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Polar pitches in to help fund playground
Schools have playgrounds for good reason.

They are places apart from classrooms for kids to stretch muscles, form friendships, share thoughts, blow off steam.

After parents and their students at Worcester’s Union Hill Elementary School, along with Oak Hill Community Development Corp., created an ambitious plan for a playground on school space otherwise defined for play by little more than asphalt and lines, KaBOOM!, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group of Plano, Texas, and Polar Beverages of Worcester stepped up to help fund the project with a Let’s Play grant.

The national partnership between nonprofit KaBOOM! and DPS is designed to get kids moving by building or fixing up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013.

Polar Beverages, the family-owned Worcester bottler and distributor of Polar seltzer, soda and other drinks, also bottles and distributes DPS-owned brands 7UP, A&W, Sunkist, Crush, RC Cola, Diet Rite, Snapple, Sundrop and Nantucket Nectars.

With DPS’ $15 million commitment to build playgrounds with KaBOOM!, Ralph D. Crowley Jr., Polar president and chief executive officer, said Worcester needed to be next on the list.

KaBOOM! said DPS and Polar underwrote 90 percent of the project cost, estimated by Oak Hill at $165,000.

About 50 Polar employees showed up Sept. 24 along with 200 other volunteers — among them students from nearby Worcester Academy and City Manager Michael V. O’Brien — to build the playground. Mr. Crowley hauled mulch and concrete, and Polar made sure people had plenty to drink.

A respite from the classroom but a learning lab in itself, a playground is also a teaching environment. And what Mr. Crowley said he learned that day was twofold: “It was good to see the community come together to get something done,” he said, but, directed here and there with his wheelbarrow by others more used to managing the complexity of playground-building in a day, Mr. Crowley said, it was “challenging for me not to be the boss.”

“What was really noteworthy was the caliber of support from Ralph on down,” said Mullen Sawyer, executive director of Oak Hill. “He worked like a maniac.”

Family Health Center receives grant
Family Health Center of Worcester has been awarded a $40,000 grant by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.

The center is one of 24 community organizations to receive grants totaling $1.2 million. The grants represent the first of two years of funding.

Family Health Center will use the funds to improve access to health care and insurance coverage for low-income individuals and families and increase their self-sufficiency in navigating the health care system.

 

Polar builds a playground in Worcester!

LET’S PLAY: DESIGNED BY KIDS, BUILT BY VOLUNTEERS
OAK HILL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, WORCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS, DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP, POLAR BEVERAGES AND KaBOOM! TEAM UP TO BUILD NEW PLAYGROUND IN JUST ONE DAY FOR CHILDREN



WHAT: More than 200 volunteers from Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Polar Beverages, Oak Hill Community Development Corporation and Worcester Public Schools, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the local community will join forces on Saturday, Sept. 24 to build a new playground at Union Hill Elementary. The new playground’s design is based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day event in July.

WHY: The project is part of Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM! to build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America. Dr Pepper Snapple Group is also a member of the leadership circle within the KaBOOM! National Partner Program.

The new playground will provide more than 500 children in the Worcester community with a safe place to play. Currently, the children who attend Union Hill Elementary and children living in the surrounding neighborhood do not have a playground within walking distance to enjoy.

Today’s kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground. This Play Deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically as well as mentally and socially. Children desperately need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy. KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play. For 15 years, KaBOOM! has been fighting the Play Deficit and saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child.

WHEN: Saturday, September 24
8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Kick off ceremony and volunteer deployment
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Best viewing of playground construction
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Final construction phase and adjustments
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate new play area
(Note: all times approximate)

WHERE: Union Hill Elementary School
1 Chapin St.
Worcester, MA 01604

WHO: Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien;
Massachusetts State Senator Michael Moore;
Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Melinda Boone;
Hundreds of volunteers from the community

VISUALS: Before and after shots of the site
Volunteers assembling brightly colored playground equipment
Volunteers moving 43,740 square feet of safety surfacing by hand
Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground

