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More Than Wheels named 2011 Champion in Action

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Citizens Bank New Hampshire and WMUR-TV have named More Than Wheels, formerly Bonnie CLAC, as their 2011 first quarter Champion in Action® in the economic development category.

As part of the award, More Than Wheels will receive a $25,000 grant, media coverage, and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its dedication and commitment to helping families and individuals improve their financial stability through the car-buying process.

more-than-wheels“Citizens Bank is pleased to join WMUR-TV in naming More Than Wheels as its newest Champion in Action,” said Cathleen A. Schmidt, President, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire. “More Than Wheels has been using a comprehensive financial educational program to help participants gain control of their finances for the past decade. We are proud to recognize its efforts in the community and help it continue to advance its programs and services.”

The Champions in Action program is designed to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to New Hampshire communities. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service areas.

“Sharing in this initiative with Citizens Bank continues to be a source of great pride,” said Jeff Bartlett, General Manager of WMUR-TV. “We are very pleased to help organizations across the state that demonstrate such a strong commitment to making a difference in the lives of so many New Hampshire residents. They truly are champions.”

More Than Wheels is the only nonprofit car organization in the country offering this type of financial services. Through group workshops and personalized counseling, participants develop a financial plan that includes rebuilding credit ratings, savings techniques and creating a household budget.  This process results in long lasting economic impacts including access to better employment and education opportunities and improved personal financial management habits.

“A car is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. It’s how people get to work, and get their children to a doctor’s appointment,” said More Than Wheels CEO Terri Steingrebe. “More Than Wheels combines the critical need for transportation with personal financial improvement and empowerment.”
Since its inception in 2001, More Than Wheels has served more than 1,400 people, arranging more than $14 million in loans. As a result of obtaining reliable and affordable transportation, many are able to improve their job prospects, their family’s health and well-being, and their overall financial stability. A total of 75 percent of participants reported spending less on car repairs and 73 percent reported a better overall financial outlook. Because the program requires hard work and diligent financial planning, the successful results have been life changing for those willing to see it through. 

As a Champion in Action, More Than Wheels will receive:
• A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.
• Media coverage from WMUR-TV, including public service announcements and television profiles.
• Volunteer support from Citizens and WMUR-TV employees.
• Extensive public relations support.
• Promotional support, highlighting the current Champion in Action in all Citizens Bank branches and on its ATMs.
• Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV websites.

“We are honored to be recognized by Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV as a Champion in Action,” said Steingrebe. “With their support, More Than Wheels will be able to champion change in our communities and improve the quality of life for many in need.”

A nonprofit organization supporting food and nutrition will be named the second quarter Champion in Action and will be announced in April 2011. 

For more information about the Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com or www.TheWMURChannel.com. To learn more about More Than Wheels, visit www.morethanwheels.org or call (866) 455-2522. More Than Wheels is located at 250 Commercial Street in Manchester, NH 03101.