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Locally Based Pharma Firm Recognizes Area Nonprofits Promoting Health

(The 2013 GSK "Impact"Awards ceremony at GSK's offices in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(The 2013 GSK “Impact”Awards ceremony at GSK’s offices in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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 By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –Seven local nonprofit organizations have each received a $40,000 boost to help create a healthier Philadelphia.

Each group received a $40,000 GSK “Impact” award today from Glaxo Smith Kline, the pharmaceutical firm whose US headquarters is in Philadelphia.

Each of the winning organizations was cited for helping bridge the gap between health and home, whether it’s helping the homeless with free legal services or providing free meals for those will life-threatening illnesses.

“Common Market started out of a project in Strawberry Mansion where we worked to start a farmers’ market in our neighborhood,” noted Tatiana Garcia-Granados, co-founder of Common Market Philadelphia Inc., one of the honorees.  “And we realized it’s a much bigger problem.”

From that, she said, the organization grew.

“We are serving many of the schools and hospitals in our region,” says Garcia-Granados.   “We’ve gotten to the point now where we have trucks on the road seven days a week, and a warehouse.”

Katie Loovis of Glaxo Smith Kline says her company chose the seven winners from more than 50 organizations that influence health outside of the doctor’s office.

“Your zip code could have a greater bearing on your health than your genetic code,” said Loovis.  “Today’s Impact Award winners show us how it’s done when it comes to making a healthier community.”

Center in the Park Inc., another Impact Award honoree, helps African-Americans over age 55 with positive aging.  The group has more than 6,000 members, and they are active.

“We do everything from aerobics to Zumba,” says Lynn Fields Harris, executive director. “There’s nothing wrong with bingo, but if you want to play bingo, Center in the Park is not the place for you.”

Over the past 17 years, more than 100 Philadelphia nonprofits have received $5.5 million in GSK Impact Awards.