About Oak Hill Community Development Corporation
Since 1972, Oak Hill Community Development Corporation has been working to improve the physical condition of the Union Hill, Oak Hill and Upsala Street neighborhoods of Worcester as we improve the quality of life and economic status of those that live and work here. We achieve this through focused lines of business goals in housing promotion and preservation with our NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center of Worcester (NW HOCW), and through our Community Development Agenda, which includes community engagement, rental property & asset management, real estate development, economic development, resident & youth employment, and leadership programming. Our overarching goal is to make the Oak Hill service area a place where people want to invest their time, money and energy to make a better life. Oak Hill Community Development Corporation’s Mission: Oak Hill CDC creates opportunities to connect with resources, fosters leadership, and supports community members in their efforts to enhance and revitalize their neighborhoods.

About Worcester Public Schools
The Worcester Public Schools provides learners with a quality education in a safe and healthy environment. We believe that all students can achieve at high levels as they prepare to become productive citizens in our changing technological world. We are committed to supporting students, parents, educators, and citizens in their pursuit of learning.

About Polar Beverages
Polar Beverages is the largest privately-owned, soft-drink bottler in the United States. The company traces its history to 1882 and has a long established reputation for quality, strong customer relationships and brand loyalty. Polar's business segments include the company's flagship Polar brand, franchise national brands, new-age brands and private-label brands.

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is the leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 9 of our 12 leading brands are No. 1 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes Sunkist soda, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Crush, Mott's, Squirt, Hawaiian Punch, Penafiel, Clamato, Schweppes, Venom Energy, Rose's and Mr & Mrs T mixers. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit www.drpeppersnapple.com.

About Let’s Play
Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that’s saving play. Together, through Let’s Play, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America. For more information, visit Let’s Play on Facebook at www.facebook.com/letsplay or online at www.LetsPlay.com.

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this Play Deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! 15 years ago in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 85,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.





 

LET’S PLAY: DESIGNED BY KIDS, BUILT BY VOLUNTEERS
OAK HILL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, WORCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS, DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP, POLAR BEVERAGES AND KaBOOM! TEAM UP TO BUILD NEW PLAYGROUND IN JUST ONE DAY FOR CHILDREN



Polar Beverages was honored to team up with the Oak Hill CDC, Kaboom and the DPS's Let’s Play Initiative to build the playground at the Union Hill School on September 24, 2011. Polar contributed not only all the beverages for the day to keep everyone hydrated, but 50 Polar Beverage employees including the CEO and President Ralph Crowley Jr. showed to support the efforts of building the new playground for the school and the community.

After six hours of hard work and the community coming together, the children of the Union Hill School have a new playground.

About Polar Beverages
Polar Beverages is the largest privately-owned, soft-drink bottler in the United States. The company traces its history to 1882 and has a long established reputation for quality, strong customer relationships and brand loyalty. Polar's business segments include the company's flagship Polar brand, franchise national brands, new-age brands and private-label brands.

About Oak Hill Community Development Corporation
Since 1972, Oak Hill Community Development Corporation has been working to improve the physical condition of the Union Hill, Oak Hill and Upsala Street neighborhoods of Worcester as we improve the quality of life and economic status of those that live and work here. We achieve this through focused lines of business goals in housing promotion and preservation with our NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center of Worcester (NW HOCW), and through our Community Development Agenda, which includes community engagement, rental property & asset management, real estate development, economic development, resident & youth employment, and leadership programming. Our overarching goal is to make the Oak Hill service area a place where people want to invest their time, money and energy to make a better life. Oak Hill Community Development Corporation’s Mission: Oak Hill CDC creates opportunities to connect with resources, fosters leadership, and supports community members in their efforts to enhance and revitalize their neighborhoods.

About Worcester Public Schools
The Worcester Public Schools provides learners with a quality education in a safe and healthy environment. We believe that all students can achieve at high levels as they prepare to become productive citizens in our changing technological world. We are committed to supporting students, parents, educators, and citizens in their pursuit of learning.

