COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State, in partnership with AEP, Kroger and Dispatch Media Group, is launching Buckeyes Care, a program that highlights the positive spirit and goodwill alive in our community – Buckeyes helping Buckeyes. The collaborative initiative will highlight how Ohio State student-athletes, coaches and corporate community partners are making an impact in Central Ohio and beyond.
The four pillars of the program are fitness, wellness, education and public service. The goals and objectives of Buckeyes Care are to:
· Organize and highlight current outreach initiatives under an overarching community umbrella
· Engage, educate and inspire the community
· Build community goodwill.
“We are excited to introduce Buckeyes Care, which allows us the opportunity to Pay It Forward both in the Columbus community and around the state of Ohio,” Gene Smith, Ohio State vice president and director of athletics, said. “In collaboration with our distinguished partners, the program will provide the chance to make an impact on the lives of many families. The event this weekend will be a great kickoff to the initiative and introduce the fun and excitement of being on campus for an Ohio State football gameday to many Buckeyes Care participants.”
Buckeyes Care Day will be celebrated Saturday prior to the Ohio State football game vs. Kent State in Ohio Stadium. A brief program will be held in French Field House to launch the event with additional mentions and recognitions taking place at the game between the Buckeyes and Golden Flashes.
Other events are planned throughout the year, including a Community Service Champions recognition and the LIFESports Spring Game.
The three Buckeyes Care Pillar Partners – AEP, Kroger and Dispatch Media Group – look forward to working with Ohio State and its volunteer efforts in the Columbus community and across the Buckeye state.
“AEP is excited to sponsor the Buckeyes Care program,” Dale Heydlauff, vice president, AEP Corporate Communications and president of the AEP Foundation, said. “It is a wonderful complement to our decades-long association with OSU and our commitment to community involvement. Our corporate creed, adopted 80 years ago, promoted community engagement through employee volunteerism and corporate philanthropy, recognizing that our ability to prosper is inextricably linked to the health and vitality of the communities we serve.”
“We are fortunate to live and work in a great community,” Bruce Macaulay, president of Kroger’s Columbus division, said. “Our customers and associates are some of the most generous people when it comes to volunteering and supporting the community. We see Buckeyes helping Buckeyes every day in our stores, so Buckeyes Care was a natural partnership for Kroger.”
“The Dispatch Media Group proudly sponsors Buckeyes Care,” Phil Pikelny, the company’s VP, chief marketing officer, said. “The Columbus Dispatch, WBNS-10TV and 97.1FM The Fan are part of a family-owned media company that for more than 100 years has continued its deep commitment to the health and well-being of our community. Every day our media companies tell the stories that shape and change our community. The associates at our company regularly join our readers, viewers and listeners in supporting their Central Ohio communities through volunteerism and other important contributions. Our long-time support of The Ohio State University makes our participation in the Buckeyes Care program a natural.”
A website, OhioStateBuckeyes.com/BuckeyesCare, and #BuckeyesCare have been established to share uplifting experiences and stories from the community.