The Rite Aid Foundation announced today a three-year commitment as Presenting Sponsor of Los Angeles Marathon Kids in the form of a $140,000 grant. This grant will enable more than 40,000 Los Angeles-area children to participate in Marathon Kids’ unique six-month running/walking and nutrition program. Elementary school students in more than 150 schools in 15 districts will benefit this year with total registration up approximately 25% over last year. In seven years, the program has grown dramatically from fewer than 8,000 participants in 2005.
This is the second of such donations, following the Rite Aid Foundation’s three-year commitment to Marathon Kids in Baltimore last month. The Rite Aid Foundation has had an ongoing relationship with Los Angeles Marathon Kids since 2009 and since 2010 in Baltimore. These grants mark the first three-year grants in The Rite Aid Foundation’s history and a new focus on long-term funding for critical programs.
“We really believe in the Marathon Kids program and the impact it has on the community. It also aligns very well with Rite Aid’s commitment to wellness and offers our associates the opportunity to be even more involved with the community through participation in Marathon Kids activities,” said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid’s Chief Operating Officer and President of The Rite Aid Foundation.
"Marathon Kids addresses childhood obesity through its multi-faceted program. A recent report by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy found that 45% of children in Los Angles are overweight or obese. It is a perfect program for us to support because reducing childhood obesity is critical to the prevention of diabetes, which is one of Rite Aid's key focus areas as we support the health and wellness of the communities we serve,” Martindale continued.The Rite Aid Foundation's contribution will be formally announced with a check presentation at this year's Marathon Kids Kick-off at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. More than 7,000 kids, teachers and parents will celebrate the program launch as children complete their first lap around the field to start their incremental marathon. Through RA50, Rite Aid’s 50 th anniversary celebration, healthy snacks and water will be provided for all. "We are so thankful for the continued support from The Rite Aid Foundation,” said Jeremy Kaspar, national director of development for Marathon Kids. “Their support is critical to sustaining and growing our Los Angeles-based program. The need is tremendous here with many elementary schools no longer having structured physical education.”