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Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022
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YMCA Celebrates Anthem Blue Cross Donation

This is a regular feature on philanthropic activities by Valley-area businesspeople and companies. West Valley YMCA recently honored Anthem Blue Cross Foundation for its $55,000 donation that allowed the organization to build a new soccer field a year ago. On the one-year anniversary of the field’s completion, West Valley YMCA Executive Director Greg Koubek presented a soccer trophy to the Woodland Hills-based insurance company’s acting president Mark Morgan. “We are thrilled to share this new field with the company,” Koubek said. “Childhood obesity is a serious problem in this country and the San Fernando Valley, and both Wellpoint and The Y recognize the need to help kids get access to safe, fun places to play and get exercise.” The new turf field serves more than 2,000 local children and adults. Blue Shield Helps Students Blue Shield of California helped underprivileged students prepare for school by providing them with new backpacks full of supplies. One hundred students from the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley in Canoga Park are set to receive the gifts from the company, which has an office in Woodland Hills. This is the third year Blue Shield of California has equipped local students with the supplies. The company is also holding back-to-school drives in several regions in California, including San Francisco and Lodi. IHOP Fundraises with Pepsi IHOP is participating in the Pepsi Refresh Project to raise funds for children’s hospitals. At participating IHOP restaurants through Oct. 2, every purchase of a Pepsi beverage will result in a donation by Pepsi to the restaurant chain’s national charity partner Children’s Miracle Network. Pepsi has agreed to donate up to $20,000 cumulatively. “IHOP takes great pride in giving back to the communities that support our business year round,” said Carolyn O’Keefe, the company’s vice president of marketing. “We are proud to partner with the Pepsi Refresh Project to further support Children’s Miracle Network and the hundreds of children’s hospitals located within our communities.” Cosmetics Company Helps Vietnamese Orphans JAFRA Cosmetics International has donated more than $100,000 in product sales to help an organization construct a new village in Vietnam, the Westlake Village-based company announced. The donation went to SOS Children’s Villages, an international charity that raises orphaned and abandoned children. The funds will be used to build a village in Quy Nhon, Vietnam, which is set to open in 2011. The group will provide round-the-clock, family-style care in 14 houses, accommodating 140 children. The village structures will be built using solar power for lighting and hot water. “SOS Children’s Villages has an incredible history of providing for children in need and who have no one to help them,” said Dr. Friedrich Kroos, the company’s president and CEO. “We feel fortunate to be able to support their worthy and highly successful efforts by helping to provide financial support for the construction of these new homes in Vietnam.” The donation was part of or a larger gift to the organization made by JAFRA Cosmetics International’s parent company, the Vorwerk Group, which is based in Germany. Businesses Offers Free Items Local businesses have been participating in the San Fernando Valley Jaycees’ Food 4 Food drive. To help collect donations, participating local restaurants offered free menu items in exchange for five non-perishable food donations on Aug. 18. The restaurants that offered free items were three McDonald’s restaurants located in Encino and Tarzana, the Togo’s restaurant in Woodland Hills and the Taco Bell restaurant in Granada Hills. Northridge Skateland agreed to offer free admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the five nonperishable donations, and Porter Ranch Pharmacy planned to offer free Vitamin C. Other restaurants and businesses that will serve as donation sites include California Pizza Kitchen at the Northridge Fashion Center, Powerhouse Gym in Chatsworth, 7-Eleven in Porter Ranch and Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas. All donations will benefit the Valley Interfaith Council’s food pantry coalition, which includes 12 pantries located throughout the San Fernando Valley. MannKind Corporation Offers Product for Study MannKind Corporation plans to supply its AFREZZA insulin therapy product for use in a study being conducted by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Valencia-based biopharmaceutical company announced. The planned two-year study is part of the foundation’s Artificial Pancreas Project and studies patients with type 1 diabetes. The insulin therapy product will be used in a closed-loop blood sugar monitoring and insulin delivery system called the “artificial pancreas.” The goal of the project is to speed the development of automated diabetes management systems. “We support and share the goals of the Foundation to advance diabetes research, address poorly met needs in diabetes therapy, and help the people with this challenging disease achieve better outcomes,” said Dr. Peter Richardson, corporate vice president and chief scientific officer of MannKind Corporation. The study will be managed in conjunction with the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute and the University of California, Santa Barbara. – Compiled by Jessica Selva

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