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September 08, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa— With the help of dozens of field goals and thousands of 3-point baskets since 2010, the Drake Bulldogs have generated more than $65,000 to support area health projects in partnership with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield through the company’s 3-Point Play program.

As part of the program, Wellmark contributes $300 for every field goal during the Bulldogs’ football season and $20 for each 3-pointer throughout the men’s and women’s basketball seasons to advance unfunded or underfunded wellness initiatives.

Throughout the past six years, those donations — averaging nearly $11,000 annually — were allocated to the City of Des Moines to improve various public facilities and provide central Iowans new opportunities to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

“The funds generated through the Wellmark 3-Point Play program have created recreational opportunities for thousands of people that would otherwise not exist,” said Benjamin R. Page, Director, Des Moines Parks and Recreation. “The trails we have developed benefit many Iowans daily, and are heavily used by cyclists, runners, and pedestrians of all ages.”

Other notable projects funded through the Wellmark 3-Point Play in central Iowa include the installation of ADA accessible adult fitness equipment at Evergreen Park and the creation of nature trails at Ewing, Grandview, Greenwood, and Ashworth Parks.

Expansion planned for 2016-17 season

New this year, fans have the opportunity to help determine the community that benefits from the proceeds generated by Bulldog “3s.” From now until the conclusion of the men’s basketball season in early 2017, fans can text “DRAKE” to 97063 or visit External Site to nominate their Iowa hometown for a chance to win. The change comes as Wellmark and Drake look to extend the benefit of the program’s trail, park, and playground funding to additional communities throughout the state.

“After six seasons of helping Iowans eat right, move more, and feel better, in partnership with Des Moines Parks & Recreation, we’re excited to expand the program as part of our vision to develop more healthy hometowns,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark sponsorship manager. “This innovative sponsorship continues to do great things for our state, and we’re looking forward to another successful season cheering on the Bulldogs.”

To learn more about the Wellmark 3-Point Play program, and to nominate an Iowa hometown to win this season’s health project funding, visit External Site.