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is the leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 9 of our 12 leading brands are No. 1 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes Sunkist soda, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Crush, Mott's, Squirt, Hawaiian Punch, Penafiel, Clamato, Schweppes, Venom Energy, Rose's and Mr & Mrs T mixers. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit www.drpeppersnapple.com.

About Let’s Play
Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that’s saving play. Together, through Let’s Play, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America. For more information, visit Let’s Play on Facebook at www.facebook.com/letsplay or online at www.LetsPlay.com.

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this Play Deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! 15 years ago in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 85,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

 





Polar at the Minnesota State Fair!

 

Youkilis lends his time, expertise to clinic


BOSTON -- The Kevin Youkilis who stepped to the plate in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's win at Fenway Park was the super-competitive one, the one who is one of the best corner infielders in baseball.

It was a tie game, it was late, and Youkilis disagreed with a check-swing, strike-three call from first-base umpire Gerry Davis. So he was ejected an inning before the Sox walked off as 3-2 winners over the Indians -- a game Youkilis had tied at 2 with a home run.

About 12 hours earlier, it was a calmer, smiling Youkilis who showed up at Northeastern University's Parsons Field in Brookline, barely more than a mile from Fenway, with his young mastiff, Max, in tow. This was not the player between the white lines but the approachable, genial guy who has made -- and will continue to make -- a tangible effort to touch the lives of children.

Youkilis, about 200 children between the ages of 6 and 16 and eight members of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) combined with such sponsors as Longwood Giving, State Room and Veronique at a baseball fundamentals clinic. Youkilis' presence was a huge draw.

Since 2007, Youkilis' charity, Youk's Kids, has provided support, awareness and advocacy for children in need. Many of the kids to whom he talked on Tuesday he had seen before.

"A lot of these kids I interact with over the year, and that's what we try to do," Youkilis said. "We try to send them to camps and into these great things to get them active. I saw one of the kids today that I had seen a bunch of times through Italian Home. I gave a smile. It's not one of those things where it's just like, 'Here you go, walk away.' One kid I haven't seen in three years, but he remembered seeing me. It was hard to remember every single face, but it's good to see these kids again and see that they're doing well."

On an already hot day on a turf field, stations were set up, with different instruction offered at each. The participants were grouped by age, with a different instructor for each. Larry Collura, currently a scout with the Yankees, was in the outfield. Richie Hebner, an 18-year Major League vet, taught hitting with Youkilis at home plate.

"That was a bonus today," Hebner said of Youkilis' presence. "When you get an active player to come out, that's a big bonus."

For the participants, and the parents who watched from the sidelines, the day was a thrill.

"Couldn't be more of a diehard fan. It goes way back. The passion has been handed down to generation to generation," John Faggiano, of Needham, said of his family's devotion to the Red Sox. Faggiano's daughters, 11-year-old Isabella and 8-year-old Frankie, were at the clinic, along with his 7-year-old son, Jack. "To see my kids embrace it is awesome."

A variety of sponsors came together to make the event happen, including Pirate's Booty and Polar Beverages, which gave away samples; Rawlings, which gave a gift to the participants; the Life is good apparel company; and Qdoba and Not Your Average Joe's restaurants. A smaller luncheon was hosted afterward at Veronique, a nearby ballroom.

Northeastern donated the use of the field.

"It's an easy give," said the university's vice president for city and community affairs, John Tobin. "You have a guy like Kevin Youkilis come out ... It's sincere and legitimate. He's not using it to get his name out there. I've seen him for years."

Clinics such as the one held on Tuesday have been hosted across the country by the MLBPAA and the organization's Legends for Youth Clinics program, which reaches an estimated 6,500 people each year. At the different stops -- there were two others in Massachusetts earlier this year, and 55 are scheduled for the season -- former players have come out to lend a hand.

"This is perfect," said Tyler Kourajian, special events coordinator for the MLBPAA. "The sponsors bring food for the kids, water for the kids. Youkilis is a lifetime member of the Players Alumni Association, [so] it's perfect that we're all teaming up together at a clinic like this."

