Big Oil Gives Back

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Big Oil Gives Back

NEW YORK -- Three major oil companies—Marathon Oil Corp., Hess Corp. and Valero Refining Corp.—recently made donations to a number of causes. Marathon, along with Noble Energy, the Government of Equatorial Guinea and other business partners gave $28 million to fund the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP) in Equatorial Guinea, which is a malaria control initiative that can now run through 2013, the company stated.

The funds bring total spending on malaria control in Equatorial Guinea to $71 million, according to the company. The BIMCP began in 2003 as a 5-year, $15.8 million initiative to address diseases attributable to malaria for the residents of Bioko Island.

"The Bioko Island Malaria Control Project demonstrates Marathon's commitment to the communities where we operate and where we live," Clarence P. Cazalot, Jr., Marathon president and CEO, said in a statement. "Our support for extending and scaling up this initiative for another five years reflects our dedication to improving the well-being of the citizens of Equatorial Guinea."

The project focuses on vector control through indoor residual spraying, distribution of free drugs to high-risk populations, and a comprehensive monitoring and surveillance program, as well as universal bed net coverage, the company stated.

The $28 million co-investment will launch a capital campaign coordinated by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, Malaria No More and the UN Foundation, which leverages the leadership of business leaders to raise $100 million by the end of 2010, the company stated.

In other charitable news, Hess Corp. will present two checks—one to the Jimmy Fund through the Red Sox Foundation, and the other to the Children’s Hospital Boston’s Trauma Program—totaling $100,000, which was raised as part of a home run program kicked off on the Boston Red Sox’ home opening day, the company stated.

Hess promised to donate $500 for every home run hit during a New England Sports Network (NESN) televised game during the 2008 season, and to date, 160 Boston Red Sox home runs have been televised by NESN. Hess rounded up its donation to $100,000, and Aric Morrison, a Hess retail regional director, presented the checks before a baseball game on Sept. 26.

"We appreciate the Boston Red Sox giving it their all this season to help us support children with serious medical needs," Rick Lawlor, vice president of retail marketing for Hess, said in a statement. "Developing programs like this Home Run Campaign to benefit organizations like the Jimmy Fund and Children’s Hospital Boston is part of our commitment to the communities we serve daily."

Meanwhile, two fire departments and four other organizations will share $12,000 in grants given by Valero Refining Corp.'s Paulsboro facility, the Gloucester County Times reported.

The Gibbstown Volunteer Fire Department was presented a $5,000 check to purchase specialized breathing air equipment for use during rescue operations, while the Paulsboro Fire Department was awarded $5,000 to purchase a device to help track the exact location of trapped firefighters during an emergency, the report stated.

"The heart of Valero is to give back to the community," Lisa Lindsey, lead community relations specialist for the refinery, told the paper.

The refinery also awarded $500 grants to charitable programs advocated by its employees, including:

-- Bob Campbell on behalf of Elks Lodge 2708, which sponsors monthly dances for the handicapped;
-- Bethel Chapman on behalf of Cornerstone Prison Ministry, which holds a weekly Bible study for inmates at the Gloucester County Jail;
-- Karen Peck on behalf of the American Red Cross of Salem County, to purchase new equipment for community CPR classes; and,
-- Steve Schneider on behalf of the West Deptford Athletic Association, for new equipment.