Cyclists From Across the Nation Come to Berkshires to Raise Awareness of Kidney Disease; Volunteer at Railroad Street Youth Project
Hundreds of DaVita Teammates Participate in Community Service Projects in Great Barrington
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass., Sep 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA), a leading provider of kidney care services committed to improving the quality of life for those diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), today announced the completion of the remodeling of the Railroad Street Youth Project Drop-In Center, which happened with the support of DaVita teammates (employees) as well as $50,000 in donations: $25,000 from DaVita and $25,000 from the K.T. Community Foundation (a foundation started by DaVita Chairman and CEO Kent Thiry and his wife, Denise O'Leary, which benefits charitable programs supported by DaVita teammates and their families).
DaVita® volunteers participated in more than a dozen community service projects in Great Barrington on September 17 as a kick-off to Tour DaVita®, a 250-mile bicycle ride through Massachusetts and Connecticut that raises awareness and funds in the fight against kidney disease.
"We are excited to work with the Railroad Street Youth Project to provide a modern, safe environment for the youth of Great Barrington," said Thiry. "We wanted to do more than just begin the Tour DaVita in this beautiful town; we wanted to make a lasting impact on the community that has warmly welcomed us."
The Railroad Street Youth Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young people by supporting the creation of youth-generated activities that promote self-worth, responsibility and intergenerational respect and communication. The Drop-In Center, located in the Schneider Youth Building, serves as a place for 14-25 year old residents of South Berkshire County to meet, develop ideas, receive help with a crisis situation or just hang out in a safe environment.
"The Railroad Street Youth Project is thrilled to have the support of DaVita," said Brenda Barlow, RSYP executive director. "When DaVita first approached our community, I had been leading focus groups of teens to talk about what they wanted in a Drop-In Center. They reported wanting a space where they could be productive - to learn new skills, create art, take a class or just have Internet access. Thanks to DaVita, this dream is coming true! The new Drop-In Center will have an Internet café, entertainment lounge and homework resource center. The entire RSYP community - including the youths - is overwhelmed at the generosity of DaVita!"
Young people were at the forefront of designing the new Drop-In Center. One youth in particular, 16-year-old Amanda Johnson, was instrumental from the beginning helping the team to redesign the new space. Her ideas for a new floor plan were embraced by the Details, Inc. (the interior designer for the project) and she has consulted with them every step of the way. Amanda's talents are so appreciated that Details, Inc. has expressed interest in taking her on as an intern or apprentice for the fall. RSYP has a very successful Apprenticeship Program that often makes individual placements for young people wanting to learn a skill. This is a perfect example of how RSYP connects the youth of Berkshire County with business leaders in our community.
In addition to supporting the RSYP, DaVita teammates will complete smaller service projects at Great Barrington organizations. Projects range from building a greenhouse out of recycled water bottles for the Flying Cloud Institute to cleaning toys for the Berkshire South Community Center.
The fifth annual Tour DaVita began on Sept.18 and ran 250 miles from Great Barrington, Mass. to Madison, Conn. More than 400 riders raised a minimum of $750 to $2,000 in donations each to benefit The Kidney TRUST, a nonprofit organization with the mission to reduce the human and economic cost of chronic kidney disease across the United States. Tour DaVita also aims to raise awareness for chronic kidney disease, which affects approximately 31 million American adults, 90 percent of whom are unaware they are suffering from it.
DaVita and Tour DaVita are registered trademarks of DaVita Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
DaVita Inc., a Fortune 500® company, is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, delivering dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita strives to improve patients' quality of life by innovating clinical care, and by offering integrated treatment plans, personalized care teams and convenient health-management services. As of June 30, 2011, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 1,669 dialysis facilities, serving approximately 131,000 patients. DaVita supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world. The company's leadership development initiatives and social responsibility efforts have been recognized by Fortune, Modern Healthcare, Newsweek and WorldBlu. For more information, please visit http://www.davita.com.
Vince Hancock, 303-405-2272