Polar Acquisition gives beverage manufacturer a base in the South
By Priyanka Dayal TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF


Christopher J. Crowley, executive vice president and treasurer of Polar Beverages, shows off one of the company's products at Polar's bottling plant on Southbridge Street. (T&G Staff/JIM COLLINS)

Trucks and excavators are parked near the new Polar Beverages warehouse on Southbridge Street in Worcester. (T&G Staff/TOM RETTIG)

WORCESTER — Perhaps it's no surprise residents of the Sunshine State like their Orange Dry.

The fizzy drink, manufactured by Worcester-based Polar Beverages, does include some Florida orange juice.

Whatever the reason, the family that owns and runs Polar is hoping southerners keep drinking the company's trademark orange soda — and the dozens of other sodas and seltzers Polar manufactures here in Worcester.

To cut shipping costs and boost business in the Southeast, Polar recently bought a bottling facility in Fitzgerald, Ga., from supermarket chain Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.

The Georgia facility gives Polar easy access to the Southern market. Polar will use the facility to make Chek beverages, Winn-Dixie's private label.

And eventually, Polar will start manufacturing Polar brand products in Georgia, which means it won't have to send truckloads of beverages from Worcester to the Deep South.

“Our hope is to grow dramatically down there,” said Ralph D. Crowley Jr., Polar's president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Crowley called the Winn-Dixie acquisition, Polar's 35th since 1992, a natural progression.

“Polar has been first a Worcester brand, then a New England brand, then a Northeast brand, and now the snow birds down south are very familiar with Polar,” he said.

Polar tested its products in southern grocery stores before investing in the Georgia facility. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Winn-Dixie, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., said the deal with Polar follows its strategy to focus on its core business: operating grocery stores.

Mr. Crowley said Polar plans to add 75 jobs to the Georgia facility over the next three years. The facility currently has 135 employees.

Polar didn't receive any tax breaks from local or state officials in Georgia, but Mr. Crowley described the overall climate as “business-friendly.”

Longtime Fitzgerald Mayor Gerald H. Thompson said Polar's presence will be good for his community, which lost more than 1,000 jobs in the last few years.

“Our people need the jobs,” he said. “This economic recession that we have been in for several years has been tough for our community because a number of manufacturing facilities have failed. Right now, we're trying to build back.”

Though Mr. Crowley is excited about Polar's growth in the South, he said Polar is also pouring money into its local facilities in Worcester and Auburn, which will be the hub for the company's growth in the Northeast.

Polar is spending $6 million on a roof project that will include solar panels for two vast warehouse buildings at the Southbridge Street headquarters. Just over the Worcester line in Auburn, the company has a 225,000-square foot storage and distribution facility, which opened last year. Already, Polar is expanding the facility by 125,000 square feet.

Polar has about 1,400 employees, 1,100 of them in Worcester. It also owns and operates the Adirondack Beverages facility in Scotia, N.Y.

The fourth-generation, family-owned company has roots back to 1882. Whiskey used to be the company's top seller. Prohibition in the 1920s forced Polar out of the alcoholic beverages market, and the company began to focus on soft drinks and water.

Today Polar makes a slew of flavored sodas, seltzers and mixers. Ralph Crowley, and his brother, Christopher J. Crowley, Polar's executive vice president and treasurer, have lost count.

Polar also distributes many well-known national brands, including 7UP, Nantucket Nectars, Snapple and Sunkist.

After its latest acquisition, Polar's revenues are projected to be $400 million this year. Polar has grown to become the country's largest independent bottler of soft drinks.

It is small compared to industry giants, like PepsiCo Inc. and the Coca-Cola Co., but that doesn't mean it hasn't clashed with the giants.

Polar took PepsiCo to federal court this year when PepsiCo started selling a beverage that looked like it was made by Polar. A judge sided with Polar in April, ordering PepsiCo to stop selling its Polar Shock drinks in New England. The case was later dismissed.

Despite Polar's growth, the Crowley brothers like to think of their company as a small regional operation.

Polar's relationships with supermarkets and customers have allowed it to expand, Ralph Crowley said.

“We're more of a destination brand than an impulse brand,” he said, “and our competitors tend to be more of an impulse brand.”

