Merrell Pack Project Awards Grant Money to Get More People Outside

In June as part of The Pack, Merrell initiated The Pack Project grant program which today awarded five organizations grants to bring ideas that increase outside participation to life.
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With the goal of getting more people outside and active, Merrell launched The Pack in June to connect outside athletes across the nation and provide them with tools to train and share their outside athletic goals to inspire others to participate. As part of the mission, Merrell initiated The Pack Project grant program which, in its first round, awarded five organizations grants of $2,500 to bring ideas that increase outside participation to life. The second round of Pack Project grants is open now through November 13, 2012. To enter your great idea to get more people outside, apply at www.merrell.com/thepack.

“We want to get more people outside and active,” said Stephanie Ofili, marketing manager at Merrell. “Through The Pack Project we are able to fund amazing organizations that are working hard to encourage youth, families and adults to embrace the fun of being outside while empowering them to be active. We're very excited about the direction of our first five recipients and can't wait to track the progress of their Pack Projects. Each outside program will come to life and inspire people to use the world around them.”

This initial round of Pack Project recipients include:

Concrete Safaris – In 2008, Concrete Safaris' founder asked sixteen 9 -11 year-olds how they wanted to improve the health of their community. They each said they wanted to live in a greener, cleaner, safer neighborhood. Through afterschool workshops held at Union Settlement Association's Rising Stars program at 98th Street and Third Avenue, the children designed a garden. The Pack Project, will help fund two public housing projects in which 30 children will exercise outdoors five days a week through swimming, running, hiking, cycling and fishing in and around East Harlem, New York. They will also invite 400 of their classmates to garden with them at the children's farm and gardens they have created and maintained. www.concretesafaris.org

El Grupo Youth Cycling – El Grupo youth cycling is a non-profit youth cycling team in Tucson, Arizona, that affords the opportunity of cycling to local teens who otherwise would not get the chance. Their mission is to empower youth to ride bicycles and aims to instill life-long healthy habits and build character and camaraderie through bicycle advocacy, riding and racing. www.elgrupocycling.org

YouthCARE – YouthCare breaks participation barriers and other constraining factors by providing access to activities that are physically active and conducted outdoors to those who would not otherwise have access to them. These opportunities strive to teach youth to participate in healthy activities such as rock climbing; broom ball; swimming; mountain biking and ice fishing. All of which encourage an enriched outside life. www.youthcare.org

Keeping It Wild – Keeping It Wild organizes and runs outside outings, such as camping, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, fishing and wildlife observation, to underserved communities. Through The Pack Project grant, Keeping It Wild will fund six trips to distinctive Georgia outdoor destinations for underserved families and individuals. www.keepingitwild.org

Green Adventure Project – Concrete Jungle is Green Adventure Project's innovative field experience that offers adventure activities in an urban setting. Participants tree climb, go spelunking through culverts, and search for geocaches. The program serves at-risk and under-served youth in the community. www.tripleccamp.com/Green-Adventure-Project/Home

Merrell® is a brand within the Outdoor Group, a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. that also includes Chaco and Patagonia Footwear. Merrell believes in encouraging everyone to get outside, be active and have fun. The Brand's mission is to increase youth participation in the outside through causes like Outdoor Nation and national events like the Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run Series. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is headquartered in Rockford, Michigan. The company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates®, Chaco, Cushe®, Hush Puppies®, Merrell®, Sebago® and Wolverine®. The Company is also the exclusive footwear licensee of the following popular brands: CAT®, Harley-Davidson® and Patagonia®. The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in nearly 180 countries and territories. Merrell, 9341 Courtland Drive, Rockford, Mich. 49351. Phone: (800) 789-8586; Fax: (888) 746-3329. FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/merrell TWITTER: @merrelloutside.

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