MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Saturday, Aug. 10, representatives of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee joined city officials and members of the Whitehaven community to officially open the BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park.
Hundreds of local residents attended to begin enjoying the park’s new features, which include a pavilion for community gatherings, a splash pad, an accessible playground, a challenge course, a 40-yard dash and improved walking paths. The walking trail features fitness pods and play pockets, including a blacksmith shop that honors David Carnes, one of the first African American landowners in the area and the park’s namesake.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said, “It’s a great day for Whitehaven. This is a total transformation of David Carnes Park. An asset like this will be invaluable to this community, and we can’t thank BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee enough for their partnership in making it happen.”
Councilwoman Patrice Robinson, Pastor Orlester Johnson of Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries and Phil Sinclair, grandson of David Carnes, spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Saturday’s celebration also included an appearance from the Whitehaven High School marching band, along with food, prizes and giveaways.
BlueCross President and CEO JD Hickey, M.D., said, “Today is a new chapter for David Carnes Park, a site with a long, proud history. At BlueCross, we have a lot of good days serving the people of Tennessee, but today is truly special because we get to give this park back to the people of Whitehaven.”
The foundation invested $5.4 million in the revitalization of David Carnes Park, which was the first BlueCross Healthy Place project completed in the state. The project was developed in partnership with the City of Memphis, as well as Whitehaven residents and students. Local contractors were involved throughout the build project.
The BlueCross Healthy Place program launched in Memphis last year. Through the program, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation funds spaces that provide opportunities for neighbors to connect, develop relationships and enjoy healthy activity.
BlueCross Healthy Place projects are also underway in Huntland and Chattanooga, Tenn.
Government agencies and nonprofits can submit proposals for 2020 BlueCross Healthy Place projects through Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. All proposals must be submitted through the foundation’s online portal, which is open throughout the month of August.
To qualify for funding, spaces will need to be free and open to the public, and proposed projects must demonstrate a community benefit and include community input. Applicants must provide evidence of land ownership and community engagement. Additional eligibility requirements are available on the project website.
About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation was established in December 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The foundation provides funding for the BlueCross Healthy Place program, which creates active, healthy spaces across Tennessee.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on serving more than 3.5 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.