The challenge was issued, the votes are in and CFL fans have spoken with their hearts – Luke Fritz is the winner of a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant that will help end child hunger in Manitoba, and he will be awarded a cheque in Edmonton during Grey Cup Weekend.
Fritz was among eight CFL players to partner with the Pepsi Refresh Project to come up with “refreshing” ideas to make Canada a better place. The coveted grant will go to Fritz’s charity of choice, Winnipeg Harvest, to support the Hunger for Hope program, which supplies infant formula to thousands of babies in Manitoba who would otherwise go hungry. All other seven participating CFL players will receive a $2,000 grant to support their charities.
Over the course of the CFL playoff season as excitement was building toward Grey Cup weekend, the field of eight team players was reduced to four, then two, and now the reigning champ who will be crowned this weekend.
“This grant represents a big win off the field because giving back to the community is what it’s all about. I’m so grateful to PepsiCo Canada for providing the grant, and I can’t thank voters enough for supporting my idea,” said Luke Fritz, offensive lineman for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. “No child, and certainly no baby, should ever go hungry, and this grant will help to make sure that doesn’t happen.
In the final two showdown, Fritz was pitted against Saskatchewan Roughrider Rob Bagg whose idea was to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The two players went head-to-head, campaigning for votes from their fans. As runner-up, Bagg’s charity, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, will receive a $2,000 Pepsi Refresh grant for diabetes research. Bagg’s younger sister has juvenile diabetes.
“Kudos to Luke, to Rob, to all the other participating players, to PepsiCo Canada and to the fans for setting an incredible example for all of Canada to witness,” said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. “The CFL couldn’t be more proud to have participated in this initiative. Our players are more than great athletes. They also understand the importance of contributing to the community. Well done, and congratulations to all.”
“What an incredible way to add another level of excitement to the CFL play-offs as these eight players stepped up to set an example for us all,” said Dale Hooper, Vice President Marketing, PepsiCo Beverages Canada. “Luke earned the distinction as the Do Good Champion, but all eight players are winners and the Pepsi Refresh Project thanks each one of them for leading the way toward a better Canada. “
About the Pepsi Refresh Project
In an effort to support those who generate innovative, optimistic ideas, the Pepsi Refresh Project (http://www.refresheverything.ca/; http://www.icicestmieux.com/) will award over $1 million in grants. Every other month, individuals and organizations can apply for grants to benefit a variety of projects and site visitors can vote for the best ideas for funding. The Pepsi Refresh Project is an evolution of the Joy It Forward initiative Pepsi launched in 2009, which showed the brand as an optimistic catalyst for idea creation. Pepsi will fund projects that make a difference in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighbourhoods and Education. The Pepsi Refresh Project can be found at http://www.refresheverything.ca/, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pepsicanada or on Twitter, @PepsiCanada
PepsiCo Canada and the Pepsi Brand
PepsiCo’s businesses in Canada are organized into two business units. PepsiCo Foods Canada includes Frito Lay Canada and the Quaker Foods & Snacks business. PepsiCo Beverages Canada includes the Pepsi, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses. The Pepsi Brand has been bringing fun and refreshment to Canadian consumers for over 75 years. For more information, please visit http://www.pepsico.ca/.
About PepsiCo, Inc.
PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.pepsico.com/.
About the Canadian Football League:
The Canadian Football League is our league. It’s built on a tradition as proud, staged on a field as broad, and played at a pace as exciting as the country we are proud to call home. Our championship game, the Grey Cup, is the biggest single annual sporting event in Canada. And the sold out 98th edition will be played on November 28, 2010 in Edmonton, Alberta. For additional information, visit CFL.ca.
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