Cleveland, Ohio – The Coca-Cola Company and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) today announced the recipients of the 2005-06 Coca-Cola Community All-American awards. The Coca-Cola Community All-Americans program recognizes, celebrates and applauds student-athletes who are making a difference in their communities. The Coca-Cola Community All-Americans will receive their awards during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon at NACDA’s 41st Annual Convention. Additionally, Coca-Cola will make a $5,000 donation to the community/ philanthropic cause of each recipient's choice. Since Coca-Cola and NACDA teamed up to launch the Coca-Cola Community All-Americans program, numerous student-athletes and institutions across the country have been recognized for their hands-on volunteerism and community service.
"In addition to bringing national attention to the importance of volunteerism and community involvement, the Coca-Cola Community All-Americans program recognizes, celebrates and applauds student-athletes who are making a difference in their communities," said Kim Utlaut, regional asset manager, The Coca-Cola Company. "Our dynamic partnership with NACDA provides us with an annual, integrated, hands-on program that inspires coaches and student-athletes to contribute time and energy through community volunteer programs. In addition, it gives us a platform for all schools and local Coca-Cola bottlers to actively embrace as they recognize student-athletes for their tremendous contributions to the communities in which they live, work and play."
Each academic year, athletics administrators, coaches and student-athletes are encouraged to nominate student-athletes who excel in community service by participating in the Coca-Cola Community All-Americans recognition program. Each athletics director reviews the institution's submissions and selects one student-athlete as its campus’ annual Coca-Cola Community All-American. This student is then nominated for consideration in the national recognition program.
"The Coca-Cola Community All-American program allows our members to enhance their existing community relationships and receive recognition in a very credible environment,” said NACDA President Tim Curley, athletics director, Penn State University. "It provides well deserved recognition for the many student-athletes and institutions that have demonstrated a history of supporting community service. We're pleased to partner with Coca-Cola on this important program."
The Coca-Cola Company has long supported and developed initiatives that give young people the motivation and tools they need to succeed. The Coca-Cola Community All-Americans program is a way to recognize and celebrate the student-athletes whose service embodies the American spirit of generosity and volunteerism. To learn more about the stories of the six national Coca-Cola Community All-Americans, visit nacda.com/cccaa.
Additionally, this year, a Coca-Cola Community All-American was chosen at each of the local New Orleans institutions. Loyola University’s Mario Faranda was selected for this distinguished award. An economics major from Chiavari, Italy, Mario Faranda is an irreplaceable member of the Loyola University basketball team. As a freshman in 2005-06, Faranda led the Wolfpack and was sixth in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference in rebounding with 6.3 boards per game. He also averaged 11.1 points per game. His season high was 22 points and 13 rebounds against Southern University New Orleans. Before attending the Loyola University, Faranda was prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where he was a member of the President’s Honor Roll and earned the Character Cup of the Year Award. His team competed in Mississippi’s State Final Four tournament three times. He was All-District and All-State in 2003 and 2004. He was also a member of the Italian Junior National Team. Faranda aspires to continue living in the United States and own his own business after graduating with his bachelor’s degree.
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's best-known brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sport drinks. Through the world's largest distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding one billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit the web site at www.coca-cola.com.
NACDA, now in its 41st year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 collegiate athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,000 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA administers nine professional associations for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics director. For more information, please visit NACDA’s web site at www.nacda.com.