November 3, 2003

Providence Journal Santa Fund kicks off 80th season with $160,000 goal

Providence, RI -- The Providence Journal Santa Fund, which buys more than 45,000 toys a year for local children in need, begins its 80th season with a fund-raising goal of $160,000.

Last season the Journal Santa Fund raised more than $254,000 and distributed toys to 48,000 local families. Donations come into the fund from a variety of sources including readers, corporate gifts and employee fundraisers, student fundraisers, families remembering loved ones on birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

The Santa Fund is an IRS-certified charitable organization holding a 501C3 status. The Journal assumes all administrative tasks associated with the fund and coordinates toy distribution through the Salvation Army, along with the support of Family Resources in Woonsocket, Wickford's First Baptist Church, the West Warwick Senior Center and Westerly's Immaculate Conception Church.

"By working together as a community, The Providence Journal Santa Fund brings the spirit of the holiday season into the homes, hearts and hands of the children and families that we serve," says Mary Ellen Panzini, director of community services at The Providence Journal. "We believe the Santa Fund helps rekindle hope in the lives of these families and the community partners that help make holiday wishes come true."

Individuals who receive government assistance are eligible for the free toy distribution program. Using databases from the state Department of Human Services and the Department of Children, Youth and Families, letters are mailed to families inviting them to visit one of seven toy centers, where a toy for each child, ages one through 13, can be selected.

Families seeking help also can write to the Santa Fund. If qualified, recipients receive a letter inviting them to visit one of the toy centers. Community centers, social service agencies and family outreach agencies may also request toys.

Every donation appears in a weekly Santa Fund ad that's published Mondays throughout the campaign in The Providence Journal.

Donations to the Santa Fund must be mailed to The Providence Journal Santa Fund, 75 Fountain St., Providence, R.I. 02902. For further information, call the Journal's Community Services Department at 401.277.7597.

About The Providence Journal
The Providence Journal
is a Belo Corp. subsidiary. Belo is one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with more than 7,800 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates news and information franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic region. Belo owns 19 television stations (six in the top 16 markets) reaching 13.7 percent of U.S. television households; owns or operates six cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo publishes four daily newspapers: The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, Texas). Belo Interactive's new media businesses include 34 Web sites, several interactive alliances, and a broad range of Internet-based products. For more information, refer to the contact name/telephone number on this release. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at Please contact Barbara J. Nauman, Promotion Director at 401.277.7623 or Maureen M. Devine, Promotion Manager at 401.277.7632.