WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2012, more than one in three kids in the U.S. was overweight or obese, a rate that has more than doubled for children and quadrupled for adolescents in the past 30 years.* Today Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) joined forces with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to advance the fight against this epidemic. At PHA's 2015 Building a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, D.C., the automaker announced a $10.5 million grant to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA (Laureus USA), the leading foundation that uses the positive power of sport to tackle society's most pressing challenges.
MBUSA has been a supporter of Laureus USA since 2012, and together the two have played a huge role in the emergence of the U.S. sport for at-risk youth movement. The joint effort has encouraged and supported in-school and after-school programs that increase youth activity to fight obesity and teach good coaching and sportsmanship. MBUSA's support has reached over 140,000 kids in 30 cities to date. Its new grant will cover increased efforts and initiatives geared towards youth through 2017, impacting 125,000 kids annually in 25 cities.
"Investing in our youth and giving back to our local communities are integral to the culture at Mercedes-Benz USA," said Stephen Cannon, president and CEO of MBUSA. "Our ongoing collaboration and commitment to Laureus USA combines our passion for community and sports in a way that is making an impact. We look forward to continuing helping kids across the country build heathier futures."
Laureus USA Chairman Edwin Moses joined Cannon at the funding announcement during the Building a Healthier Future Summit. The Summit is one of the nation's premiere gatherings of health experts, policy makers and business and industry leaders committed to ending childhood obesity.
"The Laureus USA family and organization as a whole is honored and humbled to receive an incredibly generous grant from our dedicated and long-time supporter, MBUSA," said Moses. "These funds will help continue our efforts to build and support sustainable, resilient organizations that can impact the health, education and social outcomes of children nationwide."
Moses was joined at the summit by Laureus Ambassador and NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning. As a Laureus spokesman, Mourning supports and promotes Laureus USA's work around the world.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. For the 50 years MBUSA has operated in this country, the company has been an integral part of the communities in which it does business and the neighborhoods where its employees live and work. A common thread through its activities over the decades has been a commitment to nurturing leadership. To that end, MBUSA places particular emphasis on initiatives designed to empower future generations, particularly those who are underserved. MBUSA is committed to helping today's youth develop the tools they need to reach their full potential and become the leaders and success stories of tomorrow.
About Laureus USA
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA (www.laureususa.com) is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States. It is part of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation global network, which includes the global Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the Laureus World Sports Academy and the Laureus World Sports Awards. Collectively, the Laureus global network harnesses the power of sport to promote social change and celebrate sporting excellence. Laureus champions the universal power of sport to bring people together as a force for good, pursuit of excellence, overcoming challenges, celebrating achievement and winning against the odds.
*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Childhood Obesity Facts," http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm.
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SOURCE Mercedes-Benz USA