise awareness and funds     N.M.
    Mexico             to support new and current programs
                       specifically designed for children as they
                       grieve the death of a loved one.

    Greater Pittsburgh Ciro Dalia, service representative, assists  Allegheny
    Community Food     with food collections, coordinating
    Bank               harvesting events with local farms and
                       distributing food and grocery products in
                       order to supply soup kitchens, food
                       pantries, shelters and other agencies that
                       help those who are less fortunate.

    Society for        Lisa Newman, eMarketing consultant, serves   Allegheny
    Progressive        as a co-chair for the organization's
    Supranuclear       fundraising efforts in the Pittsburgh
    Palsy              region, which helps generate a greater
                       public awareness about Progressive
                       Supranuclear Palsy.

    Historical Society Jody Schmeltz, administrative assistant,     Cumberland
    of East Pennsboro  provides assistance with processing
                       archives, managing finances, giving
                       presentations and guiding tours in the
                       region.

    The Volunteer      Jill Snyder, community initiatives           Cumberland
    Center             specialist, serves as the chair of the
                       advisory council where she oversees the
                       coordination of the Barn Party fundraiser
                       and Volunteer of the Year event. The
                       Volunteer Center helps match individuals
                       with volunteerism opportunities in their
                       communities.

    BARAK,             Julia Mallory, community outreach            Dauphin
    Incorporated       representative, is a board member for
                       BARAK, Inc., which encourages at-risk youth
                       to participate in creative arts programming
                       that helps to revitalize the community.

    Boy Scouts of      Georgianna Sue Neufer, application support   Dauphin
    America            analyst, volunteers for the Boy Scouts of
                       America by transporting scouts to various
                       locations, participating in fundraising
                       opportunities and promoting volunteerism
                       for local organizations.

    Progressive        Diane Schrum, application developer II,      Dauphin
    Education of       assists with the organizations' production
    Children in the    of the Celebration of Children show held
    Arts Network,      each July, which showcases local youth
    Inc.               talent.

    Philhaven          Bob Lewis, premium accounting analyst, is a  Lebanon
    Behavioral Health  member of the board of directors and
    Care Services      assists with the organization's efforts to
                       provide healing, hope and reconciliation
                       for children and their families who are
                       unable to access mental health services.

    ISMRD-Rock4Dakotah Julie Leanne Fuller, credentialing           Los
    Local Chapter      specialist, volunteers to help families      Angeles,
                       cope with storage diseases by generating     Calif.
                       awareness for the disease and raising funds
                       in the local community.

    Child Care         Jane Stone, community initiatives           Northampton
    Information        specialist, volunteers to help provide
    Services, Inc.     quality child care information to families
                       in the region.

    Girl Scouts of     Teri Aunspach, technical business analyst,   Perry
    America            volunteers with Girl Scout Troop 626
                       helping young girls become involved as
                       valuable members of the community.

    Mt. Gilead United  Elizabeth Stone, privacy and security        Perry
    Methodist Church   consultant, volunteers during a summer camp
                       to work on various repair and construction
                       projects that will benefit individuals and
                       families in Perry and Juniata counties.

    Paw Prints Dog     Jennifer Rice, associate business analyst    Perry
    Sanctuary          HPO, cares for dogs of Pennsylvania
                       military personnel who have been deployed
                       and special needs or senior dogs in the
                       region.

    Keystone Area      Michael R. Wolfe, membership and billing     York
    Council Boy        administrator, volunteers as a charter
    Scouts of America  representative serving as a liaison between
                       Paddletown St. Pauls UMC and the Boy Scout
                       pack, providing them with a safe and
                       healthy place to meet.

About Highmark Inc.

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 4.8 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 www.highmark.com.


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SOURCE Highmark Inc.
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