Cox Announces Five Finalists for Virginia's 2011 Cox Conserves Heroes Program

$10,000 to be donated to local environmental nonprofits; online voting through April 4

Mar 07, 2011, 09:00 ET from Cox Communications

CHESAPEAKE, Va., March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cox Communications, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land (TPL), today announced finalists for Virginia's 2011 Cox Conserves Heroes program.

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The winning Hero, to be chosen by an online public vote, will be awarded $5,000 to donate to the environmental nonprofit of his or her choice. The four finalists each will receive $1,250 to donate to their nonprofits of choice.

The public is being asked to vote now through April 4 at Videos featuring the finalists and their conservation projects will help voters learn more about each individual. Virginia's 2011 Cox Conserves Hero will be announced in mid April.

The five finalists and their environmental nonprofit of choice are as follows:

Chris Clifford

Due to Clifford's efforts, Gloucester residents have new fields and park amenities to enjoy. He helped construct fifteen athletic fields at local schools and parks, as well as a park entrance road and a wildlife habitat pond. Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: Park Partners, Inc.

Dan Baxter

Due to Baxter's commitment, the Clean Community Commission's Helping Hands program is beautifying Virginia Beach. In one year alone, he volunteered 250 hours to ensure that Virginia Beach remains a livable, beautiful, clean community. Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission

Lillie Gilbert

For more than a decade, Gilbert has been championing outdoor recreation opportunities. Her extensive outdoor knowledge also led to the creation of educational signage to engage visitors. Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: Lynnhaven River Now

Thomas Guss

What began as an Eagle Scout project to cleanup litter became a labor of love for Guss. Through the planting of 1,000 pine seedlings, his project provides a natural filter for rainwater runoff into Chatham Pond and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The treeline restoration also increases beautification and provides a wildlife habitat to many small creatures. Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: Newport News Green Foundation

Charlie Harrelson

Harrelson is the driving force behind preserving Pleasure House Point, the last undeveloped land on the Lynnhaven River Watershed. In addition to his grassroots efforts, he has conducted extensive water quality and habitat research and recruited fellow students to help protect the area.  Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Foundation

"These nominations reflect a wide variety of conservation and educational programs by impressive community volunteers. The environmental heroes through the Cox Conserves Heroes program are collectively doing great things for the environment in the region. And we are so very proud to put forward this effort in support of the many initiatives being honored," says Gary McCollum, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Cox Virginia.

Cox Conserves Heroes Judges

The finalists were selected by a distinguished judging panel of local leaders. They were challenged with reviewing a very wide field of nominees and selecting the top applicants based on their contributions to the preservation and protection of the environment.

The judges were:

  • Mayor Will Sessoms, Virginia Beach
  • Stephanie Hood, Casey Auto Group
  • Mike Kuhns, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
  • Debora Mosher, Norfolk Conservation Committee
  • Joycelyn Spight, C&F Bank, Peninsula
  • Ted Williams, Cox Communications

Sponsored in Virginia by Casey Auto Group, Cox Conserves Heroes honors individuals who are helping to create, preserve or enhance outdoor places for everyone to enjoy.

The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications, to honor everyday conservationists. The program also runs in Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook.

About Cox Communications

Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet, telephone and wireless services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable TV company, Cox serves more than 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and new media advertising.

Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in cable telephone and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces. For seven years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; for five years, Cox has ranked among DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity, and the company holds a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at and

About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL completed close to 4,000 land conservation projects in 47 states, protecting 2.8 million acres. TPL has helped states and communities craft and pass over 380 ballot measures, generating $36 billion in new conservation-related funding. TPL began working in Virginia in 1987, and since then has completed more than 40 projects, protecting 18,000 acres of open space.

About Casey Automotive Group

Casey Auto Group was founded in 1958 as a single franchise dealership by the late Arthur M. Casey. Today the Casey organization is still a family owned and operated business headed by Arthur S. Casey, and represents 9 new car franchises:  Chevrolet, Honda, BMW, Volkswagen, Subaru, Mazda, Toyota, Scion and Kia all located on the Peninsula.  

SOURCE Cox Communications