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Coca-Cola, Lady Liberty mark 125th anniversaries
May 11th, 2011
ATLANTA – Marking the 125th anniversary of "two American icons," the Coca-Cola Foundation donated $1 million to support The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation's Peopling of America Center, a new initiative that will tell the story of the immigration experience in America.
Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Co., made the donation in New York City to mark the shared 125th anniversaries of Coca-Cola and the Statue of Liberty. Kent also presented a rare five-foot version of the Statue of Liberty to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who accepted on behalf of the city.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg accepts a rare five-foot version of the Statue of Liberty from Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent.
"This grant will enable this center to tell the story of the remarkable people who built this nation, and who will continue to play a vital role in its future," Kent stated. "Coca-Cola has a deep connection to Lady Liberty, dating back to our shared birth years in 1886, extending to our commitment of $5 million to help restore the historic landmark in 1986 and now to helping improve Ellis Island's role as a place of inspiration and hope for people from around the world for years to come."
The statue, cast during the mid-1870s by its original sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, was created to raise funds for the placement of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. The statue was acquired by The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, and then gifted to The Coca-Cola Company 25 years ago.
Stephen Briganti, president and CEO of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, commented, "We are delighted that the 125th anniversaries of both Coca-Cola and Lady Liberty — America's most powerful symbol of freedom — are being celebrated on Liberty Island. Coke has been a true friend, and we are grateful for its support during the statue's centennial in 1986 and once again in this special anniversary year with a major gift to the Peopling of America Center at Ellis Island."
Coca-Cola was created on May 8, 1886, in Atlanta by Dr. John Pemberton and was first served at Jacobs' Pharmacy. The Statue of Liberty, a gift to the United States from France, was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886, less than six months after the first Coca-Cola was served, the Atlanta-based beverage giant said.
This past week, Coca-Cola has announced a summer-long initiative to mark its 125th anniversary, including prize giveaways, 8-ounce commemorative bottles, and advertisements drawing the connection between 1.25 liters and 125 years.
For the third summer in a row, limited collector series Coca-Cola packaging will include new iconic summer images meant to convey the fun of a "Day at the Beach," through sunglasses, surfboards and flip-flops, and a "Day at the Park," through baseballs, kites, picnic baskets, and stars and stripes.
"For 125 years, Coca-Cola has refreshed the world and celebrated with people as they enjoy fun times with family and friends," remarked Stuart Kronauge, vice president of Coca-Cola trademark brands for Coca-Cola North America. "From Memorial Day through Labor Day, at the racetrack, the movie theater, their favorite park or a backyard barbecue, Coca-Cola is always where people gather to enjoy summer fun.
"It's because of the millions of people who enjoy the world's No. 1 brand every day that Coca-Cola has reached this milestone in its history. As part of the celebration, we want to thank everyone everywhere for drinking Coca-Cola, so we've created two summer-long programs that offer 125 days of prizes. It's one of the many ways we're showing our appreciation to the people who love Coca-Cola."
The first program, available through My Coke Rewards, is designed to help busy mothers create summer family fun with such rewards as concert ticket vouchers, theme park tickets and experiences, trips to national parks, and beach prize packs.
For the second program, which is for teens, prizes can be instantly claimed with special text-to-win codes found under the caps of Coca-Cola trademark brands. Featured items include movie passes, concert cash, airline ticket vouchers and gift cards for electronics. Over the course of 125 days, a prize will be given away every two minutes.
And earlier this week Coca-Cola said it has begun rolling out a new package size, a 1.25-liter bottle, to storess across the Southeast, with additional distribution planned nationwide this summer. The take-home size 1.25-liter bottle will cost less than $1 and be available for Coca-Cola and other brands, including Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite and Fanta.