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Released: 9/30/2009 

PATCO Initiative Connects Riders to Area Charities

‘PATCO Cares’ will bring causes and invitations for engagement to riders

In order to continue to serve a warm meal to thousands of homeless people from its new facility in Camden, Cathedral Kitchen must constantly stir the pot in order to raise funds and attract volunteers.  And like most non-profit organizations dedicated to serving the needy and underserved, the organization has a limited budget to promote itself and expand its database.

To help Cathedral Kitchen and other regional non-profit organizations, PATCO has reached out a helping hand this year through a new community initiative intended to help them promote their good work and seek more support.  Through its new PATCO Cares initiative, PATCO will give select charities a chance to share their vision and goals with a large audience – PATCO’s 37,000 daily riders.

“PATCO has a history of partnership with area charities and non-profit groups, and this program is a way to take that to the next level,” said Delaware River Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeff Nash.  “PATCO Cares will be an effective way for PATCO and its riders to support some great causes.”

“Especially in today’s difficult economic times, it is trying for non-profit organizations to find a means to reach people,” said John Matheussen, PATCO President.  “We are hoping that PATCO Cares will give some of the best charity groups in the region a chance to share their message and promote their causes to more people.”

To launch the new program, PATCO has invited seven organizations to participate in the program entitling them to share their message in a seat-drop, display in one of PATCO’s large stations, and promote the organization in its monthly e-newsletter and through its Twitter messages.   

“We know our riders to be a generally caring group that is in tune with the needs of our community,” said Bob Box, PATCO General Manager.  “This program will give them a chance to learn more about some of those organizations that do great work in our community, and, if they are so inclined, to provide financial or volunteer support.”

The PATCO Cares program kicked off with an event that benefitted the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which is holding its annual City to Shore bike event on October 3 and 4 hosted by PATCO and starting from the Woodcrest Station.   On September 29, representatives from the organization were at the Woodcrest Station to offer more information about its purpose and to promote the annual race.

In addition to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Cathedral Kitchen, PATCO is also planning to work with the Ronald McDonald House, Center for Family Services, the American Heart Association, Boys and Girls Clubs of Camden County, and Wish Upon a Hero.  Riders will be notified of station events with a seat drop, and the outreach conducted for the participating organizations will be unobtrusive to their commute. 

Full details of the program will be made available on www.ridepatco.org and on PATCO’s Twitter feed: twitter.com/ridePATCO.  

The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency.  In addition to PATCO, DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross Bridges and the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal.  The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.


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