Polar has catered to the growing segment of soda drinkers who choose diet, or low-sugar drinks. The company's newest venture in low-calorie drinks is Fruit A Peel, a fruit-flavored spritzer meant to serve as an alternative to juice.

Seltzers, which don't have any calories, are among Polar's top-selling products.

“The consumer is making up their mind and moving to healthier products, and we're benefiting from that,” Ralph Crowley said.

Nationally, diet sodas accounted for nearly 30 percent of the soft drink business last year, said John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest. That's up from 24.7 percent in 2000.

Total U.S. carbonated soft drink sales were $74.2 billion last year, up from $73.9 billion the year before, Mr. Sicher said. For the Crowley brothers, managing Polar means tasting bubbly liquids every day. Sometimes they taste to check the quality of a product. Sometimes they experiment with new flavors.

Even for big sellers like Orange Dry, the Crowleys tried oranges from different places to find the best tasting blend. They decided to combine juices from California and Florida oranges.

Orange Dry contains orange oil and orange juice, not concentrate, which makes it expensive to produce, compared with other orange sodas. “It's the real deal,” Chris Crowley said.

Ralph Crowley gulps two cans of Diet Orange Dry every day, and one can of seltzer. Chris Crowley's daily routine includes two cans of seltzer and one ginger ale.

Mr. Sicher predicted Polar will continue to grow. “They're one of the better bottlers in the country,” he said. “The management is considered to be very savvy.”

Polar Beverages sends it's deepest condolences to the EcoTarium in Worcester MA for the loss of Kenda the polar bear, who passed away on June 13th. Kenda, like Orson the Polar mascot has been a staple in the city of Worcester for the past 27 years. Kenda will be greatly missed.

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Kenda, polar bear loved by kids, was connection to the wild
By Steven H. Foskett Jr. TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF


 

WORCESTER — Kenda, the polar bear that was a mainstay of attractions at the EcoTarium since she was born there 27 years ago, was euthanized yesterday, according to the science museum.

 

Jennifer Kent, director of marketing at the EcoTarium, said the bear, born at the museum on Dec. 1, 1983, had developed a kidney disease and her heath had declined. The bear was euthanized around noon, she said.

 

Ms. Kent said that last fall, the bear developed a sore on her leg. She had a medical procedure and healed well, but tests revealed the onset of a kidney disease.

 

According to the EcoTarium, Kenda's medical and care staff have monitored her closely for months, conducting daily visual exams and working to ensure she was eating properly.

 

About three weeks ago, her health started to decline. A few days ago, she got worse. Further tests were planned, but after a physical exam yesterday, the decision was made to euthanize her, Ms. Kent said.

 

"The exam followed a recent and worrisome change in appetite, weight and behavior for the 27-year-old bear," the EcoTarium said in a statement. "Due to the rapid deterioration of her health and her bleak prognosis, the decision was made to humanely euthanize Kenda."

 

Kenda was born at the museum to Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, two polar bears brought in 1971 to what was then called the Worcester Science Center from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado. The museum's image for many years was closely identified with the bear.

 

She remained unnamed at first while the science center ran a contest to select her name. Some 5,000 entries poured in.

 

The winning suggestion, submitted by Kathy Grimley of Boylston, reportedly meant "child of clear, cool water."

 

Contacted at her Boylston home last night, Ms. Grimley said she was very sorry to hear of the bear's death. She said winning the contest was a lovely time in her family's life, and said she'll always have wonderful, happy memories of it. She said her children were 6 and 9 years old at the time and the polar bear was one of the biggest attractions at the science center. It was big news for the city at the time that a polar bear was born here, she said.

 

"We've gone back many times, when the kids were still young, and on occasion after that I've taken my grandniece," Ms. Grimley said. "It was delightful to be there with a new generation."

 

The contest was a big deal back then, she said, and her family had fun with all the publicity.

 

"We were thrilled to win a VCR," she said. "It was probably one of the first in the area. It was such a big deal."

 

Ms. Grimley said her daughters also entered names into the contest.

