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Coca-Cola, Statue of Liberty Celebrate Shared 125th Anniversaries with $1 Million Donation from The Coca-Cola Foundation


Grant supports ’Peopling of America Center: An Ellis Island Education Initiative’

NEW YORK - The Coca-Cola Foundation has donated $1 million to support the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation’s Peopling of America® Center, a new initiative that will tell the story of the immigration experience in America. Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, made the donation Sunday night in New York to mark the shared 125th anniversaries of two American icons - Coca-Cola and the Statue of Liberty.

“This grant will enable this center to tell the story of the remarkable people who built this nation, and who will continue to play a vital role in its future,” said Mr. Kent. “Coca-Cola has a deep connection to Lady Liberty, dating back to our shared birth years in 1886, extending to our commitment of $5 million to help restore the historic landmark in 1986 and now to helping improve Ellis Island’s role as a place of inspiration and hope for people from around the world for years to come.”

Said Stephen A. Briganti, President and CEO of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.: “We are delighted that the 125th anniversaries of both Coca-Cola and Lady Liberty -- America’s most powerful symbol of freedom -- are being celebrated on Liberty Island. Coke has been a true friend, and we are grateful for its support during the Statue’s Centennial in 1986 and once again in this special anniversary year with a major gift to the Peopling of America Center at Ellis Island.”

Mr. Kent on Saturday also presented a rare miniature, five-foot version of the Statue of Liberty to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who accepted on behalf of the City. The statue, cast during the mid-1870s by its original sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, was created to raise funds for the placement of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. The statue was acquired by The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, and then gifted to The Coca-Cola Company 25 years ago.

Coca-Cola was created on May 8, 1886 in Atlanta by Dr. John S. Pemberton and first served at Jacobs’ Pharmacy. The Statue of Liberty, a gift to the United States from the people of France, was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886, less than six months after the first Coca-Cola was served.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. Its endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands. For more information on the Foundation and its projects, please visit

The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 15 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at


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