MOORE — A park that, less than four months ago, resembled a battlefield rather than a playground for families has been voted America’s favorite park.
The Coca-Cola Company awarded a $100,000 grant as part of its America Is Your Park campaign to help the Veterans Memorial Park in Moore rebuild after the May 20 tornado.
“We’re excited,” said Todd Jenson, Parks and Recreation director for the City of Moore. “The support and love our town received from all over the country is overwhelming. We’re just grateful to Moore, Oklahoma, really the world.”
Over the summer people logged their park activity as thousands of people responded to the cola company’s call to get active on behalf of their favorite parks.
Veterans Memorial Park emerged as “America’s Favorite Park” with more than 400,000 votes and 16,000 hours of activity logged. The park will receive a $100,000 recreation grant from the Coca-Cola and the money will be used to rebuild a playground, Jenson said.
Veterans Memorial Park catapulted to the top of the leaderboard when other communities rallied to its support. In a show of solidarity and compassion, previous grant winners and supporters whose parks were also damaged by natural disasters, came together to campaign for Veterans Memorial Park. These communities helped organize online voting drives and engaged celebrities to encourage voting for Veterans Memorial Park. Supporters encouraged fun outdoor activity and posted daily Facebook voting reminders to help the park win the top spot.
“This year in particular was remarkable because communities across the country came together to support a special park in need — Veterans Memorial Park,” said Stuart Kronauge, general manager for Sparkling Beverages, Coca-Cola USA. “Our goal was to inspire people across the country to rediscover the joy of being active and to use that activity to benefit parks. Through this effort, a town devastated by a tornado will begin rebuilding one of their beloved landmarks.”