 

"I found the name in a baby book," Ms. Grimley said. "It said it meant ‘child of cool, clear water,' and I thought it was perfect."

 

Over the years, a wildlife team of five people and museum staff cared for Kenda, and her veterinary care was managed by experts at the Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton.

 

Ms. Kent said a somber mood was cast over the EcoTarium yesterday.

 

"We're very shaken up," Ms. Kent said. "There are a lot of tears."

 

Ms. Kent said that in the wild, polar bears can live from 15 to 18 years. Recent studies put the life span of polar bears in captivity at an average of 18 years, she said.

 

Stephen Pitcher, president of the EcoTarium, said last night that Kenda was a member of the museum's family and was there longer than many people who work there.

 

He said that beyond the obvious — that there was a polar bear at a museum in the city — there were several reasons the 130,000 annual visitors to the EcoTarium flocked to her habitat, which included a lower-level glass wall where visitors could view her swimming underwater.

 

"I think it was because she was born here," Mr. Pitcher said last night. "She lived her whole life here."

 

He said she was a "bit of a ham" sometimes, and staff enjoyed their daily interactions with her.

 

"One thing was training," he said. "What they would do is they would go down there and have her perform certain activities. She would come close to the door, and they would use a pointer, and have her open her mouth. She would open her mouth, they would use a clicker and give her a fish. They would have her put her paws up on bars, and look at her paws, and click the clicker and give her a fish. It was aimed at us being able to get a better look at her, but for her it was also exercise and mental stimulation."

 

Mr. Pitcher said he made the decision to euthanize Kenda. He said that in recent months she had lost around 200 pounds — more a third of her body weight, he said. There was no significant chance for recovery, he said. She was taken to Tufts, and will be cremated, he said.

 

Mr. Pitcher said the Eco-Tarium will be open for visitors as usual today. A book will be set up inside the EcoTarium for people to sign and share memories, and signs at the museum center and at Kenda's exhibit will inform visitors what happened and direct them to the book, he said.

 

Ms. Kent said the museum is inviting the community to share memories and condolences at the museum and on the museum's Facebook page.

 

There are no immediate plans to house another polar bear at the EcoTarium, he said.

 

While staff had been monitoring Kenda's condition, the rapid deterioration of her health took many at the museum by surprise, Mr. Pitcher said.

 

"This really came upon us awfully quick," Mr. Pitcher said. "A couple months ago I would have said she would have been with us for several more years."

 

Coincidentally, Ida, a polar bear at the Central Park Zoo in New York, was euthanized June 3 at age 25.

 

She had been there since 1987 after being born at the Buffalo Zoo upstate. Ida had been suffering from a cancer-related liver disease.

 

She and her male companion, Gus, were that zoo's oldest couple.



Giving Back!

Students are counting Polar cans and bottles from sampling events for redemption. They are having a great time and learning how to raise money for a cause. They have raised over $75.00 to send care packages to troops over in Afghanistan.

Missy Davis a 2 1/2 year old cat from Higganum, CT enjoys Polar Spring Water



Polar has been a proud member of the Mass Food Association since 1970.



Ambrose Gosling (1787 – 1857), who is the great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Malcolm Goslings came to visit Polar and the Pike Radio Station to promote Goslings Ginger Beer which is made at Polar!

Cheers!

 







 

 

Crowleys all smiles for Harvey Ball Award

 

(JOHN FERRARONE)

 

WORCESTER — Members of the Crowley family — from left, Caroline, Ralph, David, Jeff and Chris — clown around during The Harvey Ball 2010 Smile Award Celebration at Worcester Airport last night. Crowley family members were recipients of the award, which is presented by the Worcester Historical Museum to “an individual, organization, or group of individuals whose commitments have made a difference in the City of Worcester … and helped people throughout the community smile.” The award is named after the creator of the famed Smiley Face.

