Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and CBS EcoMedia Host Food & Fitness Community Day at Freedom Field at Marquette Park

Jun 21, 2016

For Immediate Release                  June 21, 2016

Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and CBS EcoMedia Host Food & Fitness Community Day at Freedom Field at Marquette Park

Team8 Tour visits Southside Chicago to reinforce the importance of nutrition
and promote a safe learning space for the community

CHICAGO, Ill. (June 21, 2016) – The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and CBS EcoMedia today wrapped up the fourth stop of the Team8 Tour, hosting a Food & Fitness Community Day at the Tarkington School of Excellence and Freedom Field at Marquette Park. Activities included rebuilding the school’s outdoor vegetable garden and hosting a soccer clinic led by ESPN soccer analyst Monica Gonzalez and players from the Chicago Red Stars.

The Team8 Tour is a national campaign aimed at encouraging young people across the country to make healthy choices, build character and learn critical life lessons that will inspire them to be catalysts for positive social change.
To reinforce the importance of healthy food choices, staff and volunteers from the Ripken Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and CBS EcoMedia partnered with Home Depot and Aaron’s Furniture to rebuild the school’s outdoor garden, including garden beds, greenhouse compost bins, planter boxes and benches. In addition to the refurbishment of the gardens, the Ripken Foundation’s Healthy Choices, Healthy Children curriculum was shared to provide youth with the tools to find success on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

Gonzalez and the Red Stars then led the kids, parents, community members and volunteers in a community walk from Tarkington School to Freedom Field to promote healthy activity and community safety for youth who reside on the south side. As a way to promote participation in girls’ sports, the day concluded with a youth girls’ soccer clinic hosted by Sound of GOL Foundation and Gonzalez.

“Educating our youth on the importance of making healthy choices and staying active is pivotal to their development,” said Steve Salem, president of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “This is a special opportunity to make a truly lasting impact on our youth residing in Chicago. We are so thankful for the tremendous support we’ve received from our partners leading up to this stop on the Team8 Tour.”

“It’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle, but it’s so much easier when the habits begin in childhood,” said Paul Polizzotto, Founder and President of CBS EcoMedia, Inc. “We’re so excited to help give the students of Tarkington School the tools and encouragement they need to make positive choices. It’s my hope that the joy and enthusiasm these kids brought to the garden, the classroom, and the soccer field will inspire everyone in the community to build on the foundation we laid together today.”

Before coming to Chicago, the Team8 Tour stopped in Houston for a three-day tour stop, unveiling a new outdoor basketball court, donating sports equipment and presenting the Uncommon Athlete program. The tour also stopped in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., where the team completed a community gardening project inspired by the Healthy Choices, Healthy Children curriculum. Future stops include Jersey City, New York City, Denver and Los Angeles.


About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF)
For the last 15 years, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has worked tirelessly to implement youth development programs that directly address the problems facing at-risk youth in distressed circumstances across the country. Inspired by one of the most iconic baseball families, the Ripken’s created the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to honor the legacy of its family patriarch, longtime coach, and mentor, Cal Ripken, Sr. The Ripken Foundation use sports-themed programs to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 8 to 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills.

In addition, the Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multi-purpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. In just five years, the Ripken Foundation has created 55 completed parks across the country, impacting over 235,000 kids annually. In 2015, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Parks and mentor programs.

About UnitedHealthcare
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, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at WWW.UHC.COM or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

About CBS EcoMedia Inc.
EcoMedia was founded in 2001 by social entrepreneur Paul Polizzotto. The company’s mission is to harness the power of the advertising dollar to make tangible, quality of life improvements in communities nationwide. In 2010, after successfully partnering on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia was acquired by CBS Corporation, exponentially scaling its reach across television, radio, interactive, and publishing media.

Through EcoMedia’s patent-pending EcoAd, EducationAd, WellnessAd, Viewers to Volunteers, Volunteering with the Stars, and Charity Champions League advertising programs, national brands and local businesses provide millions of dollars in financial support to some of the nation’s most effective nonprofit organizations, funding critical veterans’, education, health and wellness, and environmental projects nationwide.

EcoMedia’s innovative and proprietary business models have fundamentally altered the advertising and philanthropy landscapes, elevating the ordinary, traditional commercial – and media, in general – into a catalyst for tangible, quantifiable social change and making it possible for everyone to give back, whatever their means.

Paul Polizzotto and the team at EcoMedia have earned numerous awards and recognitions for their work, including the US Conference of Mayors Award for Excellence in Public Private Partnerships (2009) and back-to-back Edison Awards for Social Innovation and Social Impact (2012, 2013).

In Spring 2016, Paul was named Social Good Leader of the Year by CynopsisMedia and recognized as one of “America’s 25 most influential philanthropy and social innovation experts” by Philanthropy Media. He has received the Starlight Children’s Foundation’s “General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Leadership Award,” the EPA’s “Environmental Hero” recognition, the Santa Monica Baykeeper’s and the Waterkeeper Alliance’s “Keeper Award,” and the Coastal Living Leadership Award. He was also named a Public-Private Visionary by Vanity Fair magazine.

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By participating in EcoMedia’s EcoAd, WellnessAd, EducationAd, and Viewers to Volunteers 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.


Katy Ford
Maroon PR/CRSF

Guy Rudiger
Maroon PR/CRSF

Taylor Tomczyszyn
CBS EcoMedia