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Philadelphia Zoo Welcomes First Niagara Bank and Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA to Announce an Exciting Youth Mentoring Initiative

Date Posted: April 18, 2012

(Philadelphia, PA) – On Saturday, April 14thmore than 200 mentors (“Bigs”) and mentees (“Littles”) from Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Southeastern PA will enjoy a day at the Philadelphia Zoo, on behalf of the Zoo and First Niagara Bank. In addition to a day filled with games and activities, they will also be on hand to support the official kickoff of BBBS and First Niagara’s partnership. As part of its Mentoring Matters initiative First Niagara has pledged $150,000 to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Through this support, BBBS Southeastern PA will be able to connect 50 new mentoring matches in 2012 through its community-based program, where there are currently more than 1,500 children in the region waiting to be enrolled. In addition, this financial support will also help fund campaigns aimed at raising awareness of BBBS and its programs, as well as a regional summit on Mentoring that will bring together politicians, educators, and community leaders to share ideas, best practices and discuss the positive impacts of professional mentoring.“First Niagara Bank and Big Brothers Big Sisters share a passion for building stronger communities and supporting youth,” stated Marlene L. Olshan, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA. “We are very grateful to be partnering with them so more children in our region can reach their full potential.”

As a community bank, First Niagara puts a high emphasis on philanthropic giving and supporting the communities and neighborhoods where they do business. At the heart of the Bank’s philanthropic mission is Mentoring Matters. Now in its fifth year, First Niagara’s Mentoring Matters initiative has provided more than $3.25 million dollars to support mentoring efforts throughout Pennsylvania, New York and New England. “For more than 100 years Big Brothers Big Sisters have been positively impacting the lives of children and empowering them to succeed,” said Bob Kane, First Niagara Regional President.“At First Niagara, we believe very strongly in the importance of organized mentoring programs and the positive impact they have on our children and young adults. When you see the care and effort that Big Brothers Big Sisters place on maintaining and fostering these critical relationships, it comes as no surprise that they enjoy such a high rate of success. We are so proud of this partnership,”

About Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania
Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA is a donor and volunteer-supported organization that enriches, encourages and empowers children to reach their highest potential through safe, one-to-one mentoring relationships. Volunteering as a Big Brother or Big Sister is about making a measurable difference in a child’s life by sharing new perspectives and experiences; in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, more than 3,500 children annually are more successful socially and academically because of the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA. Learn more at 215.790.9200 or

About First Niagara
First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community oriented bank that currently has approximately $33 billion in assets, $19 billion in deposits, more than 330 branches and 5,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. When First Niagara completes its acquisition of the HSBC branches, expected to occur in the second quarter of 2012, the regional bank will have an enhanced leadership position in the Northeast, with nearly 430 locations, $30 billion in total deposits, $38 billion in assets and more than 6,000 employees serving consumers, businesses and communities across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The transaction will also provide First Niagara with number-one retail market share across Upstate New York, virtually doubling its number of branches in New York State to more than 200, stretching from Buffalo to Albany and down through the Hudson Valley. For more information, visit

About The Philadelphia Zoo:
America’s first zoo and one of the region’s foremost conservation organizations, the Philadelphia Zoo is home to more than 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. The Zoo, fulfilling its mission of conservation, science, education and recreation, supports and engages in conservation efforts to protect endangered species around the world. The Philadelphia region’s leading family destination, the Zoo welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors last year. The Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information on the Philadelphia Zoo, as well as to purchase and print tickets online, visit us at Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.


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