TAMPA, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The fourth largest Black-owned business in the United States, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida), kicks off its 2022 celebration of Black History Month by continuing its tradition of technology donations to urban communities. Coke Florida, the local, independent Coca-Cola bottler, will deliver an annual campaign focused on two of its community pillars: education and economic empowerment. Since its inception in 2015, Coke Florida has donated more than $500,000 in laptop computers across its Florida market.
Students in urban communities without access to digital technology became even more prevalent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Partnering with local organizations throughout its 18-territory footprint, Coke Florida will donate 200 laptops as part of its 2022 campaign. In addition to individual laptop donations, the company will equip three computer labs with new technology, meeting a broader community-based need. Coke Florida leaders and associates will also participate in local celebratory events and forums.
“Education and economic empowerment are essential to addressing inequities amongst our students,” said Percy L. Wells, II, Coke Florida’s Group Vice President, Governmental Relations, Public Affairs, and Communications. “For us, it’s important that we provide access to resources that create more opportunities to compete in the digital world.”
Additionally, Coke Florida will serve as Presenting Sponsor of the inaugural Jim Thorpe Invitational, February 25th-27th at the renowned Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. The Jim Thorpe Invitational invites over 100 Elite Junior Minority golfers and their parents to a three-day event that includes competition, educational seminars, and camaraderie. Minority professional tour players, men and women, will also compete and share their knowledge and expertise with junior golfers.
Wells continued, “The Jim Thorpe Invitational, which promotes diversity in the profession, will host a seminar called ‘Investing in You’ where junior golfers will learn about career paths available to them in the field of golf. This aligns with Coke Florida’s commitment to giving back to local communities through education and economic empowerment initiatives.”
Leveraging Jim Thorpe and the United Golfers Association’s dedication to expanding diversity in the golf industry, the Invitational is designed to provide opportunities to empower youth. The United Golfers Association (UGA), founded in 1925, is one of the leading organizations specifically created to increase diversity in the sport of golf. Thorpe and several other Black golfers began their careers as members of UGA. The organization hosted a series of professional golf tournaments during racial segregation in the United States.
Coke Florida is the largest Black-owned business in Florida. Black History Month celebrates the history, contributions, and achievements of the Black community. Coke Florida’s local initiatives and partnerships drive the company’s ongoing commitment to educating and empowering the communities it serves.
For more information about Coke Florida’s Black History Month 2022 campaign, visit www.cocacolaflorida.com/blackhistorymonth.
About Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC
Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) is a family-owned independent Coca-Cola bottler. Coke Florida has an exclusive sales and distribution territory that covers over 21 million consumers across 47 Florida counties, and includes the major metropolitan markets of Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Coke Florida markets, sells, manufactures, distributes, and merchandises over 600 products of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies. The company is the third largest privately held and the sixth largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. The company is also one of the largest Black-owned businesses in the United States. Coke Florida was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.