Volunteers from UnitedHealthcare and The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade donate time and talents for cleaning and enhancing Olinda and Jefferson Reaves Senior Parks
Submitted by: CBS
Posted: Sep 07, 2013 – 01:18 PM EST
MIAMI, Sep. 07 /CSRwire/ - Today more than 200 local volunteers from UnitedHealthcare The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, AARP, Miami Dade College’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy, and the Miami Dolphins Special Teams driven by Chevy Volunteer program, participated in a Day of Service at Olinda and Jefferson Reaves Senior Parks. On their Saturday morning “to-do” lists were the planting of 100 trees, landscape maintenance, hauling, digging planting, mulching, raking, painting and cleanup of all park areas.
In addition UnitedHealthcare was recognized by Miami-Dade Parks for funding 38 year-long scholarships for local children to attend Miami-Dade Parks’ nationally recognized Fit2Play® afterschool program at Olinda Park. UnitedHealthcare also funded a new shade structure at Olinda Park’s new fitness court, which features outdoor strength training and cardio exercise equipment.
The funding came from UnitedHealthcare through CBS EcoMedia’s WellnessAd program. CBS EcoMedia partnered with the nonprofit National Recreation and Park Association to fund the Miami-Dade park improvement and wellness projects for UHC.
Miami-Dade Parks’ Director Jack Kardys hosted a brief program of recognition and appreciation after the morning work concluded and volunteers were served lunch. Joining Director Kardys at the podium were State Representative Cynthia A Stafford, District 109; Miami-Dade County District 3 Commissioner Audrey Edmondson; Associate State Director, AARP Florida, Ivonne Fernandez; Leslie Nixon, Miami Dolphins, Director, Government and Community Affairs; UnitedHealthcare South Florida CEO Nick Zaffiris and CBS EcoMedia President and Founder, Paul Polizzotto.
This project is the latest in UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative, whose mission is to prevent hunger and obesity and inspire service and encourage volunteerism. Through partnerships, financial support and the helping hands of employee volunteers, UnitedHealthcare is working to help build healthier communities.
“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to help make Olinda and Jefferson Reaves parks an even better place to play and enjoy the outdoors for the people of Miami-Dade county,” said Zaffiris. “We believe these parks will play a significant role in building a healthier community and helping people live healthier lives.
“The residents of district three and I are grateful to UnitedHealthcare and EcoMedia for their generous donation of new exercise equipment and other amenities at Olinda Park, which help children combat obesity and adults to stay healthy and active,” said Audrey Edmonson, Miami-Dade County District 3 Commissioner. “An investment such as this in our communities can only leave a positive impression which is good for business, but more importantly improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
“UnitedHealthcare clearly understands the important role parks and recreation play in communities and we’re grateful for its support,” said Ivonne Fernandez, Board Member of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and Associate State Director for AARP Florida
Launched in 2005 as a health and wellness solution for children living in Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Parks' Fit2Play® program has been studied and endorsed by the University of Miami as being a national model.
Each day's Fit2Play® session begins with homework help, during the school year, and is followed by Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) activities. This is an evidence-based, outcome-oriented active recreation component dedicated to improving the quantity and quality of children’s physical activity. In addition, nutrition knowledge is taught through the American Heart Association and Alliance for A Healthier Generation's EmpowerMe 4Life Nutrition curriculum.
Fit2Play® Camp leaders are trained recreation professionals and certified physical fitness and nutrition specialists. The program incorporates exercise, health and nutritional education into fun and engaging group activities such as obstacle courses and nutrition relay races. Fit2Play® programs and camps also incorporate nature, science and cultural arts activities and field trips.
“We’re making children healthier by making fitness fun,” said Jack Kardys, Director of Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces. “With a program studied and endorsed by the University of Miami that literally proves our programs work, corporations, such as UnitedHealthcare, will know that their investment will have a lasting impact on the lives of children in need."
“I’m honored to spend this National Day of Service and Remembrance working side by side with volunteers from UnitedHealthcare and all the enthusiastic, energetic community members who are improving Miami’s parks,” said Paul Polizzotto, President and Founder of CBS EcoMedia Inc. “The cleanup and beautification efforts made today are a powerful reminder of the difference we can all make when we work together. Special thanks go to UnitedHealthcare for the generous financial support provided through our WellnessAd program. Now, 38, full-year Fit2Play scholarships will make it possible for neighborhood children to receive the after school nutrition, exercise, and educational support they need to succeed in school and build a solid foundation for their future success.”
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.
About Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department
Nationally accredited, three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For more information about Miami-Dade Parks, call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks.
About The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that supports the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s effort to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors. Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 34.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
About CBS EcoMedia Inc.
At EcoMedia, we’re propelled by the desire to create positive social change; that’s been our mission since we founded the company in 2002. In 2010, after successfully partnering with CBS on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia became the newest addition to the CBS Corporation portfolio, exponentially scaling our reach across television, radio, interactive, publishing and outdoor media.
Through our patent-pending EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd programs, an innovative twist on traditional advertising, advertisers are able to support much-needed local projects which in turn creates jobs, saves taxpayer money and improves the quality of life in communities nationwide. In the process, we’re fundamentally altering the advertising landscape, elevating the ordinary, traditional commercial – and media, in general – into a catalyst for tangible, quantifiable social change. Please visit ecomedia.cbs.com to learn more.
By participating in EcoMedia’s EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd advertising programs, EcoMedia’s advertisers agree to provide funding for projects we believe will have a beneficial effect upon the environment, health and/or education within local communities. EcoMedia’s advertising programs are not certification programs nor are the EcoAd, WellnessAd or EducationAd logos seals of approval. EcoMedia does not in any way certify, endorse or make any representations about EcoMedia program advertisers, their products or services.
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