RALEIGH – Major investments from area corporations have put Wake Education Partnership’s 2007 campaign at 54 percent of its goal, campaign co-chairs announced at this morning’s Power Hour event to launch the public phase of the campaign.

Wake Education Partnership kicked off its annual campaign – “Wake Ed ‘07 – Join the Conversation” – at a breakfast meeting at 8 a.m. at the N.C. State Alumni Club led by Wake Ed Trustees and campaign co-chairs Hilda Pinnix-Ragland and Jack Clayton. The event was sponsored by Progress Energy and Wachovia.

The following companies announced leadership gifts to Wake Education Partnership at the event:

• SAS: $100,000

• AT&T: $100,000

• The News & Observer: $75,000

• Wachovia: $70,000

• Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce: $12,500

• Paragon Commercial Bank: $3,500

• PriceWaterhouseCoopers: $2,500

“Wake Education Partnership provides a voice for the business community, and this campaign is about bringing together the voice and the power of the business community in support of the very education system that will make our community stronger and our businesses more successful,” said Pinnix-Ragland, vice president of Progress Energy Carolinas – Northern Region. “As a business person and a parent, I am excited to be part of this important effort to make world-class public education possible for all students in Wake County.”

The campaign, which plans to raise $1 million by June 30, funds Wake Ed Partnership’s work to ensure world-class public education in Wake County through business and community involvement. Companies and individuals from across Wake County attended the Power Hour in support of Wake Ed Partnership. Other companies recognized at the event for their past gifts to Wake Ed included Progress Energy, WakeMed, First Citizens Bank, Time Warner Cable, Golden Corral, Closure Medical and IBM.

“With all the focus on the Triangle as the best place to work, we are experiencing tremendous growth. We all want to be the best place to live and work, and our schools are the key factor in quality of life,” said Clayton, regional president of Wachovia Bank. “Wake Ed’s mandate is to work to improve the quality of education in Wake County. This is an investment that we have to make so that Wake County is the place where our children will want to return.”

Presenters at the meeting included campaign co-chairs Pinnix-Ragland and Clayton; Wake Ed Board of Directors Chair John McKinney, director of external affairs for the Triangle region with AT&T; and Broughton High School physics teacher David Corsetti. Elected officials, including Board of Commissioners member Joe Bryan and Board of Education member Susan Parry, also spoke at the meeting.

About Wake Education Partnership

Wake Ed is an advocacy organization dedicated to making world-class schools possible in Wake County through business and community involvement. We play a critical role in bringing people together, raising the level of discussion through capacity building, and brokering information and relationships around key issues in public education. Programs for 2006-07 focus on retaining effective teachers, developing effective education leaders, and ensuring healthy schools for all students. For more information, please visit www.WakeEd.org.

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