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Public Citizen Honors Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

Nov. 29, 2007

Public Citizen Honors Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

A.E. Griffith Bates Jr. to Receive the Fifth Annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A.E. Griffith Bates Jr., a selfless volunteer with Greenpeace in Washington, D.C., will receive Public Citizen’s fifth annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Service Award at a reception at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Public Citizen’s office at 1600 20th Street, NW.

Since 1991, Bates has worked virtally full-time as a volunteer in Greenpeace’s finance and photo departments, logging more than 25,000 hours – that’s 625 workweeks – with the environmental organization and helping to keep the organization running smoothly. Bates’ other main contribution to Greenpeace has been his organization and maintenance of the group’s substantial photo archives.

Ellen McPeake, who worked with Bates in Greenpeace’s finance department, said that Bates’ “behind-the-scenes work in the photo department to ensure thousands of inspirational photographs were organized and maintained has made Greenpeace more effective on a daily basis and will preserve Greenpeace’s organizational history for future generations.”

Public Citizen created the award after Phyllis McCarthy,* a 24-year employee of its Health Research Group, passed away in November 2002. The award is intended to recognize individuals who have worked long and hard for a public interest group, performing critical functions as did McCarthy, but who have not received public credit commensurate with their contributions.

In nominating Bates, Rick Hind of Greenpeace, who, in addition to Phyllis’ brother Paul McCarthy, will speak at the reception, wrote: “Without Mr. Bates, we would all have one less role model of how much Americans can do in their retirement to make this country and the world a better place.”

Ellen McPeake, formerly of both Public Citizen and Greenpeace, John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA, and Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group also will speak at the reception.

*Phyllis McCarthy began her career at Public Citizen in 1978 as the Health Research Group’s managing editor and office manager. McCarthy played an integral part in the development and preparation of numerous health publications, including Worst Pills, Best Pills and more than 1,000 reports, medical journal articles and petitions to governmental health and safety agencies.