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Contact: John Harlan Warren, 718-354-4608
On Thursday, July 29, Coca-Cola will present a $50,000 check to Gateway National Recreation Area through the National Park Foundation (NPF) as part of their “America Is Your Park” campaign, to be launched today. Gateway will use the money to purchase kayaking equipment and bicycle racks for Riis Landing, a section of Gateway’s Jamaica Bay Unit. The donation is part of Coca-Cola’s “Live Positively” initiative.
Gateway runs a vibrant kayaking program that regularly paddles the waters of Jamaica Bay for kayakers of various ages and levels of experience. Kayakers get to see the salt marsh up close in a manner that does not disturb nesting birds or other wildlife. Hand-powered water craft is both an environmentally friendly way to appreciate Gateway’s natural areas and also an excellent form of recreation and exercise.
The press conference will begin at Riis Park at 12:15 PM. Representatives of Coca-Cola and Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation, will witness as Unit Coordinator Dave Taft accepts the donation on behalf of Gateway's Jamaica Bay Unit. Dr. Ian Smith of “Celebrity Fit Club” on VH1 and Sue Wicks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will also attend. After the check dedication, a demonstration of the kayaks will take place at 12:35 PM, followed by a WNBA Fit Clinic at nearby Jacob Riis Park.
“We understand that more families are looking for ways to have fun and be active together, but might lack the resources or an outside space to do so,” said Katie J. Bayne, President and General Manager, Sparkling Beverages, Coca-Cola North America. “Coca-Cola has supported America’s national parks for the past 40 years through campaigns like this because of our belief that everyone needs a place to play and spend time with family and friends.”
Through online engagement and community grants, Coca-Cola is donating more than $500,000 to national, state and local parks across the country to restore or rebuild places for people of all ages to play. The campaign also encourages people to support the national and state parks system by voting for their favorite park on LivePositively.com through August 31, 2010 or coming out to local park health and wellness events that Coca-Cola will host this summer – all with the goal of making their communities a better place to live.