Clean Beaches, Full Tummies: Aurelio’s Pizza teams with Shedd Aquarium to keep the 12th Street Beach Well-Groomed
- Organization: Shedd Aquarium
- Causes: Environmental
- Date(s): April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 15 and Oct. 17. All Adopt-A-Beach events begin at 12 p.m.
- Contact person: Sam Bugg
- Phone: 312-692-2739
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.sheddaquarium.org
Earth Day is April 22 this year. What better way to celebrate than by joining the Shedd Aquarium for the kick-off of its Adopt-a-Beach kick-off April 18.
According to a 2011 study by the National Resources Defense Council, Lake Michigan has some of the most polluted beaches in the United States and Illinois’ beaches ranked 26th out of the 31 coastal states sampled. Many sources contribute to beach pollution, and one of the most tragic and avoidable is trash left on the beach by beachgoers. However, there are multiple organizations that have taken action to turn this around, including Chicago’s own Shedd Aquarium and Aurelio’s Pizza.
One such organization, the Alliance for the Great Lakes’, began the Adopt-A-Beach program in 2003 and for the past 9 years, Shedd Aquarium has adopted 12th Street Beach, cleaning up trash, litter and even finding some treasure. But after the fourth year, they wanted to improve volunteer numbers and called Aurelio’s Pizza for help.
“Giving back is part of who we are at Aurelio’s. For more than 50 years, the communities in which we operate know they can count on us,” said Marty Mikulich, Aurelio’s Downtown Food and Beverage Director, “Shedd Aquarium asked us to donate pizza to feed volunteers for the Adopt-a-Beach cleanup program and we didn’t even have to think twice. ”
Aurelio’s has been donating pizzas to the aquarium to feed its volunteers for each of the Adopt-A-Beach events since 2007.
“When we invited volunteers to help clean the beach and have lunch provided by Aurelio’s, we saw our volunteer numbers steadily increase,” said Sam Bugg, Manager of Great Lakes Public Outreach at Shedd Aquarium. “We’re grateful to volunteers who want to do good for our community – and with the help of Aurelio’s, we’re glad to see a solid number of them at each event.”
Last year, Shedd created a cleanup day just for the Aurelio’s team. Mikulich and some of his team members went down to 12th Street Beach for the cleanup and were joined by Aurelio’s President, Joe Aurelio.
“We picked up quite a bit of trash that day and we all got a little dirty,” said Joe Aurelio, “But, it was for a great cause. It’s so important to keep the beaches clean so we can enjoy them without worrying that the beaches we love today won’t be here for our children’s children.”
For both companies, Aurelio’s and Shedd, giving back to the community is ingrained.
“I think businesses have a responsibility to give to the communities that make them successful. We’re neighbors and at Aurelio’s our neighbors are family and you take care of family,” said Aurelio. “So, whether it’s that they love our pizza, or caring for their community, or both, I’m delighted to hear volunteerism increased at the same time Marty began serving up Aurelio’s Pizza to feed the volunteers.”
For the 2010 and 2011 seasons a total of 1,000 volunteers showed up on the shores of Lake Michigan to clean up over 1,000 pounds of waste. While this is an impressive number, Shedd could always use additional manpower.
Aurelio’s continues to donate pizza to the Adopt-A-Beach events for the 2012 season. Shedd and Aurelio’s will be kicking off the 2012 season on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. To sign up to volunteer, visit Shedd at www.sheddaquarium.org
for future dates and additional information.