Furman Park needs your votes in Coke contest

DOWNEY - Downey's Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with the "Healthy Downey" campaign, has announced it has joined Coca-Cola's third annual nationwide contest to determine "America's Favorite Park," in hopes its entry, Furman Park, gets the most votes from park goers and the general Downey community. The park that garners the most votes wins the $100,000 first prize.

Residents can vote online at coke.com/parks. Once registered, you can vote once a day every day until the contest ends on July 15.

Votes also count by checking in on Foursquare or by using the Map My Fitness app.

Furman Park was chosen to represent Downey, according to Parks & Recreation director Arlene Salazar, because it is "one of the city's most visited parks and is extensively used for its existing walking trail."

The number of Furman Park goers in FY 2011-12, according to her, totaled some 298,750 visitors.

The prize of $100,000 will go far towards fashioning a brand-new walking trail, she reckons, to replace the presumably aging old one, with appropriate outdoor exercise equipment to boot, for park visitors to experience and enjoy.

The contest, explained Salazar, is one of an array of non-traditional ways the department figures it can get the community involved in enhancing its park facilities and level of amenities. In this respect, she says her department is constantly on the lookout for "traditional funding such as grants and in-kind donations as well as non-traditional methods for funding capital improvement projects at our parks."

For Downey's participation to succeed, even if not totally (because it joined the contest rather late-the contest officially began on June 6), and be meaningful, Salazar says an all-out effort by the community is needed.

This can be done by as many people as possible voting for Furman Park as "America's Favorite Park" starting now by registering at coke.com/parks. Once registered, you can vote once a day every day until the contest ends on July 15.

You can also link your Foursquare account (via your smartphone) to earn five votes per day, or link your "Map My Fitness" (via GPS technology) and log 20 minutes of activity to earn 10 votes per day. You can get more information about these apps by going to Foursquare.com and mapmyfitness.com, respectively.

You are urged to visit the first-mentioned website above to learn more about contest rules, voting and which parks are in the lead.

Votes logged on June 21 (the first day of summer) and July 13-14 (just before the contest ends) are worth double.

The community partners for a "Healthy Downey" include: the city of Downey, DUSD, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Coca-Cola, Downey Chamber of Commerce, Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles, Inc., County of Los Angeles Public Health, Applecare Medical Group, Downey YMCA, Kaiser Permanente, U.S. Army, and Downey Bicycle Coalition. Its current spokesman is mayor Mario Guerra.

********** Published: June 20, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 10