MANCHESTER – Exemplifying its philosophy of “Running Right,” Alpha Natural Resources announced it will be a major corporate sponsor for Camp UNITE 2012.

Company officials presented a $17,000 check to the Operation UNITE Foundation during a ceremony at Eastern Kentucky University’s Manchester Campus on Thursday, May 3. Accepting the donation was Karen Kelly, who heads the organization.

Representing Alpha Natural Resources were Wayne Keaton, president of Maxxim Rebuild Company, and Harry Childress, community involvement coordinator for Southern Kentucky and a member of the company’s Government Relations team.

“Involvement in the community has always been a top priority for Alpha Natural Resources,” Keaton commented. “We have chosen to partner with Operation UNITE as a way to help reduce drug abuse and reach families – through prevention measures and treatment centers throughout the region.”

Alpha, whose corporate offices are located in Bristol, Virginia, is a leading global coal company and the world’s third largest metallurgical coal supplier. They produce, process and sell steam and metallurgical coal from approximately 150 active mines and 40 coal preparation plants located throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

The company’s Community Involvement Program also supports environmental partnerships, fuel assistance and weatherization programs, youth and youth programs that build character, as well as programs that promote drug resistance education.

“We are excited to have Alpha Natural Resources as a partner for Camp UNITE,” Kelly stated. “It takes many volunteers and concerned businesses to provide this experience to these youth each year. I applaud Alpha’s management and employees for having the vision and leadership to help create meaningful and lasting changes in our region.”

Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, who created UNITE in 2003, attended the ceremony and also expressed his appreciation to Alpha Natural Resources.

Camp UNITE is a free 4-day, 3-night leadership/adventure program for youth entering grades 7-9. This year’s sixth annual camp will be held July 24-27 on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg.

While at camp, students stay in the college dorms and are placed in small teams under the guidance of trained youth counselors and supervised by adult staff and volunteers.

Activities during camp are designed to develop leadership and communication skills, promote teamwork and problem solving, instill confidence and trust, and let youth know they do not have to face difficult situations on their own.

One of the most valuable components of camp is the peer mentorship and positive role models provided by high school and college students who serve as camp counselors. In 2011, UNITE utilized the leadership of 55 youth counselors, 36 adult staff/volunteers, and more than three dozen community volunteers.

Since its inception, Camp UNITE has hosted 916 youth from 29 counties.

Alpha Natural Resources joins Toyota Motor Manufacturing-Kentucky in Georgetown and the University of the Cumberlands as primary sponsors for Camp UNITE 2012.

Campership sponsors include: William and Kaye Baird of Pikeville, Stan Baker of Corbin; Misha Gover of Monticello, the Jean Kelly Memorial Fund, Mike Long’s Pic Pac/Galaxy Supermarket of Pineville, Mullins Elementary School UNITE Club, Northern Middle School parents, Phelps Elementary School UNITE Club, Red River Valley Elementary School UNITE Club, Rogers Elementary School UNITE Club, and the Somerset High School UNITE Club.