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SOCIETY/AMERITRUST GREEN MACHINE TRANSACTIONS TO SUPPORT RED CROSS NATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF

 SOCIETY/AMERITRUST GREEN MACHINE TRANSACTIONS
 TO SUPPORT RED CROSS NATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF
 CLEVELAND, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Society Bank and Ameritrust will help replenish The American Red Cross' National Disaster Relief Fund by encouraging its customers to use their automated teller machine (ATM) cards at the banks' Green Machines more often during June.
 Society will contribute to the National Disaster Relief Fund for each ATM transaction during June. The effort will be promoted in Society and Ameritrust branches and at their Green Machine locations. Ameritrust customers trigger a donation when using their Asset cards at either Society or Ameritrust Green Machines.
 The initiative is part of a national effort to mitigate a potentially devastating shortfall in the amount of Red Cross funds available to provide disaster relief services in cases such as tornados, hurricanes, fires, floods, explosions, chemical spills and transportation accidents. These funds typically are used for food, clothing, shelter and other emergency assistance for disaster victims.
 But over the past year, more than 55,000 such disasters -- including 8,000 requiring assistance from the Red Cross' national headquarters -- have drained relief funds to a dangerously low level. A campaign has been launched to raise more than $30 million nationally, including $500,000 in greater Cleveland, to cover the current shortfall and rebuild the fund for the next fiscal year.
 "The Red Cross' disaster relief capability is something we have come to take for granted," said Robert W. Gillespie, Society chairman and chief executive officer. "Whenever there is someone in need of help, the Red Cross is always there. Society is committed to ensuring the Red Cross has the resources to maintain these vital services now and in the years to come."
 Steve D. Bullock, chief executive officer and manager of the Red Cross Greater Cleveland Chapter, said Society's contribution is important because of the leadership it demonstrates. "The Red Cross receives no government funds. So high-visibility, creative donation mechanisms, such as Society and Ameritrust ATM transactions, provide new and effective ways to involve the private sector," he said.
 "At Society, we have worked closely with the Red Cross for years," Gillespie said. "Our employees volunteer and give blood. We have supported various Red Cross programs with dollars and other resources. This effort, however, is so important, we are enlisting the help of our customers. When they use their ATM cards, they not only will be triggering a donation, but raising their own awareness of the need to contribute to Red Cross disaster relief efforts."
 In addition to this program, Gillespie has volunteered to head a statewide disaster relief fundraising drive during June. Stanley C. Gault, chairman and chief executive of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, is vice chairman of the campaign to generate contributions from individuals and corporations across Ohio.
 Further information about the National Disaster Relief Fund can be obtained by calling the Red Cross during business hours at 216-431-3083.
 -0- 6/1/92
 /CONTACT: Nancy Carlucci of the American Red Cross, 216-431-3034 or 216-431-3010 after hours; or John Fuller of Society Bank, 216-689-8140/ CO: Society Corporation; American Red Cross ST: Ohio IN: SU:


KK -- CL015 -- 5769 06/01/92 14:02 EDT
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Date:Jun 1, 1992
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