Typically focused on creating innovative attractions that scare and thrill for theme park guests across the globe, this week Baltimore-based Premier Rides instead shifted gears to promote community well-being and assurance by donating thousands of face masks to the Baltimore-based Living Classrooms Foundation whose mission is to disrupt the cycle of poverty and help communities become safer, stronger, and healthier by meeting individuals, especially children, where they are and building skills for life.
The donation was made possible through the joint efforts of Premier Rides, the Sunac Culture and Tourism Group, and theme park industry professional Tony Koh.
The Sunac Group, which owns and operates world-class theme parks in China, announced during a recent project meeting with Premier Rides that they wanted to be part of the COVID-19 solution and asked how could they help. After discussions, they arranged to ship thousands of face masks to support the Premier team, their families and their local community.
Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides commented, “Premier Rides is honored to be completing a world’s first robotic coaster project in Guangzhou with the Sunac Culture and Tourism Group which is expected to open later this year. We are humbled by and are beyond appreciative of their generosity. Immediately we knew that paying it forward to Living Classrooms would be the perfect way to fulfill their wish and to support our team and the Baltimore community who are still under safer at home restrictions.”
The Living Classrooms’ Education Department has been creating and distributing age appropriate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Activity Boxes with supplies and instructions to engage students with hands-on educational activities that can be done at home, with or without online lessons. Each box also contains a bar of soap, instructions for effective hand washing, a science lesson about how handwashing destroys germs associated with viruses like the novel coronavirus, and packets of hand sanitizer. Face masks, which have been challenging for communities to obtain, will also be included in all Activity Boxes.
Seay continued. “Another example of kindness is that of industry professional Tony Koh, who personally shipped KN95 masks to us. There is no question that our industry is like a family. We work together to create lifetime memories for families around the globe, and when things get tough, we come together to support one another and our communities. With education programs that support engineering and the focus on the Baltimore community, sharing Tony’s gift with Living Classrooms was a natural fit for us. We hope the kids who benefit from Living Classrooms programs will grow up with the opportunity to not only to ride but to also help design our attractions!”
James Piper Bond, president and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation said, “We appreciate the generosity of Premier Rides and their partners. Donations like this helps us continue our holistic approach to addressing the interconnected issues of poverty, low educational achievement, crime, and health in Baltimore. As a result, Living Classrooms empowers individuals to reach their potential and helps to build safer, stronger, and healthier communities.”
As part of their mission fulfillment, Living Classrooms provides Workforce Development for Baltimore youth by operating one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, the Inner Harbor Chessie Dragon Paddle Boats and the Electric Pirate Ships. Premier Rides is thankful for the attractions industry, particularly the team at Sunac and Tony Koh for making this donation possible and for Living Classrooms and their continuing focus on the Baltimore community in need.