East Aurora, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–April 26, 2007–Fisher-Price(R), the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the world, and Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera teamed up this week to bring fun to the children who receive after school program services from Casita Maria, the oldest Latino charity serving the Hispanic community in New York City.
Fisher-Price donated a variety of toys to Casita Maria on behalf of Rivera, perhaps almost as well-known for his community outreach as for his baseball career.
“Fisher-Price has been helping to make childhood special for generations of kids through play,” said Brenda Andolina, Director of Public Relations and Brand Marketing, Fisher-Price. “We are pleased to donate some of our most popular toys to Casita Maria on behalf of Mr. Rivera in recognition of his efforts to enrich children’s lives and to give all children a chance to live up to their potential.”
Rivera spends much of his time in the off-season in his native Panama, where he donates Christmas gifts for local children. In 2004, he helped open two after-school programs in Panama City to give young people access to computers. He also has helped finance the construction of a new elementary school and a new church building in Panama.
“Growing up in Panama, I did not have much as a child,” Rivera said. “I am extremely happy to be working with Fisher-Price to support the Casita Maria charity in helping these children. Helping people is something I love to do, both here and in my country of Panama. Being able to work with children is always a wonderful experience that I take great pride in.”
“We are very grateful to Mr. Rivera and Fisher-Price for their toy donation,” said Raesha Cartagena, Director of Community Relations for Casita Maria. “The children and their families were thrilled to have such an outstanding role model visit Casita Maria and receive his contribution. We hope it will be a proponent of other good things that can happen for our Hispanic communities.”
A number of area community leaders and elected officials also attended the event at Casita Maria. Following the toy donation, Rivera, demonstrated Fisher-Price’s ESPN Better Batter(TM) Baseball toy to the children from Casita Maria and St. Athanasius School.
Many of the donated Fisher-Price toys encourage physical activity and exploration of a child’s imagination. “Sports play is more than just fun for kids — it’s a great way to encourage physical skills, enhance confidence and facilitate social bonding,” Andolina stated.
About Casita Maria
Established in 1934 as the first charitable organization in the “settlement house” tradition to serve Hispanics in New York City, Casita Maria continues to create a gateway of opportunity through after school education in the Arts, Literacy and Job Creation while addressing critical needs for youth, families and seniors in predominantly Hispanic communities in the South Bronx and beyond.
Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:MAT) and located in East Aurora, New York, is the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the world. The Company has a 75-year legacy of high quality toys that enhance early childhood development. Its often-emulated Play Laboratory was the first child research center of its kind in the toy industry, allowing researchers to observe the way children play and how play benefits their development. Some of the Company’s best-known “classic” brands include Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and View-Master(R). Fisher-Price is also a leading developer of baby gear products (nursery monitors, infant swings, high chairs) as well as a wide array of character-based toys inspired by high quality children’s programming such as Sesame Street(R), Dora the Explorer(TM) and Winnie the Pooh. The Company’s web site, at http://www.fisher-price.com, provides valuable information and resources to parents. The site also is available in Spanish at http://www.fisher-price.com/espanol.
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