Friday, October 8, 2010

CFL Teams Up With Pepsi

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - The Pepsi Refresh Project - the Pepsi Brand's groundbreaking movement that will give away more than $1 million to fund Canadian ideas that foster positive social change - has teamed up with The Canadian Football League to refresh Canada as part of an eight-team Pepsi Refresh Project - CFL Challenge.

Eight CFL players, each representing a different CFL team, will vie for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant to support an idea that makes positive change in their communities. Starting today, Canadians can decide which player's cause wins the money by voting for their favourite idea at CFL Challenge voting closes on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 10 am ET.

CFL players participating in the Challenge are: Jason Arakgi, BC Lions in support of Camp Goodtimes; Patrick Kabongo, Edmonton Eskimos in support of Wellspring Edmonton; Wes Lysack, Calgary Stampeders in support of Canadian Cancer Society Patient Care Kits; Rob Bagg, Saskatchewan Roughriders in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada; Luke Fritz, Winnipeg Blue Bombers in support of Winnipeg Harvest and its "Hunger for Hope" program ; Andre Durie, Toronto Argonauts in support of Community Living Mississauga; Marwan Hage, Hamilton Tiger-Cats in support of McMaster Children's Hospital; Anthony Calvillo, Montreal Alouettes in support of The Cedars Cancer Institute.

Each CFL player has come up with an idea that will move Canada forward in a positive way and they'd like their fans to help them win the money for their cause. Ideas range from providing a positive camp experience for children with cancer to providing baby formula for infants in need, to providing assistance to people with developmental disabilities.

"The Pepsi Refresh Project captures one of the greatest things about our league, and that's the way our players and our fans work together to strengthen their communities and our country," said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. "I want to congratulate our friends and partners at PepsiCo Canada on a tremendous initiative, wish all of the great CFL players involved the best of luck, and urge all of our fans to vote, get involved and help the Pepsi Brand make a positive difference."

"CFL football players are big and tough on the outside, but they've got huge, generous hearts on the inside," said Dale Hooper, Vice President Marketing, PepsiCo Beverages Canada. "When it comes to doing good, these players are always first in line, which makes them great role models for the Pepsi Refresh Project. And of course they're going to have some fun trying to beat out their teams' rivals, and we think fans will enjoy helping them."

Consumers can view all eight players' ideas and vote for their favourite at On October 29, the top four players will advance to the "semi-finals" based on the highest number of votes generated, and on November 12, the field will be narrowed to two finalists. Voting for the final two players will close on November 24, 2010 at 10 am ET. The player whose idea garners the most votes will receive the $50,000 grant on behalf of his charity. The remaining 7 players will each receive $2,000 for the charity they are supporting.

The Pepsi Refresh Project - CFL Challenge is a special addition to the broader national Pepsi Refresh Project.

About the Pepsi Refresh Project

In an effort to support those who generate innovative, optimistic ideas, the Pepsi Refresh Project ( will award over $1 Million in grants. Every other month, individuals and organizations can apply for grants to benefit a variety of projects and site visitors can vote for the best ideas for funding. The Pepsi Refresh Project is an evolution of the Joy It Forward initiative Pepsi launched in 2009, which showed the brand as an optimistic catalyst for idea creation. Pepsi will fund projects that make a difference in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighbourhoods and Education.

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