CHARLESTON -– Gov. Joe Manchin will honor two Kanawha County businesses for their outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service.

InSITE and Verizon West Virginia will receive a Governor's Service Award on July 16 at the Charleston Civic Center at a banquet held as part of Faces of Leadership, the annual state volunteerism conference.

InSITE and Verizon West Virginia receive their award in the business category.

Presented annually since 1995, the Governor's Service Awards honors youth, young adults, adults, seniors, families, organizations and businesses who exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia.

InSITE, which stands for Institute Safety Improvement Through Employees, is a unique employee-driven volunteer program combining the critical need for workplace safety with the equally critical need of providing food to families that do not always have enough to eat.

In June of 2004, Bayer CropScience Institute employees began working their off-hours to sort and package food for the United Food Operation, a 26-year-old organization serving food to approximately 30,000 people each year through 13 food pantries in Kanawha and Putnam counties. When the United Food Operation needed a warehouse for food storage, Bayer employees approached Bayer management, which agreed to donate heated storage for the organization and an additional room for future use.

Verizon West Virginia takes volunteerism and corporate giving to a new level.

In 2007, the Verizon Foundation gave approximately 365 nonprofits in West Virginia more than $625,000 to help improve literacy skills, create new approaches to technology-based learning and help domestic violence victims rebuild their lives.

Through the Verizon Volunteers program, more than 315 organizations in West Virginia received nearly $350,000 in 2007. The Verizon Volunteers program rewards employees for their community service efforts by supplying matching donations and grants to the nonprofits that Verizon employees support with their time and money.

In 2007, Verizon employees volunteered nearly 16,000 hours to nonprofit organizations throughout West Virginia. Employees and executives serve as board members for a variety of organizations and help coordinate events like the annual Verizon Pasta Dinner for the Charleston Distance Run, the annual YMCA Corporate Cup competition and the March of Dimes charity walk.

The Governor's Service Awards are administered by the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service to honor outstanding individuals, organizations and businesses solving community problems through volunteer service. A panel of volunteer judges, including past awardees, choose the recipients on the basis of achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, innovation and impact of service.

Other recipients of the 2008 Governor's Service Awards include, by category:

* Lifetime Achievement: Harold "Kitty" Wilson, Calhoun County; William "Sarge" McGhee, Wyoming County; John "Bill" Dillon, Summers County

* Youth: Emily Boggs of Charleston

* Adult: Karen Haynes, Putnam County

* Senior: Laura Sevy, Fayette County; G. Lee Fisher, Braxton County

* Organization: Jonathon Powell Hope Foundation, Mercer County

For tickets to the awards banquet, or information about the conference, contact Moya Doneghy at (304) 558-0111 or 1-800-WV-HELPS, or by e-mail at mdoneghy@mail.state.wv.us.

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