An Assist from Sprite and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Helps Three South Carolina Basketball Courts Get Back in the Game

Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:00am EDT

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An Assist from Sprite and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Helps Three South Carolina Basketball Courts Get Back in the Game

Iola Jones Park of Florence, St. Anna’s Park of Columbia and Martin Park of Charleston have been renovated through the Sprite Spark Parks Project

Local South Carolina teens can now express their uncontainable moves on completely renovated basketball courts in the cities of Florence, Columbia and Charleston. Iola Jones Park, St. Anna’s Park and Martin Park, were revamped as a result of the Sprite Spark Parks Project. Each S.C. park received a $15,000 grant for restorations.

“The mission of the Sprite Spark Parks Project is to refresh neighborhood play spaces where teens can be uncontainable, and this year, we’re getting courts back in the game,” said Reginald Bean, director of multi-cultural marketing, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (CCBCC). “We’re excited to be a part of creating a place for local youth to get out and active, and what better way to celebrate than to provide an amazing setting for young ballers to hone their skills.”

In Florence, S.C. at Dr. Iola Jones Park, located at 800 Oakland Avenue, the grant went to a larger overall project, which included the reconstruction and resurfacing of two asphalt basketball courts, sealing and striping of an adjacent parking area and the construction of a wood fence along Oakland Avenue. A ribbon-cutting led by Mayor Steven Wukela, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Piggly Wiggly and Florence Recreation Department was held on July 10 to celebrate the restorations.

“The Sprite Spark Park grant enabled us to increase the total cost of our restoration project to include a complete resurfacing of the heavily used basketball courts and a badly needed facelift to the adjacent parking area,” said Darlene Buchanan, recreation manager of the City of Florence. “We are proud to work with Sprite, Coca-Cola Consolidated and Piggly Wiggly on this restorative effort because we must preserve and maintain these public spaces to ensure that all can take advantage of the healthy benefits they have to offer for years to come.”

In Columbia, S.C. at St. Anna’s Park, located at 1313 Liberty Hill Avenue, the $15,000 grant funded new asphalt surface on two basketball courts, newly installed basketball goals, restriping of half court and full court lines on both courts and re-grading and repositioning the full court in order to accommodate a future walking trail at the park. A ribbon-cutting will be held on Wednesday, July 24 at noon at St. Anna’s Park to dedicate the refurbished courts. Mayor Steve Benjamin will be joining Coca-Cola Consolidated, Piggly Wiggly and Columbia Recreation Department to kick things off.

“We’re extremely grateful for the corporate collaboration that made this possible,” said Jeff Caton, director, City of Columbia Parks and Recreation. “The refurbished basketball court will be of great benefit to the residents, particularly the children, in the community surrounding St. Anna’s Park.”

In Charleston, S.C. at Martin Park, located at 155 Jackson Street, the grant helped out with a larger project, which included: removal of the existing heavy‐duty goalposts, as well as refurbishing and installment of the goalposts to accommodate a larger court. New asphalt was installed to expand the court surface to allow for a regulation‐sized court layout. Cracks were patched and the surface was recoated with acrylic surfacing material. New backboards and rims were installed, and mounted player’s benches were provided. Charleston, Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., NBA Basketball Legend Sleepy Floyd, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Piggly Wiggly and the City of Charleston Recreation Department will host a ribbon-cutting on Friday, August 2 at noon at Martin Park Basketball Court.

“Coca-Cola has always been a proud partner to our Department of Recreation and Piggly Wiggly has a flagship store approximately four blocks from Martin Park,” said Laurie Yarbrough, director of the City of Charleston Department of Recreation. “The renovation has been so well received by the community and, especially, the children. Dollars are very tough to come by for local governments and we all appreciate the generosity of Coca-Cola Consolidated and Piggly Wiggly in making this park such a positive place with the Sprite Spark Parks program.”

The Sprite Spark Parks program will refresh 25 basketball courts in public parks and recreation centers throughout the nation. Each pre-selected court was eligible to receive varying levels of support based on the number of votes it earned through May 31 at www.SpriteSparkParks.com. While voting for their favorite Spark Park court, people also can help support and preserve public parks and recreational facilities for future generations by donating to the NRPA at americasbackyard.org.

About Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (CCBCC) is the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, the company’s nearly 7,000 employees make, sell and deliver Coca-Cola products in franchise sales territories across the Southeast. For more information, visit www.CokeConsolidated.com.

About National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.NRPA.org.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
Lauren Steele, 704-557-4551

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