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EPA Region 4 Announces Award Recipient of 2012 President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA)

Release Date: 06/11/2013
Contact Information: James Pinkney, (404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main) pinkney.james@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – June 11, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 announced today that it has selected Karly and Jeffrey Krasnow from Vero Beach, Florida as the 2012 PEYA recipient. Karly and Jeffrey were presented the PEYA award by EPA Acting Regional Administrator, A. Stanley Meiburg.

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with EPA to recognize young people across the U.S. for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s young people.

Karly and Jeffrey are a brother and sister team who co-founded the non-profit organization “Balls-Go-Round, Inc.” It was in middle school when the pair realized that hundreds of thousands perfectly good tennis balls were being discarded not only by their tennis academies, but by country clubs and various tournaments annually. While living in New York at the time, they’d begun to collect and recycle thousands of balls by gathering them in boxes and garbage bags and networking them into inner city communities.

After the family moved to Vero Beach, Florida, Karly and Jeffrey up scaled their concept of REPLAY-REBOUNCE as Florida was clearly a mecca for tennis. They recreated new networks with high-end resorts, clubs, academies, and even high schools/colleges to simply pay it forward to needy youth organizations and children’s’ programs.

Recipients include Title-1 poverty schools (who have never experienced “Field Day”), tennis for the disabled, inner city programs, and missionary flights to Haiti/Dominican Republic to impoverished children. They also donate regularly to animal shelters for play and adoption goody bags. Once balls are truly dead, many other household uses include dry erasers, holiday ornaments, herb gardens, etc.

There are approximately 300 million tennis balls being disposed of each year in the US landfills and waterways. As a result of their project, Karly and Jeffrey have become true leaders and a catalyst in re-thinking “rebounce” and have recycled 250,000+ of those balls back into replay! Now in high school, the pair speaks at sustainability forums, educate Universities/Colleges about tennis-teams’ infinite waste, greening campus life, and helping hundreds of country clubs recycle/network. Since 2007, their small vision has produced an alarming amount of recognition and awareness of this epic waste, environmental impact and desperate need to help Balls-Go-Round!

For more information on the PEYA Award visit: http://www.epa.gov/peya/