Bayonne Awarded $15,000 Let’s Play Grant From Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that Dr Pepper Snapple Group and national non-profit KaBOOM! have awarded the City of Bayonne a $15,000 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant. The funding will support the reconstruction of the playground at Cottage Street Park. The grant is part of the Let’s Play initiative introduced in November of 2010 – a $15 million, three-year commitment from Dr Pepper Snapple Group to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child. Together through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefitting an estimated five million children across North America.

Mayor Smith said, “I would like to thank KaBOOM! and Dr Pepper Snapple Group for their generosity to the City of Bayonne. With their support, we aim to replace outdated playground equipment with innovative, fun, and bright playground gear. Our goal is to improve and revitalize the playground for the residents of the Cottage Street Park area.” Mayor Smith also credited Millennium Strategies, the municipal grants consultant, for its successful work on the playground grant application.

According to KaBOOM!, “Unstructured, child-directed play has been proven to help kids develop physically, socially, and cognitively, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation.” Via Let’s Play grants and projects in 2011, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! built or improved 528 playgrounds, benefitting an estimated 1.3 million children during the lifetime of the playgrounds. People are encouraged to visit Let’s Play at www.LetsPlay.com to join the conversation and learn how to apply for the various available grants to make their communities more active and playful.

According to the grant application, the existing playground equipment at Cottage Street has worn down from “natural wear and tear.” Under the terms of the grant, the reconstruction of the playground must be completed within twelve months. The City of Bayonne will provide additional funding for the playground from the federal Community Development Block Grant.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group is the leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. It has more than 50 brands of beverages. The company has six of the top ten non-cola soft drinks. Nine of its twelve leading brands are No. 1 in their flavor categories. In addition to its flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, the company’s portfolio includes Sunkist soda, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Crush, Mott’s, Squirt, Hawaiian Punch, Penafiel, Clamato, Schweppes, Venom Energy, Rose’s, and Mr and Mrs T mixers. To learn more about its brands and the Plano, Texas-based company, please visit www.drpeppersnapple.com.

Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that’s saving play. Together through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefitting an estimated five million children across North America. For more information, visit Let’s Play on Facebook at www.facebook.com/letsplay or on-line at www.LetsPlay.com.

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this play deficit, social entrepreneur Darrell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM has mapped over 89,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with on-line tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The Book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM! Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, California. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

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