McLean-based company awards $20,000 grant to Southwest Business Improvement District to make D.C. a better city for pets
MCLEAN, Va., April 4, 2019 — Washington, D.C. is about to become an even better city – for pets and people. Today, Mars, Incorporated announced a $20,000 grant to the Southwest Business Improvement District (SWBID) and Humane Rescue Alliance to create permanent amenities for pet owners throughout the Southwest District. As an extension of the company’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, this grant will ensure that life is happier and healthier for people and pets in the city.
“We’re honored to partner with the Southwest Business Improvement District as we continue to help make cities better for pets across the country, because we know that pets help people and cities thrive,” said Kelly Horton, North America Policy Director at Mars, Incorporated. “As a global company with local roots, we consider the Greater Washington area our backyard, and we’re proud to support programming that makes D.C. better, today and tomorrow. As an area resident myself, it’s great to see Mars committing to helping the community grow – and this grant will help do just that.”
Announced in partnership with the SWBID during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, where Mars serves as a Host Sponsor, the grant will give the Southwest area a pet-friendly makeover by adding hands-free seating, portable hydration, expanded waste stations, shaded areas, educational materials and signage. All of these features will help cultivate a more pet-friendly environment for Southwest businesses, residents and their four-legged friends.
“The National Cherry Blossom Festival is always a favorite to D.C. families and pets alike,” said Diana Mayhew, President of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. “And now, thanks to support from Mars, we’re able to welcome even more pets to the Festival and around the city with pet-friendly amenities.”
In addition to its robust petcare business, Mars is also known for offering confectionery and food products and services that people love, and brings this total expertise to support the Greater D.C. area. Recent programs including launching a Fun Food Science after-school program, where Mars Associates created a nutrition and cooking curriculum to close to 70 students at Walt Whitman Middle School in Alexandria. The company, known for its iconic confectionery brands, also hosted its Halloween event in D.C. in October 2018, bringing fun, costumes and candy to local families.
“We’re excited about the change we can enact with the help of this grant,” said Lexie Albe, Deputy Executive Director at the Southwest Business Improvement District. “We’re always looking for ways to make life just a little bit happier for residents of Southwest D.C., including pets and people.”
Mars understands that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today, and as part of this philosophy, is dedicated to supporting the communities where it operates. The company looks forward to growing partnerships as it continues to further its commitment to realizing a better tomorrow for D.C. area residents.
About Mars, Incorporated
Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With more than $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, and COCOAVIA®. Mars Associates proudly take care of half of the world’s pets through our nutrition, health and services businesses such as Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, AniCura, VCA™ and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our more than 115,000 Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive.