Miami-Dade County’s Military Affairs Board, under the leadership of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, will work to spread the recruitment message. The Board serves as an advocate for active duty, reserve, retired, disabled and deceased military personnel in Miami-Dade County.

Among the first veterans hired is Laura Ortiz, an amputee and veteran who served in the Army National Guard for eight years. Ortiz, who received both Gold and Silver medals in U.S. Paralympic track events, will serve as a fitness instructor. Ian Cummings, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran who operates boot-camp style classes at Deerwood-Bonita Lakes Park, will also be among the first hired.

“More and more, well-respected companies are keenly aware of the economic, social and health benefits of investing in parks and parks programming,” said Dick Anderson, President of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade. “Thanks to Coca-Cola and NRPA, this opportunity will directly impact the health and wellness of Miami-Dade residents and enable our parks and recreation to continue providing leadership in health and wellness.”

About The Coca-Cola Foundation

Since its inception, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $500 million to support global sustainable community initiatives, including water stewardship, community recycling, active, healthy living, and education. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please go to www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/foundation_coke.html.

About the National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 30,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

About The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade

The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that supports the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s effort to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors. Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.

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