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BKD, Coca-Cola provide $253K in disaster donations

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Springfield-based certified public accounting firm BKD LLP and Atlanta, Ga.-based The Coca-Cola Co. have donated $153,000 and $100,000, respectively, to aid Joplin relief efforts.

The BKD Foundation, the firm's charitable arm, has pulled more than $100,000 together to donate to United Way to assist cleanup and recovery, according to a BKD news release.

“On behalf of the BKD Foundation, we are pleased that we are able to financially help the United Way and its member agencies with their ongoing Joplin relief efforts in the wake of this terrible tragedy,” said John Wanamaker, managing partner of BKD's southern Missouri offices, in the release

BKD partners and employees companywide also merged their efforts to donate more than $53,000, which will go directly to friends and family of BKD employees in Joplin, where the firm holds an office that was undamaged on May 22, according to a BKD news release.

“The generosity of individual BKD partners and employees to help BKD employees and their extended families who lost their homes, cars and other possessions during the tornado of a few short weeks ago is truly amazing,” Wanamaker said in the release.

Through its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation, the company has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks Regional Chapter to help the organization provide supplies, technical and financial assistance and other support, according to a separate news release from The Coca-Cola Co.

“We have a long history in southwest Missouri and as such, our Coca-Cola family extends far outside the walls of our bottling facility and goes deep into the community,” said Cookie Rice, chairman and CEO of Ozarks Coca-Cola, in the release. “As a member of the community, we will do all we can to help the people in Joplin to rebuild their lives.”

Coca-Cola went into action within 24 hours of the touchdown of the May 22 tornado, providing beverages. As of June 9, the company had delivered eight truckloads of bottles and cans of water, juice, sports drinks and soda to residents and relief organizations.

The company's Joplin distribution facility was not affected by the tornado, but many of the center's 62 employees suffered personal losses. During the past weekend, 150 employees from Kansas and Missouri worked to remove debris from homes of employees and from a local park, the release said.[[In-content Ad]]

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