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Dominion East Ohio Distributes $100,000 in Community Impact Awards

CLEVELAND, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion East Ohio awarded $100,000 to 12 winners today in its annual Community Impact Awards competition, co-sponsored by Dominion East Ohio and Inside Business Magazine.

A panel of community judges selected the winners from 85 entries submitted by Northeast Ohio organizations in the 16th annual awards competition. The award recognizes cities or organizations that have made a positive impact in the community. Funding for the grants comes from the Dominion Foundation, which is dedicated to the economic, physical and social health of the communities served by Dominion companies.

"We applaud the outstanding efforts of everyone involved in these award-winning community projects," said Anne E. Bomar, senior vice president and general manager, Dominion East Ohio. "In these tough economic times, they have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve, and in the communities where we all live and work."

Since 1996, Dominion East Ohio has distributed more than $1 million in Community Impact Awards to organizations throughout the company's service area.

Community Impact Award winners include:

Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber received $12,000 for V & M Star: A Pipeline to Success. The chamber mobilized and coordinated the efforts of appropriate officials to support any and all efforts needed to land the project. The project is a new, one million-square foot small-diameter steel rolling mill. The mill is expected to create 400-plus construction jobs and 350 manufacturing jobs once construction is complete. It is the largest investment in Mahoning Valley since the General Motors Lordstown assembly plant 35 years ago.

Akron Urban League, Kent State University, and Akron SCORE won $12,000 for Partnership for the Minority Business Accelerator (PMBA) program, which provides training, mentoring and support services to minority-owned companies in Summit, Medina and Portage counties. The year-long program aims to increase the number of small to midsize minority-owned firms in the region, create awareness of supplier diversity programs and develop shared best practices.

Summer on the Cuyahoga earned a $12,000 award for its paid internship program--that introduces college students and recent graduates to Cleveland's professional and social opportunities. The program recruits young people from CWRU, Colgate, Cornell, Smith College and the University of Chicago. The program also combats poor perceptions of the city by showcasing its professional, civic and personal offerings.

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) received $12,000 for A Smaller Stronger Neighborhood, a project that encourages investment in Youngstown's Idora neighborhood by renovating vacant homes and lots. Nearly 40 homes already have undergone a makeover, and the YNDC has turned 120 vacant lots into community gardens, side yards for neighbors and an expansion of Mill Creek Park.

The Trust for Public Land won $8,000 for its Park for People Cleveland: Phase I. Over the last 16 months, the Trust for Public Land has successfully engaged in collaborative partnerships that have been instrumental in connecting the Towpath Trail to downtown Cleveland, and reclaiming the Flats for ecological and economic revitalizations. Specifically, its Parks for People focuses on ensuring a high quality of life and park equity for people living and working in downtown Cleveland, and nearby Ohio City and Tremont.

The North Union Farmers Market (NUFM) earned $8,000 for its Cleveland Garlic Festival. NUFM, already known as a champion for locally produced foods by connecting certified producers with consumers through a network of markets, held its initial garlic festival in September 2010 at Shaker Square. The event drew more than 4,200 people, and 34 vendors raised $87,000 for the farmers market.

Cleveland Botanical Garden's Green Corps initiative earned the organization $8,000. The project helps vulnerable Cleveland youth break the cycle of poverty that plagues many inner-city families. It does this by providing teens with real-world educational, vocational, social competence, and life skills that promote academic and workforce success and future self-sufficiency.

Treez Please/Lien Forward Ohio received $8,000 for A Community Reforestation Project which brought new life to Youngstown's Brier Hill Neighborhood, and sparked the push for a green transformation along state Route 422 to the edge of Youngstown's central business district. Treez Please has been instrumental in replacing blighted property with green areas. The group has planted 100 trees and wants to educate residents on the importance of trees.

The Campus District, Inc. earned $5,000 for The Collaborative Campus Planning Project, which is a community engagement and neighborhood design initiative launched in 2010, with funding from Cuyahoga Community College Foundation. The seven-week initiative to engage and re-imagine the neighborhood was designed to get stakeholders involved in the area around the college, and to design a sustainable neighborhood plan that takes advantage of the area's positives.

Tremont West Development Corporation won $5,000 for its Tremont Parking and Bioretention Area, which is turning city-owned eyesores into innovative spots for parking cars and planting crops. From it also came a bioretention area, which captures rainwater runoff, treats it naturally and prevents contaminants from entering the sewer system. As a result, 275 plants were planted and 32 new public parking spaces were ready for customers of the various businesses along that stretch.

Beatitude House earned $5,000 for the Beatitude House Green Clean, which is helping women become financially stable. The for-profit cleaning business employs seven women from Beatitude House, and three interns who have completed training and are working toward becoming regular employees. They clean homes and offices about four hours a day, three to four days a week.

The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition was awarded $5,000 for its Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway. The project has made significant progress toward the preservation and development of the natural, cultural and recreational resources along the 110 miles of the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway, impacting communities in Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas Counties. The Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway project has impacted more than 2.5 million visitors annually.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.

SOURCE Dominion East Ohio



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