DENVER, Oct. 8, 2007 - The Qwest Foundation today announced the winners of the Qwest Community Champion Award, recognizing the outstanding volunteer work of Qwest employees through community service, bravery or heroism outside the scope of their job.

The Qwest Community Champion program awarded $5,000 grants to 20 nonprofit organizations in the name of the Qwest employee. Each recipient received a plaque and the $5,000 grant to be donated to the nonprofit community organization of their choice --three recipients chose to split their grant money equally between two organizations.

For example, one of the grants was awarded to Chris Tysdale, a Qwest network technician in Minnesota. Tysdale rescued a drowning friend after his snowmobile broke through the ice of a frozen lake.

Tysdale chose to donate his $5,000 grant to the Morristown (Minn.) Volunteer Fire Department, which was the first group on the scene after Tysdale called 9-1-1. The fire department plans to use the funds to purchase gas detectors and to fund fire prevention safety programs in the community.

"The Qwest Foundation is pleased to sponsor a program that recognizes the outstanding efforts our employees put forth in the communities we serve - because they're also the communities we live in," said Ric Padilla, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Qwest. "The Community Champion Award is one simple way to demonstrate that we recognize and reward the Spirit of Service in our communities."

The Community Champion grants are awarded to Qwest employees who are nominated by co-workers or supervisors. The nominated employees have contributed thousands of hours to their communities this year. The winners represented nine states and an extraordinary range of interests:

  • James Patrick, Glendale, Ariz. - Valley of the Sun United Way
  • Brandon Di Maria, Tucson, Ariz. - Tanque Verde Elementary School
  • Debi Anthony, Denver, Colo. - Adam's County 4-H Program
  • Laura Alegra, Denver, Colo. - Denver Children's Advocacy Center
  • Darrell L. Artis, Denver, Colo. - Sense of Security
  • Randy Givan, Denver, Colo. - Denver Children's Home
  • Marty Kenton, Denver, Colo. - Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (GRRR)
  • Wayne Connell, Littleton, Colo. - The Invisible Disabilities Advocate (IDA)
  • James Thomas, Littleton, Colo. - Boy Scouts of America in Denver Area Council
  • Robin Sowle, Pocatello, Idaho - American Red Cross of Greater Idaho
  • Charles Parker, Minneapolis, Minn. - Simpson Housing Services
  • Chris Tysdale, Faribault, Minn. - Morristown Fire & Rescue
  • Chad Mahnken, North Platte, Neb. - Lincoln County Ag Society ($2,500) and Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center ($2,500)
  • Alan Klatt, Grand Forks, N.D. - North Dakota Hunter Educators Association
  • Joanne Sena, Santa Fe, N.M. - Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary ($2,500) and Youth Works ($2,500)
  • Esta Coffey, Dublin, Ohio - American Cancer Society, Ohio Division ($2,500) and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mid-Ohio Chapter ($2,500)
  • Dale Axtell, Sioux Falls, S.D. - Make A Wish Foundation, S.D.

Qwest employees are dedicated to volunteering in their communities. Last year, Qwest employees and retirees volunteered more than 1.1 million hours - the equivalent of more than $20 million dollars.

About Qwest Foundation
The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.