From now through Nov. 16, Chicagoland residents can vote once per day for their local park at www.StaplesDreamPark.com , and pick up a free "power card" at any Chicagoland Staples store to have their online vote count 10 extra times. Additional prizes include $10,000 and $5,000 in park improvements for the first- and second-place runner-ups, respectively. The remaining 11 parks will receive $500 each for their participation.
"Parks are so important to both kids and their community," said Forte. "Growing up I spent a lot of time after school and on the weekends at my local park playing ball with friends. Through this challenge, we are giving communities the opportunity to win much-needed funds to revitalize their parks and give Chicagoland kids the same fun and safe park experience that I enjoyed."
This year, the Staples Dream Park Challenge is open to 14 parks, and will once again include parks located in the Chicago suburbs as well as the city. The participating parks were selected based on their overall need, relationship with the Bears Jr. Bear Program, input from city and county park employees and proximity to Staples operating areas.
Last year, Chicago residents cast more than 500,000 votes in the second Staples Dream Park Challenge with the Bears. After a back and forth battle with a rival that went down to the last day, Renwick Park in Plainfield won the $25,000 grand prize, which is funding a new shade structure and additional trees to beautify the park.
"Last year's Challenge awarded more than $50,000 to improve Chicagoland parks and help communities throughout the city," said Bob Wolfe, Staples regional vice president. "Staples is excited to team up with the Bears again to make a positive difference in the lives of Chicago residents."
The winning park will be announced in November. Details about the park celebration ceremony hosted by Matt Forte and Staples will be provided at a later date. Log on to www.StaplesDreamPark.com for full details or www.staples.com for store locations.
Staples continues to demonstrate its commitment to Chicagoland by investing in local community organizations . Since it first opened its doors in Chicagoland, Staples has donated close to $600,000 to educational non-profit organizations in the area.
Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2008 sales of $23 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples serves businesses of all sizes and consumers in 27 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In July 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express, one of the world's leading suppliers of office products to businesses and institutions. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.