45 Non-Profits Shortlisted for 'Coca-Cola 125 Years Thank You Fund'

Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most iconic brands, has today announced details of the forty five organisations shortlisted following the review of hundreds of applications for the ‘Coca-Cola 125 Years Thank You Fund’. Fifteen of the final forty five organisations will secure funding from the €125,000 fund which is being used to support non-profit community and development groups as part of Coca-Cola’s 125th birthday celebrations in Ireland. The fund was designed to thank Coca-Colas loyal Irish consumers.

The public vote will be live from today, 1 September and will close 30 September, 2011.

The ‘Coca-Cola 125 Years Thank You Fund’, which is being operated in partnership with The Wheel and the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) has been designed to support projects and initiatives that are having a positive impact on the quality of life of communities on the island of Ireland. A total of fifteen grants will be made – ten of €10,000 and five of €5,000.   
Speaking today Aedamar Howlett, Country Manager Coca-Cola Ireland, said that creating the shortlist was difficult because of the quality of the entries. “We are delighted with the response to the ‘Coca-Cola 125 Years Thank You Fund’. We received over six hundred applications from all over the island of Ireland. The applicants proposed some very innovative projects and schemes which could have a really positive impact on their communities. We would like to thank everyone for taking the time to enter and for showing us what great work is happening in communities every day. 
“We understand that many non-profit and community groups are under financial pressure and this made the short listing process even more challenging but we are confident that we have chosen deserving projects that are really going to make a big difference to communities nationwide. I would encourage the public to log onto www.coca-cola.ie to view the shortlist and vote for the projects which they feel are most deserving. This has been a great experience for Coca-Cola, we have had a long relationship with Ireland and this has been a great way to celebrate that relationship as part of our 125th birthday celebrations. I wish all those shortlisted the very best of luck in this final round.”   
The public vote will be live from today, 1 September and will close 30 September, 2011. The public vote will account for 50% of the total vote with the judging panel awarding the remaining 50% of votes available.  The fifteen winners of the grants will be announced during October 2011. The top ten will receive individual grants for €10,000 with the five runners up receiving individual grants of €5,000. 

Judging Panel

Coca Cola Fund Judges

Pictured was: Back row (left-right) Aedamar Howlett, Country Manager Coca-Cola Ireland and Michael Ewing, Social Partnership Coordinator, Irish Environmental Network; Front row (left-right) Sarah O’Connor, CEO at The Federation of Irish Sports; Dame Mary Peters, Former Olympian; James Laverty, Fundraising Information Officer at NICVA and Deirdre Garvey, CEO, The Wheel.

The judging panel is made up of a variety of community leaders who were selected because of their proven track-record in making positive contributions to society. Members include: 

  • Aedamar Howlett, Country Manager Coca-Cola Ireland
  • Dame Mary Peters, Past Olympian
  • Sarah O’Connor, Executive Director at The Federation of Irish Sports
  • Michael Ewing, CEO, Irish Environmental Network
  • Eoghan Murphy, Fine Gael TD in Dublin South East
  • Deirdre Garvey , CEO, The Wheel
  • James Laverty, NICVA

The €125,000 will be granted to non-profit community, voluntary and charitable organisations throughout the Island of Ireland to help support initiatives focused on the following areas; Social and Education Programmes aimed at Youth, Healthy and Active Lifestyles, and Environmental Leadership. 

For further information and to view the shortlist for the ‘Coca-Cola 125 Years Thank You Fund’ log onto www.coca-cola.ie