By Janet Smith
The Atlanta Hawks and State Farm gathered 5,000 volunteers at State Farm Arena to pack over one million meals in the largest community initiative in the franchise’s 51-year history. Hawks Principal Owners Tony Ressler and Jami Gertz, State Farm Senior Vice President Dan Krause, Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, and NBA Hall of Famer and Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins were joined by Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) to welcome and thank participants earlier in the day for donating their time in support of the Million Meal Pack. Hawks players Vince Carter, Trae Young, John Collins, and De’Andre Hunter, along with Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, closed out the final meal packing shift alongside volunteers reaching a final count of 1,020,672 meals.
The six 90-minute shifts of the event yielded:
• 170,112 bags of food
• 131,128 pounds of food
• 3,544 boxes of food
• 288 meals per box
• 48 bags per box
• 37 pounds per box
“Our collaboration with State Farm is just beginning,” Koonin said. “From the incredible reach of this Million Meal Pack to the Hawks Court Renovations and State Farm Good Neighbor Clubs that we are creating at local recreation centers, we will continue to build even greater opportunities to bring together Atlantans to make a positive change in our community.”
The many individuals, families, community groups, schools, churches, and businesses that gathered on the floor of State Farm Arena were also working beside Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Travis Schlenk, Atlanta Hawks Alums including Kevin Willis, Jon Koncak, Cal Bowdler, Roshown McLeod, and Tony Delk, as well as Braves Alums Brian Jordan, Dwight Smith, and Marquis Grissom, State Farm agents and employees, Hawks staff, and several local government officials also lent a hand to the effort.
“Atlanta is a special community and today shows why,” Krause said. “Thousands of our neighbors came here on a Saturday, not for a game or to be entertained, but to help us address the issue of food insecurity in and around Atlanta. Through this partnership with the Atlanta Hawks, our local agents and employees are thankful to serve a city who shares our commitment to strengthen communities.”
Every meal packed will be distributed by six local organizations serving various constituencies throughout metro Atlanta: Atlanta Community Food Bank, Second Helpings Atlanta, Fountain of Hope, Goodr, Lost-n-Found Youth, and Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia.
Non-profit Feeding Children Everywhere served as the logistics lead of the meal pack event. The organization, which is dedicated to creating a hunger-free world, provided statistics that show one in four children in Atlanta are facing hunger, while the number of high poverty neighborhoods in metro Atlanta has tripled since 2000, as the population has grown.
A little over a year ago, the Hawks and State Farm announced their official partnership, as the insurance market leader became the new naming rights partner of the NBA team’s home venue. Since the inception of the relationship, the two brands have been focused on creating small acts that collectively have massive impact, as part of the State Farm Neighborhood of Good®.
Janet Smith is senior director, brand communications, for the Atlanta Hawks.
From Berry Center
On October 2, 2019, Berry Center, the multi-purpose facility owned by Cypress-Fairbanks (TX) Independent School District, hosted funeral services for Harris County Sherriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal. On September 27, 2019 Deputy Dhaliwal was shot from behind during a routine traffic stop.
The funeral ceremonies began with a Sikh religious service followed by a law enforcement service. Guests then exited the facility, preceded by the family and flag draped coffin, to the front plaza for final honors. Honors included two trumpets playing Silver Taps, presentation of the flags to the Deputy Dhaliwal’s widow and father, a 21-gun salute, a helicopter flyover and concluded with 30 bagpiper tribute.
State and City dignitaries such as Senator Ted Cruz, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner attended to honor Deputy Dhaliwal’s service and speak to the family and community.
Every department at Berry Center worked tirelessly from Saturday when the Harris County Sherriff’s Office called to make arrangements, to Wednesday morning when doors opened for the ceremonies.
A unique feature of the facility is an in-house production staff capable of creating broadcasts for television and web streaming. The production staff, led by Sean Ramsey, Berry Center assistant director – production services, worked with a tentative outline of speakers and music and relied on their live broadcast knowledge and state of the art equipment to capture every breath-taking moment.
The production support was extremely sensitive to various personal needs of the family, while coordinating with local media to create a broadcast for the world to watch. The broadcast of this event was fully directed, engineered, operated and produced by the Berry Center production team: Ben Macalalad, James Ness, Larry Brehm, Terri Batcheller, Daniel Life, Anila Harden, Mark Bergeron, Andy Klarer, Alex Carias, Andre Laquindanum and Elias Flores.
The broadcast was also supported by seven camera operators and various technical crew. Coverage was delivered to the local CBS affiliate who served as the host to the other stations around the world.
6,367 law enforcement members and guests traveled from all over the U.S., Canada, and Asia to be present for the services and celebrate the spirit that Deputy Dhaliwal leaves behind.
By Julia Milstead
Butterflies are swarming at the Raleigh Convention Center! October 15 marked the completion of the site-specific installation of Leah Sobsey’s “Swarm” in the venue’s Main Lobby. The work, consisting of 300 cyanotype butterflies, has found its newest home in Downtown Raleigh at the Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) after being shown in hotels and galleries throughout the nation.
The center’s 450,000 annual visitors will now be greeted by a cascade of hundreds of blue and white butterflies traveling along the Center’s Grand Staircase. Raleigh Arts, with the support of the RCC, has accessioned the new addition into the Raleigh Municipal Art Collection. Dotting the massive 9,000-square-foot lobby, the swarm of blue butterflies adds a pop of color, delicately contrasting the Portuguese limestone-clad walls.
“The Raleigh Convention Center has a rich history of spotlighting artists from the region and state. That legacy — paired with its large-scale impact and nature-based subject matter — made ‘Swarm’ a perfect fit for our space,” said Kerry Painter, CVE, General Manager/Director of the LEED Silver-certified Raleigh Convention Center.
