2014

Bank of the West Names Finalists for 2012 Philanthropy Awards Public to select winner of $50,000 grant via Facebook voting

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West today announced the three nonprofits that are in the running to win a $50,000 cash grant in Bank of the West's third annual award for Innovation in Philanthropy.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120418/MM90603LOGO)

The three finalists were chosen from over 200 nominees in the 19 western states in which the bank operates. The two runners-up will each receive a $10,000 cash grant.

The nonprofit winner will be determined through public voting on the bank's Facebook page: http://GoWe.st/Philanthropy2012. From October 19 – 31, the general public is encouraged to view the video profile for each finalist, consider the organizations' mission and innovative community work, then vote for the nonprofit they would like to see awarded a $50,000 cash grant. Winners will be announced at the Bank of the West Philanthropy Awards celebration in San Francisco on November 13.

"We look forward to the voting input from our Facebook community and members of the public," said Dian Quinn, Community Affairs manager at Bank of the West. "Each of these nonprofits exemplifies a spirit of innovation and has demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals as well as the greater community. We're proud to support organizations that have the potential to create long-term, sustainable change while addressing critical societal issues."

The three finalists below were chosen by an independent selection committee of foundation leaders.

Black Girls CODE (BGC), based in San Francisco, recognizes that minority students, especially girls, opt-out of study in math and science as early as elementary school, and as a result are significantly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in post-secondary institutions. BGC launched a pilot program in 2011 to introduce girls ages 7 to 17 to computer programs in a supportive and engaging environment. Since its first class of 12 a year ago, BCG has reached more than 400 students in eight cities.

Hunger Free Colorado, based in Centennial, Colorado, helps individuals and families across the state who are struggling to make ends meet and who might be forced to choose between buying adequate nutritious food or paying for basic needs such as rent or transportation. Founded in 2009, the organization works to increase access to food, specifically for children in families that qualify for but may not necessarily have access to food assistance programs. Hunger Free Colorado works with school districts and community-based programs to increase participation in school breakfasts, afterschool meals and summer food programs.

Kitchen Table Advisors, based in Mountain View, California, estimates that 60 percent of small farms do not survive their first five years. The nonprofit focuses on established, small-scale, low-income sustainable farmers in Northern California, helping these green entrepreneurs succeed in the business world. The organization's goal is to strengthen the foundation of regional food systems, maintain strong, local economies and foster growth of environmentally sustainable businesses. Kitchen Table Advisors, founded in 2012, supports farmers with strategic business counseling such as financial pitfalls to avoid, key financial data to monitor and assistance developing their financial plans.

About Bank of the West
Founded in 1874, $62.7 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.

SOURCE Bank of the West



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