Contribution allows local Latino community-based organization to expand its literacy program

IRVINE, Calif.--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--October 30, 2002--Mercury, through a partnership with First Book, and Los Bomberos, a local Hispanic community-based organization in Los Angeles, is donating 1,000 books to children in the area, as part of its commitment to literacy.

"Mercury is extremely pleased to continue our association with literacy and support the work of Los Bomberos," said Rob Milne, Marketing Manager, Lincoln Mercury California. "Organizations such as Los Bomberos are crucial to reaching-out to communities at the grassroots level-without their help we will never raise literacy levels. Mercury recognizes the hard work of this exceptional organization, and is honored to help it achieve its goals."

Through this donation, Los Bomberos will expand its work to provide new books to children from low-income families in Los Angeles. Ben Flores, a firefighter, started Los Bomberos 32 years ago as an innovative literacy program in firehouses across the city to help encourage children from low-income families to read.

In addition, as part of its commitment to Latino authors, Mercury is sponsoring the Book Village at The Los Angeles Latino Book Festival, which will showcase readings from well-known Latino writers such as Marianne Larned.

This is not the first time Mercury has been involved in the fight for literacy. Last July, Mercury, along with First Book, Del Webb's Active Adult Communities and Random House Children's Books, launched "The Mercury / Del Webb Drive for Literacy," a national 10-city tour where five books were donated for every mile driven and 10 books were donated for every test drive taken in a new 2003 Grand Marquis. In addition, last year Mercury donated $1 million to First Book. This helped to create 40 new local advisory boards to distribute books in even more communities.

First Book is a national non-profit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. First Book distributes books to existing community tutoring, mentoring, and family literacy programs that serve children in need. In this way, First Book leverages the work of local organizations and individuals to help children. In 2001, First Book distributed almost 7 million books to children in more than 700 communities.

Mercury, based in Irvine, Calif., will introduce four new vehicles over the next four years, including the Monterey, a high-end minivan; a compact SUV; and two sedans. Mercury markets a full line of vehicles, including Mountaineer, Sable, Grand Marquis and Marauder.


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