Excelsior's LMC works tirelessly for literacy
     Excelsior Chapter's Buffalo-Niagara Region Life Member Club (LMC) has been volunteering for more than 13 years at Project FLIGHT (Family Literacy for Intergenerational Growth & Home Teaching). Seventeen life members and partners meet once a week to sort, stamp and box books for Buffalo, NY, schools. The chapter handles about 5,000 books a week.
     Project FLIGHT is devoted to promoting literacy in children from pre-K through high school. A yearly community book drive, "Give a Book, Touch a Life," nets 150,000 to 200,000 books. The donations are distributed to schools and other non-profit organizations. Since its inception 13 years ago, more than 1.4 million books have been donated and distributed to over 1,210 school and agencies. Project FLIGHT has also created or distributed to 539 on-site libraries.
     Along with its Project FLIGHT commitment, the Buffalo-Niagara Region LMC is working to ensure that every child has a pathway out of poverty by having a book of his own, being able to read it at grade level, and is living in a literate environment at home.

Well-deserved recognition
    Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi presented a citation to the Paumanok Chapter for its work with homeless veterans. Mary Ann Wiese (left), Paumanok Chapter Partner Chair, and Lorraine Gettis, Paumanok Chapter President, accepted the citation on behalf of the chapter.
The "Pioneer Press" rolls!
     The TelecomPioneers Association is now publishing a quarterly newsletter. The first issue was mailed to your home in February. The six-page newsletter features stories on international Pioneering initiatives, reminders of upcoming deadlines, and two pages of Verizon TelecomPioneers specific activities. The second issue will be published in May. After receiving feedback about the first two issues, the TPA will determine if this medium of communication is effective. Please e-mail the editor, kristinem@telecompioneers.org with your comments.
Blinkies - Back by popular demand!
     You may now purchase the same Blinkies you saw at the annual conference! These 2" blinking Pioneer logos are battery operated with three blinking LED blue lights. What better way to advertise your Pioneer membership! Price is $5.00 each plus shipping or 5 for $20.00 plus shipping.
The Life Member spotlight is on... Betty Rewkowski!
     The Excelsior Chapter's Leatherstocking Club/Council salutes Betty Rewkowski. Her continuous work throughout the past several years is amazing. Betty has contributed so much to her community. She has served as president and vice president of both the chapter and council. Betty was editor of the chapter newsletter for more than 11 years. She was chairperson for community service (during which time she created new forms to be used and set up training), naturalization ceremony (which hosts an event to welcome new citizens into our area), and membership (which includes updating retiree information). She has been a very important part of Talking Books for many years, which enables the visually impaired to enjoy reading. She has worked on Christmas Projects, map paintings, fundraising, hug a bears, lap robes, and so much more.
     Betty is currently co-chair of the group rep committee (updating the fellowship list to keep retirees in touch with one another). One of Betty's most valuable gifts is her ability to make everyone feel good about themselves. She is always complimenting or thanking others for the work they do. In reality, it is she who graces us all.

Liberty Bell's HQ Council supports veterans
     Over the past three years, Liberty Bell's Headquarters Council has sponsored bingo games and birthday parties at the Philadelphia Veterans Nursing Home Care Unit. Under the original leadership of Camilla Rice, the project has successfully evolved into a year-round labor of love and respect for the veterans.
     To date, the Headquarters Council has supported 10 major events at the nursing facility. Members have volunteered more than 1,300 hours at the facility and donated over 3,500 personal care items. Each activity includes more than 100 hours of creating gift packages as game prizes and coordinating the donations of lap robs, baseball caps, socks and Tshirts. The gift packages have to contain specific personal care items requested by the facility's management to ensure the safety of the residents while meeting their needs. Also, careful consideration must be given to the food and beverages to meet the residents' dietary requirements and restrictions.
     Fran Spagna, Headquarters Council President, said, "It is very rewarding and humbling to share some quality time with these veterans. Many of the men and women do not have visitors, so our visits become very special to them, and in turn, we become part of their family."
     (Pictured l-r: Eleanor Brown, Leroy Brown, Marie Yotsko, Fran Spagna, and Linda Kane-Jones.)

Earth Day is April 22
     Still searching for some ideas to celebrate Earth Day? How about a No Waste Lunch Day? Encourage fellow employees to bring lunches containing reusable or recylable containers, cloth napkins and reusable utensils. Or, how about an Aluminum Can and Bottle Collection? You can donate the money you raised to support local wildlife and environmental organizations. Distribute posters and flyers on recycling throughout your building. For more ideas, visit www.earthday.org. Earth Day staff will even send you "Earth Day in a Box!"

Dates to Remember!
April 15-17  National Youth Service Days, POLF
April 21-23  Group Meeting
April 22       Earth Day
April 23-29   International Volunteer Week
April 23-29   2006 Telecom Challenge
April 30        Pioneer Day at Hershey Park
May 6          Join Hands Day
August 2-3   Beep Baseball Tournament in Cleveland, OH

Interested in becoming a TelecomPioneer?
    If you'd like to join the Verizon TelecomPioneers, go to http://www.verizonpioneers.org/ChptrJoinmap.htm. If you have any questions, please contact Stephen Kohn, vice president - Verizon/Telcordia/Frontier TelecomPioneers, at stephenkohn@verizon.net.

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We look forward to your questions and comments. Please send them to editor@verizonpioneers.org. Our Estore manager is also curious about what products you recommend we stock in our online store. Please e-mail him at estore@verizonpioneers.org.
Please visit our website at www.verizonpioneers.org.

April 1, 2006