NBC’s Weekend TODAY to Shine a Light on Baltimore in 2014

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425



Baltimore, Md. (March 3, 2014) —Yesterday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore were featured on NBC’s Weekend TODAY. The broadcast revealed its selection of Baltimore for its new outreach project, “Shine a Light,” a year-long initiative focused on service and giving back to communities in need.

As part of the “Shine a Light” series, the Weekend TODAY anchors—Lester Holt, Erica Hill, Jenna Wolfe, and Dylan Dreyer—will partner with the City of Baltimore to highlight various health, wellness, and fitness initiatives already in place and initiate others throughout the year.

“As a devoted TODAY show fan, I am ecstatic that Baltimore was selected to participate in this challenge with Erica, Lester, Jenna, and Dylan,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "Change starts with the everyday choices that each of us makes. Together, we can model the healthy living that will encourage those around us and make this a healthier Baltimore."

Weekend TODAY asked viewers to send suggestions of the best city for the broadcast to team up with on this initiative, and they received many passionate comments from viewers in Baltimore.

“We are excited for the opportunity to join forces with the people of Baltimore on this important initiative in the coming year,” said Dee Dee Thomas, executive producer of Weekend TODAY.

Baltimore envisions being a city where all residents realize their full health potential. Healthy Baltimore 2015, a comprehensive health policy agenda launched in 2011, highlights areas for improving the quality of life for city residents. Since launching this effort, Baltimore's average life expectancy has increased by more than a year and a half due to a significant decline in youth homicides, HIV contractions and deaths, and premature heart disease deaths.

“This will be an incredible opportunity to highlight health and wellness initiatives underway in Baltimore, where we are working every day to make the city a healthier place in which to live, work, learn, and play,” said Oxiris Barbot, M.D., Baltimore City commissioner of health.

Baltimore offers residents diverse and wide-ranging recreational activities for personal growth, health, learning, and fun that enhance the quality of life in the communities where they live. The city offers a range of recreational activities for people of all ages, including neighborhood rec centers, youth summer camps, adult sports leagues, aquatics, one of the nation's best boxing programs, and Maryland's best seniors program.

“Baltimore City Recreation and Parks’ mission is to improve the health and wellness of Baltimore through quality recreational programs, preserving our parks and natural resources, and promoting fun, active lifestyles for all ages. We are excited and honored that the TODAY show has chosen to help Baltimore get active and stay healthy,” said Ernest W. Burkeen, Jr., director of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.

Weekend TODAY will “Shine a Light” on the importance of living healthy and the incremental ways a community can achieve that goal, using Baltimore as the model. Health and wellness is a personal priority for Mayor Rawlings-Blake.

“I am looking forward to embarking on this journey toward healthy living with the TODAY Show Weekend anchors,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Welcome to Charm City.”

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