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Virginia Public Safety Foundation Announces Major Contribution from Altria

~Award to be Given at Annual “Bike for the Blue” Charity Ride May 13th~

RICHMOND – The Virginia Public Safety Foundation (VPSF) announced today a contribution of $10,000 from Altria benefiting the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial, Virginia’s monument to 870 first responders killed in the line of duty and the 165,000 public safety officers serving Virginians every day. The Memorial is located in downtown Richmond at 1111 East Broad Street, adjacent to the Patrick Henry Building in Darden Garden. The contribution will be awarded in conjunction with the Annual Bike for the Blue charity ride.

“Bike for the Blue is a bicycle ride that covers over 115 miles from Richmond, VA to Washington, D.C. in one day. The ride is in its 20th year and includes participants from a variety of law enforcement officers and friends from agencies throughout Virginia,” said retired Chesterfield County Police Corporal David Suda, one of the organizers of Bike for the Blue. “The ride is to honor all of the law enforcement officers who gave their lives to protect our communities.”

“Altria has again demonstrated its strong commitment to Virginia’s public safety community,” said Chief John A. Venuti of the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department and VPSF President. “This contribution will help ensure continued preservation of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial for the benefit of future generations.” 

“Altria is dedicated to contributing to organizations that enrich the communities where our employees live and work,” said Michael Thorne-Begland, Director of Altria’s Brand & Trade Channel Integrity department. “We align ourselves with this mission by supporting programs like the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial and Virginia Public Safety Foundation that honor those men and women who have died while serving to protect their fellow Virginians. We are proud to see these valuable programs make a positive impact in the Commonwealth.”

Event Details:

Who: Altria Group, Virginia Public Safety Foundation, law enforcement from surrounding counties

What:  Annual Bike for the Blue in support of law enforcement When: May 13th, 2015, 6:00 AM Where: Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial, Darden Garden, Capital Square, Richmond

About Virginia Public Safety Foundation:

Virginia Public Safety Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving as official administrator of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia’s public safety community. VPSF is charged with maintaining the Memorial as well as administering Line of Duty Death (LODD) crisis prevention programs. For more information on the Foundation or the Memorial, contact VPSF at (804) 648-6299 x1004, or visit

About Altria:

Altria Group is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, John Middleton, Nu Mark, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Philip Morris Capital Corporation and has a continuing economic and voting interest in SABMiller. The company is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

Altria’s Brand & Trade Channel Integrity department works collaboratively with law enforcement to combat illegal tobacco product trafficking and sales, including support to law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state and local levels. Altria supports law enforcement by providing information and intelligence gathered through market monitoring and investigative programs, investigating those involved in importing and selling illicit tobacco products (including programs designed to support law enforcement action), and providing law enforcement with training, funding and information to support investigations.

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