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A $5 million surprise from GlaxoSmithKline, which does not end there

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When John Smith established his drugstore in Old City Philadelphia, donating $5 million was probably unimaginable. After all, that was back in 1830. His enterprise, now a British-owned global pharmaceutical corporation surprised Mayor Michael Nutter and city officials by making the unimaginable happen.

The windfall was announced at a reception celebrating GlaxoSmithKline’s role in the community. “GSK has prospered in the Philadelphia region for 181 years because of the talented employee base,” stated Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline. “We are delighted to pledge $5 million to the city and nonprofits to inspire the next generation of leaders”

Funding specifications are being determined by the city and GSK. Even though award guidelines are still unclear, expect the inclusion of a competitive process, said GSK spokesperson Jennifer Armstrong. That should please nonprofits.

Mayor Nutter was pleased to accept GSK’s generosity on behalf of the city and made a pledge of his own. “This funding,” he stated, “will be used for development of our young people to help them reach their goals and drive the economy forward.”

The $5 million comes on top of more than $15 million donated to area nonprofits over the last decade for youth and community advancement.

Each year, GSK philanthropy backs sustainable changes in healthcare, education, employment, and more across the region.

A case in point is the $40,000 Impact Award. Applications are due no later than March 31 at 4 p.m. Up to 10 healthcare nonprofits in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery or Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania and the City of Camden in New Jersey will each receive $40,000. Eligible organizations must be an outstanding example of delivering the underserved population access to healthcare. Total operating expenses must fall between $160,000 and $3,000,000. For an application and full information, click here. And, call 215. 751.5171 with related questions.

GSK places priority on three additional programs in the region.

Science in the Summer continues to help elementary school children explore the wonders of science. For this, the 25th year, focus shines on chemistry in Bucks County libraries, bioscience in Chester, how simple machines operate in Delaware, physical science and electricity in Montgomery and genetics in Philadelphia County libraries. Find out more by clicking here.

The Business Experience Education Program makes internships available to high school junior and seniors in GSK’s Philadelphia headquarters in Center City. BEEP grants offers punctual students with at least a B grade point average and excellent attendance the opportunity to earn money while building marketable office skills, self-esteem, and an eye for college. Students work part time during the school year and full time on holidays as well as during the summer. More than 4,500 youth took advantage of the program. A healthy 98% of them went on to college. To learn more, click here.

Last but not least is PULSE, a volunteer partnership program. PULSE gives GlaxoSmithKline employees the opportunity to work toward sustainable healthcare for the underserved in areas around the globe. It provides 3- to 6-months of international immersion. Since the program’s launch in 2009, 119 employees worked with 42 organizations in 33 countries strengthening healthcare systems, improving the operations of nonprofit partners, and expanding the skills of their staff. Learn more by clicking here.

Mayor Nutter and the region can look forward to GSK’s ongoing involvement since the corporation signed a 15.5 year lease for a new LEED platinum certified building in the Navy Yard Corporate Center. Ground will be broken this summer and the move is scheduled for 4thquarter 2012 after the building’s completion.

Visit http://us.gsk.com or call 215.751.4000 (888.825.5249 toll free) for more information about GSK.

All rights to this article are reserved by Gloria Blakely. Copyright 2011.

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