Partners for Clean Air selected Katie Wollschlager of Tinley Park, IL as the winner of a new Toyota Prius hybrid last night at the Green Pays on Green Days Grand Prize Drawing. The Green Pays on Green Days program, run by Partners for Clean Air, is a public education initiative created to help Chicago-area residents understand how individual actions impact the region’s air quality.
Wollschlager was one of 35 finalists invited to a closing ceremony held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. The grand prize Toyota Prius was donated by Your Chicagoland Toyota Dealers.
“It’s wonderful to see Chicago area residents getting excited about improving local air quality. Thanks to the coalition’s ongoing outreach and education, community involvement will only continue to increase, leading to a brighter outlook for our region’s air quality,” said Lisa Bonnett, Interim Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
The program seems to be making a real difference. When the ceremony’s emcee, Meteorologist Brant Miller of NBC5 Chicago, asked Wollschlager, a teacher, what she will do to improve air quality over the next year, she explained that she will share air quality tips from Partners for Clean Air with her fifth grade students.
Partners for Clean Air has sponsored Green Pays on Green Days since 2002 and has given away 10 hybrid vehicles over the last decade. The 2011 program ran from June 1 through August 31. Finalist names were drawn each day that local air quality was forecasted to be good (or “green,” according to the federal Air Quality Index). This will be the 10th and final season of the giveaway as the Partners coalition will be expanding to year-round educational awareness programs.
Also honored last night were the many companies and organizations that have been involved with Green Pays on Green Days over the entire 10 years of the Green Pays on Green Days program: Abbott, BP America, Inc., Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, Corn Products International, Inc., Exxon Mobil Joliet Refinery, Midwest Generation EME, LLC, E.W. Inman, Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, Kane County Cougars, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the following companies and organizations were recognized for their support of the 2011 Partners’ program: BP America, Inc., Exxon Mobil Joliet Refinery, Regional Transportation Authority, Abbott, Jewel Osco, Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, IKEA Schaumburg, American Lung Association of Illinois, Motorola Mobility Foundation, ADM, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, Midwest Generation EME, LLC, Waste Management of Illinois, Inc., Corn Products International, Inc., and Your Chicagoland Toyota Dealers.
Green Pays on Green Days educates individuals living in the areas of northeastern Illinois that do not meet federal ambient air quality standards. The contest was open to residents in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in Illinois who took a survey telling Partners for Clean Air what they are already doing to help improve local air quality.
Celebrating its 16th year, Partners for Clean Air is a non-profit coalition dedicated to bringing cleaner air to the Chicago metropolitan area. For more information, visit www.cleantheair.org.