It's that time of the year when the Arthur M. Blank Family of Businesses will embark upon one of its many team-oriented projects to improve the local community where they live, play and work.
Falcons Owner & CEO Arthur M. Blank will take off his designer suit and exchange it for jeans and work gloves. Team President Rich McKay will head downtown, determined to make a difference.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith — always looking for a competitive advantage — will come armed with a weed trimmer; and GM Thomas Dimitroff — fresh off the draft board — will be handed a paint brush for another type of board.
What do all four of the Falcons leaders have in common with the other 180 members of Blank's team?
They all love Atlanta and want to do their part to make it a better place to live. That's why Blank and his team of associates from the Atlanta Falcons; PGA TOUR Superstores; Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers; The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; and AMB Group join together each year for "All Associates Day," when they volunteer their time to address a need in the community.
"Our associates really look forward to the opportunity 'All Associates Day' provides for us to give back to our local community," said Penelope McPhee, President of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. "It's a day when associates from across our businesses who don't routinely see each other can come together for a great cause. It's one of the highlights of our year."
This year, associates will be participating in a playground build at Vine City Park and a BeltLine clean-up project at Washington Park on Thursday, May 5, from 8 a.m.-noon.
The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) has made a $25,000 grant to fund the playground. The project is part of AFYF's Falcons Fitness Zone initiative, which in partnership with the NFL's Play 60 campaign is helping more than 10,000 kids in Atlanta and Gainesville engage in more than one million hours of physical activity a year.
The playground award follows a 2007 Blank Family Foundation grant of $550,000 to help the City of Atlanta create Vine City Park. Vine City neighborhood residents worked with Park Pride to design the park and the playground.
In addition to leading the playground build, volunteers at Vine City Park will do landscaping work and paint a mural designed by a neighborhood artist.
At Washington Park, volunteers will improve access to the BeltLine trail by removing weeds, plants, trash and other debris. This work follows volunteer time conducted by HighGrove Partners, a business partner of The Arthur M. Blank Family Office, to remove heavier logs and debris. The Blank Family of Businesses has adopted this quarter-mile segment of the trail and will supply volunteers to carry out monthly maintenance at the site.
Media are invited to attend at both locations, provided they bring their own work gloves.