To produce the piece, Sobsey scanned specimens in the U.S National Park’s insect collections and created cyanotypes from them, using a printing process that dates back to the 19th century and was traditionally used to create blueprints. A photographer and professor at UNC Greensboro, Sobsey’s work can be found in public and private collections across the U.S., including art museums and galleries from North Carolina to California.
The Center’s use of natural elements and reminders of the natural world are not limited to butterflies – the Center also has two live honeybee colonies on its properties. Honeybees are critical to the pollination of plants, gardens, and crops, and play a vital role in our planet’s ability to grow food. With a 40% decline of the managed bee population in the U.S., two hives were installed at the convention center and, its sister venue, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts to demonstrate the venues’ commitment to community and sustainability.
Julia Milstead is public information officer for the City of Raleigh.
By Kristi Mexia
PepsiCo and Hollywood Park are partnering in an expansive agreement that makes Pepsi and Frito-Lay the exclusive soft drink and salty snacks partners across SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, a move that further deepens PepsiCo’s affiliation with sports and entertainment in California. The partnership, which extends across the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, will put PepsiCo front and center of the highly anticipated destination in Inglewood, where it will serve its signature brands to millions of fans across all events.
Opening July 2020, SoFi Stadium, the future home of the Chargers and Rams, is located at Hollywood Park, a 298-acre global sports and entertainment destination being developed by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. Adjacent to the stadium and under the same roof canopy is the 2.5-acre American Airlines Plaza and a 6,000-seat performance venue, which will hold a variety of events throughout the year, including esports, award shows, concerts and more. The mixed-use development will also feature a mix of residential, retail, and commercial spaces, as well as more than 20 acres of parkland for the community to enjoy.
“For more than 84 years, PepsiCo has been a part of the fabric of Los Angeles, and we couldn’t be more excited that a development like Hollywood Park will be opening in our backyard,” said Kris Licht, president of PepsiCo Beverages North America West Division. “What Stan Kroenke is developing with SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park will combine everything we could want in a sports, music and entertainment destination, and we look forward to offering our refreshing beverages, delicious snacks and unforgettable experiences in what is bound to become the most talked about location in Los Angeles.”
As a founding partner of Hollywood Park, PepsiCo will gain category-exclusive marketing, sponsorship and promotional rights across the development, as well as certain soft drink and snacking rights for SoFi Stadium, the performance venue and American Airlines Plaza. PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division will lead the snacking experience with brands that could include Tostitos, the Official Chip & Dip of the NFL. In addition, PepsiCo will host a 46,000-square-foot space in the stadium’s south zone, where fans can experience a series of culinary and entertainment activations.
“PepsiCo is an iconic brand that is synonymous with excellence and creating some of the world’s greatest entertainment, from discovering up-and-coming artists to producing celebrated Super Bowl halftime performances,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “PepsiCo’s fan-first approach to entertainment aligns with our goal to deliver a new global stage that will host world-renowned acts and events. SoFi Stadium is already home to Super Bowl LVI and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Olympic Games, and we are excited to partner with PepsiCo to continue to add to the extraordinary experiences that are coming to Los Angeles when we open in July 2020.”
This partnership will further align PepsiCo with the NFL and its two home teams in Los Angeles. PepsiCo will gain sponsorship, soft drink and certain snacking rights to the Rams, a recent partner of the brand, and the Chargers, a longstanding PepsiCo partner for the past 15 years.
“PepsiCo has been a tremendous partner to the Chargers for the better part of two decades,” said A.G. Spanos, Los Angeles Chargers president of Business Operations. “As we move into our new SoFi Stadium home in 2020, it’s nice to have a member of the family joining us. More importantly, through first-hand experience, it’s exciting to know that we have a world-class partner in PepsiCo who is aligned with our belief that the fan comes first in everything we do.”
Kristi Mexia is director, corporate communications at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park
Photo courtesy of SoFi Stadium
Trail Drive Management Corp. (TDMC), the not-for-profit operators of Dickies Arena, will host a ribbon cutting
ceremony and community open house on Saturday, October 26 to formally welcome the community into the world-class
arena. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on the east side of the arena, on Simmons Bank Plaza.
Immediately following the ceremony, the arena will be open for self-guided tours that guests can register for in advance. Guests can experience the beautiful architecture and state-of-the-art spaces while trying a variety of food and beverage options that will be available for purchase at a discounted rate.
Throughout the day, guests will be encouraged to enjoy activities on the Simmons Bank Plaza. Performers from popular family shows – including Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live’s BIGFOOT, WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley,
a Harlem Globetrotter, and a special presence from Cirque du Soleil – will be on site to celebrate with the citizens of Fort Worth. Local acts will perform on the Simmons Bank Plaza stage, and Dickies Arena founding partners, including Dickies, Chevrolet, Texas Health Resources, Reliant and Simmons Bank, will also be on site to engage with the community.
Dickies Arena is the result of a pioneering public-private partnership between the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the State of Texas and a group of private-sector participants, including foundations, individuals and organizations. The partnership was approved by the voters in November 2014. The $540 million project will complement the current Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, which will continue to serve as a major equestrian show arena.
Mayor Betsy Price, Ed Bass and The Beck Group CEO Peter Beck will speak at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Dickies Arena will be a 14,000 seat, spectacular multipurpose venue located adjacent to the Will Rogers Memorial Center campus in Fort Worth, Texas. The facility is the result of a pioneering public-private partnership between the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the State of Texas and a group of private-sector participants, including foundations, individuals and organizations. The arena will be owned by the City of Fort Worth and managed by the not-for-profit operating entity, Trail Drive Management Corp. (TDMC). The state-of-the-art arena will host concerts, sporting events and family entertainment, and will be the new home to Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo performances. For more information, visit www.DickiesArena.com.