Mississippi Mayors Kick off the First-Ever Let’s Play Challenge

Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:35pm EDT

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Mississippi Mayors Kick off the First-Ever Let’s Play Challenge

Residents of 27 participating cities and towns to pledge to play for the chance to build a playground in their community with Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM!

Mayors of 27 cities and towns across Mississippi are rallying their residents to pledge to play for a chance to win a new playground for their community through the Mississippi Mayors’ Let’s Play Challenge. The first-of-its-kind program is being piloted as part of Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play initiative in partnership with KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most.

Today through Friday, Sept. 27, mayors of the participating communities will encourage their constituents to visit LetsPlay.com to register for the Mississippi Mayors’ Let’s Play Challenge and pledge to devote at least one additional hour of active play per week. The city that accumulates the most pledges as a percentage of its population will win the opportunity to build a new playground in their community with Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE: DPS) and KaBOOM!. Three “runner-up” cities with the next highest number of pledges will each receive an Imagination Playground in a Cart™. All other participating cities will each win a $750 maintenance grant to be allocated to further enhance or improve an existing playground.

Let’s Play is a community partnership led by DPS to get kids and families active nationwide. Through Let’s Play, DPS in 2011 began a three-year, $15 million commitment to KaBOOM! to build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds, benefiting an estimated 5 million children across North America by the end of 2013. In Mississippi, DPS has invested more than $250,000 to promote active lifestyles through the Mississippi Mayors’ Let’s Play Challenge and other Let’s Play playground builds and grants.

“We are very pleased that 27 mayors across the state have signed up to participate in this unique challenge. It shows a commitment to improving communities by promoting active living and exploring meaningful solutions to the complex challenge of obesity in Mississippi,” said Tina S. Barry, executive vice president of corporate affairs at DPS. “We hope that families in Mississippi are as excited as these mayors to make play a priority and win an opportunity to build a new playground in their city.”

The winning city will be announced in October. Participating cities include Aberdeen, Amory, Bay St. Louis, Byhalia, Corinth, D’Iberville, Eupora, Greenville, Gunnison, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Lumberton, Marks, McComb, Meridian, Ocean Springs, Okolona, Olive Branch, Plantersville, Port Gibson, Ridgeland, Tchula, Tupelo, Vaiden, Verona, Waveland and West Point.

“The Mississippi Mayors’ Let’s Play Challenge offers a creative solution to a critical issue throughout our state, and Mississippi is certainly up for the challenge,” said Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. of Jackson. “Making active lifestyles should be a priority, and this is a great way to get our mayors, our communities and most importantly our kids active and involved.”

Visit Let’s Play at www.LetsPlay.com to join the conversation and learn how to apply for the available grants to make communities more active and playful.

About Let’s Play

Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) 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, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated 5 million children across North America. For more information, visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Dr Pepper Snapple Group is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 13 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 or No. 2 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott's, Mr & Mrs T mixers, Peñafiel, Rose's, Schweppes, Squirt and Sunkist soda. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit DrPepperSnapple.com. For our latest news and updates, follow us at Facebook.com/DrPepperSnapple or Twitter.com/DrPepperSnapple.

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. 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. Social entrepreneur Darell 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 because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online 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 The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. 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 an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Chris Barnes, 972-673-5539
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Brian Bell, 972-673-6688

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