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PSE&G PRESENTS GRANTS TO COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

 NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of the volunteer efforts of 17 special people who have helped to brighten young lives and communities across New Jersey, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) has presented $37,250 in grants to community service organizations.
 At a Feb. 23 reception at the Ramada Renaissance in East Brunswick, PSE&G honored participants in the company's "We Caught The Spirit" employee volunteer service recognition program. The program featured the presentation of grants totaling $37,250 to community organizations served by PSE&G employee volunteers. Officials from many of the community service organizations attended the event which honored 17 PSE&G employees as "We Caught The Spirit" monthly, quarterly or annual award winners.
 In a special tribute to the late Elizabeth (Betty) Flood, PSE&G presented the Partnership Against Illiteracy with a $10,000 award to be used to develop a literacy program for NUABA House -- a Newark community service center Flood was establishing in conjunction with the National United Affiliation Beverage Association (NUABA).
 While working full-time as a telecommunications assistant at PSE&G, Flood operated an after-school program for more than 300 children. In 1991, Flood's volunteerism efforts were recognized by President George Bush who presented her with a President's Volunteer Action Award.
 In addition, E. James Ferland, PSE&G's chairman and chief executive officer, presented to Robert C. Kocak of Brick, the annual $10,000 award named for Flood: The Betty Flood Award. Kocak's grant will be given to Vietnam Veterans of America in Ocean County. Kocak is also the recipient of a $3,000 "We Caught The Spirit" quarterly award. In 1992, Kocak, received a $750 "We Caught The Spirit" monthly award.
 Kocak, a street lamp inspector at the Palisades Electric Division in Secaucus, is a founder of Chapter 200, Vietnam Veterans of America. He has served the chapter as president, vice president, board member, State Council delegate, newsletter editor and as a committee chairman since its 1986 founding. Some of Kocak's accomplishments include: securing a state program that treats veterans and their families for problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder; establishing a Christmas program which provides food, clothing and gifts to needy veteran families; and designing a college scholarship program for veteran children.
 Ferland said the goal of the "We Caught The Spirit" program is to honor the exemplary achievements of PSE&G employee volunteers. Each year, the program recognizes employees on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
 "The dedication and care that these employees bring to thousands of people in communities throughout the state should be rewarded with more than mere words," said Ferland. "For this and many other reasons, in 1992, we introduced the We Caught The Spirit' Volunteer Recognition Program. At PSE&G, we view volunteerism as an integral part of good corporate citizenship. Our employees have made volunteering a strong and proud tradition since the company's inception."
 "A recent employee survey indicated that more than 70 percent of our nearly 13,000 employees engage in volunteer activities," continued Ferland. "We estimate the value of the services they provide to be in excess of $10 million annually."
 "The We Caught The Spirit' award recipients represent the best of this tradition of volunteerism," Ferland continued. "These men and women serve as excellent examples and role models to their colleagues at work and their neighbors at home. They have found different and creative ways to express their concern for others and, in doing so, they've enriched all of us."
 "We Caught The Spirit" recipients are selected by an independent panel of representatives from New Jersey's volunteer community. The panel chairperson is Elaine Sterling, vice president of the Volunteer Center of Essex County. Selection criteria is based on a review of a Statement of Volunteer Activities submitted by each nominee. The statement outlines the volunteer's area of focus and also addresses need, scope and activity, accomplishment, approach and the uniqueness/value of the employee's volunteer service.
 Harold W. Borden, PSE&G's senior vice president-external affairs, presented plaques and $3,000 grants to two quarterly award winners -- Kocak and Judy Organas, a senior staff rate analyst in the marketing department. The $3,000 grants will be given to the non-profit community service organizations served by Kocak and Organas.
 Organas, a resident of Garfield, volunteers as a baby-holder in the pediatric unit of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson. In addition, she handles errands and facilitates admitting and discharging patients. In 1992, Organas also received a $750 "We Caught The Spirit" monthly award.
 The 15 "We Caught The Spirit" monthly award winners will receive certificates and $750 grants to be used by non-profit organizations. They are as follows:
 -- John J. Besold of Bedminster, purchasing agent in the purchasing department in Newark, for the Bedminster Township Board of Education's Homework Hotline.
 -- Gail M. Brown of Clifton, an executive secretary in the marketing services department in Newark, for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
 -- Neal E. Caldwell of Elmer, a principal staff administrator in the nuclear department in Hancocks Bridge, for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Salem County.
 -- Mary Ann A. Carlson of Runnemede, a correspondence secretary in the claims department in Moorestown, for Cathedral Kitchen in Camden.
 -- Peter N. Franchino of Nutley, a control operator at Bergen Generating Station in Ridgefield, for the Nutley Volunteer Emergency and Rescue Squad.
 -- Guy M. Griscom of Pennsville, a machinist in the nuclear department in Hancocks Bridge, for the Pennsville School Board of Education.
 -- Gloria P. Holt of Princeton Junction, a senior marketing information analyst in the marketing services department in Newark, for the Princeton Area Junior Woman's Club and the Nassau Presbyterian Church.
 -- Daniel R. Kerwin of Helmetta, an assistant to the office manager at the New Brunswick Customer Service Center in New Brunswick, for the Boy Scout Council of Monroe Township.
 -- William J. Lorenzetti of South Somerville, a chief lineman at New Brunswick Electric Division's Bridgewater headquarters, for the Hillsborough Volunteer Rescue Squad.
 -- Carol M. Marcelli-Cioban of Nutley, a career development manager in the human resources planning and development department in Newark, for the Girl Scout Council of Greater Essex County.
 -- Anthony Novo of Montville, a maintenance planning coordinator at Linden Generating Station in Linden, for the Association for Retarded Citizens of Essex County.
 -- Vian R. Miller of Willingboro, first-class street mechanic, Oakland Gas District, for the Teen Information Center administered by St. Philip's Ministry of the United Methodist Church, in Paterson.
 -- Thomas M. O'Brien of Willingboro, a meter station supervisor in the system engineering and technology support department in Harrison, for One Day At A Time of Burlington County.
 -- Brian M. Richards of Pennsville, an engineer at Hope Creek Generating station in Hancocks Bridge, for The Jimmy Fund.
 -- Carolyn S. Van Doren of Newark, a human resource consultant in the human resources department in Newark, for the Girl Scout Council of Greater Essex County.
 -0- 2/24/93
 /CONTACT: Priscilla Suber Brown, corporate communications of PSE&G, 201-430-6021/


CO: Public Service Electric and Gas Company ST: New Jersey IN: UTI SU:

CK-PS -- NY032 -- 9937 02/24/93 12:56 EST
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