 

 

Read more:

http://www.telegram.com/article/20101016/NEWS/10160367/1101/rss01&source=rss#ixzz1B1wPb4rc

 

 

 

 

 

2010 & 2011

Fireworks rekindled

POLAR TO PICK UP TAB FOR FIRST NIGHT SHOW

 

 

Fireworks light up the sky over Worcester as 2007 gives way to 2008. Foul weather forced the cancellation of last year's display. (T&G File Photo/TOM RETTIG)

 

By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

 

WORCESTER —  First Night's fireworks displays are back.

Polar Beverages has stepped forward to finance the entire $15,000 cost of the two annual fireworks displays on New Year's Eve, after news earlier this month that the displays had been scrapped because of shrinking financial support.

 

“We are ecstatic and thrilled by Polar's generosity,” First Night Worcester Executive Director Joyce Kressler said in a news release announcing the return of fireworks. “First Night Worcester is the second-oldest New Year's Eve celebration in the world, and the reason this long-standing tradition continues is because of citizens and corporations like the Crowley family and Polar Beverages that continue to support the work that we do year-round in celebration of the arts.”

 

Traditionally, First Night Worcester has put on two fireworks displays, an early one for children and one at midnight. This year, the fireworks will occur in two different places.

 

The first display will take place about 6:30 p.m. at Worcester Memorial Auditorium, at the end of the Community Procession. Children will still be able to make their own “fireworks display” by stomping on a giant carpet of bubble wrap, donated by UPS.

 

The midnight fireworks display will be moved from Lincoln Square to Worcester City Hall on the Common, at 455 Main St. Beginning at 11:30 p.m. before the fireworks, revelers can write their New Year's resolutions on wish sticks that will be burned in large fire pits called resolution fires. Fire jugglers will perform on the Common and the countdown in New York City's Times Square will be simulcast on a large screen.

 

Had the fireworks shows been canceled, it would have been the second straight New Year's Eve celebration in the city without fireworks. Foul weather canceled last year's show.

 

After news of the fireworks cancellation last week, Worcester City Manager Michael V. O'Brien approached Polar Beverages President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Crowley about possible solutions for saving the fireworks. Mr. Crowley offered to pay for the fireworks in its entirety.

 

“I am not surprised by Ralph's response,” said Mr. O'Brien, in a prepared statement. “The Crowley family and Polar Beverages are shining examples of all that is good about Worcester. They believe in our community and in the causes they support. This is great news and a wonderful indicator of even more good things to come in the New Year.”

 

Mr. Crowley, in the same statement, said: “Polar Beverages and the Crowley Family realize that 2009 has been a difficult year for many.” “First Night Worcester is a traditional family event, which has always featured two fireworks displays. We are delighted that we are able to help put them back on the program.”

 

First Night Worcester will showcase eight continuous hours of music and performances in more than 20 venues around the city. Buttons are required for admission to all performances and activities, but the fireworks shows are free.

 

Buttons are available at CVS, Price Chopper and other retail locations. They are on sale for $8 until Christmas, after which the price increases to $12 until Dec. 31, and will be available at the event for $15. Children 10 and under are admitted free. More information is available at firstnightworcester.org.

 

 

Comments:


I love Polar and Wachusett. The Crowley's are wonderful people and Worcester is lucky to have them! THANK YOU!
Posted by Michael

 

GO POLAR!!!! I hope everyone goes out and stocks up on local manufacturers like Polar who give back to the community. Not to mention, Polar is really good soda.
Posted by Vernon Hill Native

 

THANK YOU many times over. Orange Dry rocks!!!!!
Posted by Tobi

 

Thank You POLAR!!! You are awesome and so is the BEAR!!!! Keep up the good work!
Posted by bear

 

'Thank You' Polar Beverages.
Worcester can always count on you to quench their thirsts with a bang.
Posted by Bombero

 

Thank you to the Crowley family and Polar Cola!!!
What a great way to support our community. I know I will be buying Polar products for all future functions!!
Posted by thanks polar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polar Plunge

 

 

 

 

On January 23, 2010, Wachusett Mountain hosted the Polar Plunge, an event which raises profits for Camp Sunshine.  The camp is located in Casco, ME and provides a retreat for children with illnesses and their families.  Polar Beverages was proud to donate to this event and have our name associated with it.

 



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