Office Depot NASCAR driver named Ambassador for Youth to promote children's health and wellness CHICAGO (April 11, 2006) - National PTA has teamed up with NASCAR's newest young star Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, to...
Office Depot NASCAR driver named Ambassador for Youth to promote children's health and wellness
CHICAGO (April 11, 2006) - National PTA has teamed up with NASCAR's newest young star Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, to boost family nutrition and wellness and help kids excel in school. Edwards, a former substitute teacher, has been named an Ambassador for Youth for National PTA. He joins businesswoman and designer Kathy Ireland in encouraging parents to make time and get involved in their kid's school and PTA. Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) is Edwards' primary sponsor in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and a Proud Community Partner of National PTA.
"My mother was always involved in the PTA and it was neat to have continuity between what was going on at school and what was going on at home," Edwards said. "It's amazing to have the National PTA promote children's health and to involve both the schools and the parents under the banner of the PTA."
Edwards, who won four races during the 2005 NEXTEL Cup season and finished in third place overall in points, is committed to helping parents create healthy lifestyles for their children both at home and in school. Leading by example, Edwards exercises everyday, doesn't drink or smoke, and eats healthy. Edwards and the National PTA note that children are more likely to excel in the classroom with meaningful parent involvement and that healthy kids consistently outperform their peers.
"I think that physical and mental health are very important in a child's life," said Edwards. "There is a lot of progress to be made to ensure that children are getting the right nutrients and vitamins while keeping a check on the bad things they eat and drink. Overall, I am excited to be part of such an important program and look forward to working hard to promote healthy lifestyles in children."
In his new role as a National Ambassador for Youth, Edwards will join millions of parents and educators to work toward improving the lives of children, as well as urging parents and families to be more involved. Edwards follows in the footsteps of dozens of community leaders, celebrities, legislators, and U.S. Presidents, all of whom have lent their voices and support to National PTA to make a difference in the lives of children. Edwards, who is in front of millions of fans each week on the racetrack, will also lend his support by speaking directly with kids, working with National PTA to provide relevant information to parents, and being a strong advocate for public education.
"National PTA is thrilled to add Carl Edwards to our team as an Ambassador for Youth," said National PTA President Anna Weselak. "Carl serves as an excellent example in the way that he promotes the importance of a healthy lifestyle. He's dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth-and that's what PTA is all about."
"Office Depot has always been committed to helping children and supporting education. We are very proud that our relationship with Carl Edwards has also blossomed into this worthy and important cause championed by our partners at National PTA," said Tony Ueber, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Office Depot.
Edwards, whose mother is a former president of her local PTA, began working with National PTA when he donated a portion of his winnings from the 2005 Ameriquest 300 race at the California Speedway to the Kids of Katrina fund, a special relief effort created by National PTA and Office Depot to assist those schools impacted by Hurricane Katrina. In February, National PTA and Office Depot distributed tens of thousands of school supplies to hurricane-affected schools in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System in Louisiana. To date, more than 20,000 students in 35 schools have received much-needed school supplies from the Kids of Katrina Fund.
About National PTA
With nearly 6 million members, National PTA is the largest volunteer parent organization in the United States. Since its founding in 1897, National PTA has prided itself on being a powerful voice for children, a relevant resource for parents, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in National PTA is open to anyone who is concerned with the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information about National PTA, visit www.pta.org.
About Carl Edwards
Over the past 12 years, Carl Edwards has accumulated two NASCAR sanctioned track championships, three Rookie-of-the-Year honors, and 75 feature wins while racing on both dirt and pavement tracks across the country. The drive and determination that Edwards has shown to this point in his career promises to be a winning combination as he competes full time in both the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series in 2006.
About Office Depot
With annual sales of over $14 billion, Office Depot provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company. Incorporated in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, Office Depot conducts business in 22 countries and employs 47,000 people worldwide. The Company operates under the Office Depot®, Viking Office Products®, and Viking Direct® brand names.