"Holiday Hoops for Hope" Community Event to Benefit Paralympic Sport Metrolina

BP and BP Distributor, Mark Oil Company, to Present $20,000 Donation to Benefit Charlotte Youth and Adults with Physical and Visual Disabilities

Nov 10, 2011, 09:00 ET from BP

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To fuel the spirit of BP's sponsorship of the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, Charlotte-based BP Distributor, Mark Oil Company, is teaming up with Paralympic Sport Metrolina to help raise awareness of the benefits of recreational and competitive sports for youth and adults with physical and visual disabilities.

Holiday Hoops for Hope is a free event, open to the public, and will take place on Friday, November 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Founders Hall. The event will provide an opportunity for area residents to learn how children and adults with disabilities overcome physical challenges through participation in recreational and competitive sports programs at Paralympic Sport Metrolina, a program of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.  Club members will be available to teach attendees about the unique skills it takes to perform various sports as an athlete with disabilities. Demonstrations will include wheelchair basketball, boccia, tandem cycling and hand-cycling.  

Event attendees can contribute to Paralympic Sport Metrolina during the event by shooting hoops that will in turn earn the club BP gasoline to help cover travel costs. For every basket made, $1, $5 or $100 in BP gasoline (to the value of $1,000 of BP gasoline) will be donated to the Paralympic Sport Metrolina's traveling teams. The recreational and competitive traveling teams are a valuable part of the club's programming as it provides the opportunity for local athletes to travel for competition.

Local triathlete and 2012 Paralympic Hopeful, Cadie Jessup, will be at the event to share her story and help Charlotte residents understand how these club members embody the ability in disability and lead healthy and active lifestyles.  

"We want to raise awareness of the benefits Paralympic Sport Metrolina offers adults and children with physical and visual disabilities," said Karla Gray of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. "We are excited to give the residents of Charlotte the opportunity to try a selection of Paralympic sports themselves and begin to understand how our athletes overcome adversity every day."

Mark Oil Company, a BP Distributor that services 34 BP stations throughout Charlotte, will present a $10,000 grant donation to Paralympic Sport Metrolina at the event. The donation is made possible through the BP Fueling Communities grant program, which will help fund the sport activities available at the club, such as wheelchair basketball, tandem cycling, sled hockey and goalball. In addition, BP will make a matching donation of $10,000 worth of sled hockey equipment and tandem bikes for the members of the club.

"With BP's sponsorship of the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, we were inspired to show our support and commitment to Paralympic Sport Metrolina and help raise awareness about the opportunities available through the U.S. Paralympic Team and this truly dynamic and important community-based club," said Bill Tome, president of Mark Oil Company.  "We're thrilled to give back to our fellow neighbors and support this organization that makes a positive difference in the lives of Charlotte residents."

The BP Fueling Communities program provides grants to local organizations that are nominated by BP's Branded Marketers to support the communities in which they do business. Fueling Communities helps spread charity and goodwill by giving back to local organizations that support health, education, youth, food and housing.

Charlotte-area residents can also participate in a fundraising effort for this important community program by purchasing a Paralympic Sport Metrolina bracelet for $1 at participating BP sites beginning today through January 31, 2012. All of the proceeds will go to the Paralympic Sport Metrolina.  

"We are thrilled to be working with BP on this initiative and are very grateful for the Fueling Communities grant and equipment donation, which will benefit the recreational and competitive athletes our club serves," said Gray.

Schedule of Events

November 18 event at Founders Hall, 100 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, N.C.:

  • Live sport demonstrations and wheelchair basketball shooting contests open to the public for a chance to earn Paralympic Sport Metrolina $1, $5, or $100 worth of BP gasoline for each shot made, up to $1,000 of BP gasoline; 11:00 a.m.2:00 p.m.
  • Mark Oil Company presents grant and equipment donation to Paralympic Sport Metrolina, 12:00 p.m.
  • Public meet and greet with local Paralympic Hopeful Cadie Jessup, 12:15 p.m.

About BP and Team USA

As an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee, BP is honored to be a supporter of Team USA. Consumers are encouraged to 'Like' the U.S. Paralympic Facebook page to meet the athletes, ask them questions, chat live and cheer them on to victory on their road to London in 2012, www.facebook.com/usparalympics.

BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through more than 11,000 BP and ARCO branded retail outlets and supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities.

BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco Corporation, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol. BP is a global producer, manufacturer and marketer of oil, gas, chemicals and renewable energy sources.

About Mark Oil Company

Mark Oil Company is a Charlotte based distributor of BP branded products to over thirty convenience stores and service stations in the Greater Charlotte Area. The company has been in business since 1908 and along with its employees and customers has proudly supported the Greater Charlotte community throughout its history.

About Paralympic Sport Metrolina

Paralympic Sport Metrolina, a program of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, focuses on providing the opportunity for members of the community who have visual and physical disabilities to take part in sports and recreational opportunities. Paralympic Sport Metrolina began in late 2009 in response to the growing need for community based sports programs that would be available for community members who had a wide range of interests and various skill levels.

Since this time, Paralympic Sport Metrolina has continued its partnership and support of existing programs in the community including Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby, and Power Soccer and has developed new programs to meet community needs. Current sports provided directly by Paralympic Sport Metrolina include swimming, goalball, sled hockey, boccia and tandem cycling.

Increasing activity level and involvement in community life reduces medical complications and costly secondary disabilities after onset of a physical disability, involvement prevents isolation and involvement enhances a persons body image. The benefits are limitless.

Media Contacts:
BP Products North America: Scott Dean, 630/821-3212, Scott.Dean@bp.com
GolinHarris: Brett Cerf, 312/729-4278, bcerf@golinharris.com