Kenneth Williams' 375-Mile Run through Mississippi will Raise Awareness about the Importance of Physical Activity and help support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mississippi


Rand Elliott, The Coca-Cola Company
P: 404.515.0726

MISSISSIPPI- (Sept. 20, 2004) This fall, Kenneth Williams, president, Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works, will run the entire length of the state of Mississippi to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity. Williams will officially kick off the run in his hometown of Corinth, celebrating the launch of his 375-mile journey. Williams also will be running to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mississippi.

Williams' run through Mississippi is being done to promote Step With It!
Mississippi, which teaches middle school students a fun way to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. The Step With It! program, developed by The Coca-Cola Company in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), challenges middle school students to take a minimum of 10,000 steps a day to maintain good health through a more active lifestyle. Each student who participates in the program will receive a stepometer to track their progress on a daily basis.

Step With It!
Mississippi will raise money for Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state to support physical education programs. Together with sponsors Trustmark Bank and Coca-Cola, Williams hopes to raise $100,000 through donations collected at Trustmark Bank branches and Boys & Girls Clubs. Williams will make appearances throughout Mississippi via community programs in numerous cities and will special events in Corinth, Jackson and Gulfport. The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi is also participating as a sponsor and will extend the reach of Step With It! Mississippi by organizing additional school and community-based events.

"I have always wanted to participate in a great adventure," said Williams, "and I realized that I could reinforce what I was doing by spreading the word about how physical activity has positively impacted my own life. That's why I made this part of the Step With It!
program. The program is fun and easy, and can put kids and adults on the path to achieve their fitness goals."

The Step With It!
Mississippi kick-off will be in Corinth, Miss. on September 20, 2004, which will also mark Williams' 63rd birthday, and finish in Gulfport, Miss. at the end of October. An avid runner and Mississippi native, Williams has completed 27 marathons and coached many first-time marathoners through their first race. While on the journey, Williams will run 12-15 miles per day, six days a week, and make appearances at schools and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state.

Williams hopes his adventure will inspire more than just middle school students to become active. "I want to prove that anyone, at any age, can accomplish their goals," he said. "Physical fitness is attainable by everyone and is key to ensuring you can complete your own great adventure."

"We are excited to be the beneficiary of this tremendous gift," said Clyde McGuire, regional service director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mississippi. "Kenneth embodies the philosophy of the Boys & Girls Club, which is to advocate strong minds, as well as strong bodies. Our clubs in Mississippi serve more than 100,000 children between the ages of six and 18, and we will use this donation to build programs that encourage children to live their goals, and provide them with the tools to do it."

Step With It!
was originally launched in 2002. During 2003, more than 250 schools across the country kicked off Step With It! programs. This year, Coca-Cola will bring Step With It! to more than 1,000 schools nationwide, reaching one million students and teachers across the country.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is a nonprofit membership organization of over 25,000 professionals in the fitness and physical activity fields. NASPE is the only national association dedicated to strengthening basic knowledge about sport and physical education among professionals and the general public. Information about NASPE can be found on the Internet at, the web site of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD).

For more information on Williams' journey, please visit to see updates on his progress and information on the Step With It! program.

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