Florida Panthers and Coke Florida Honor Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County Youth

Youth with Malena Mendez and Stanley C. Panther

Participants Treated to VIP Hockey Game Experience and Chromebooks

 By Cindy Schutt

Diana Arteaga (kneeling), Chad Wojcik, Malena Mendez, Christopher Silva with BBBS kids and parentsThe Florida Panthers and Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) collaborated to host an unforgettable evening of fun and rewards for youth participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County community-based program.

“All of our Littles and their families had quite a special experience, thanks to the Florida Panthers and Coke Florida,” said Malena Mendez, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. “We are so grateful to both organizations, which recognize the importance of supporting our mission of igniting the power and promise of youth through one-to-one mentoring relationships.”

A group of 20 Littles and their Bigs were treated to a Panthers VIP experience complete with complimentary tickets to a game at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Zamboni rides, photos with Stanley C. Panther and Viktor E. Rat, and a shout out on the jumbotron.


Ana Ramirez, Little Mary Lowe and Georgina Lowe

Each Little received a new Chromebook laptop as part of Coke Florida’s local National Hispanic Heritage Month initiative and ongoing commitment to providing access to educational resources that support communities in Broward County and throughout Florida.

“As part of our efforts to unlocking the potential of those who live in the communities we serve, Coke Florida celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by donating Chromebooks to 20 Hispanic students enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County,” said Percy Wells II, Group Vice President, Government Relations, Public Affairs and Communications. “The new equipment will help fill the technology gap that exists in many urban and rural communities. As a minority-owned independent Coca-Cola bottler, we are doing our part reach into communities like where these students live to help close that gap, which widened significantly with the expansion of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The Florida Panthers and Coca-Cola have a longstanding partnership and we both wanted to make an impact in the community,” added Ryan Sheehan, Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships, at the Florida Panthers.  “We were happy to collaborate with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County to donate Chromebooks to students as well as honor all the kids and their families at a Panthers game. Seeing the kids smiling faces at a game is what it is all about!”

Roby Pilar Garcia,Elsa Pilar Garcia, Stanley

Since its inception, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward has created more than 50,000 professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring matches for youth, relationships that change lives for the better, forever. Research has proven that the young people in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program achieve higher aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, educational success, and avoidance of risky behaviors.

Malena Mendez

About Carma Henry 21268 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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