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Shire's Project Playground Gives Boost to Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter hailed Shire's Project Playground as a model of city-private partnership on Friday before more than one hundred children, parents and teachers from the Feltonville neighborhood at a community celebration for the $165,000 playground makeover at Feltonville Recreation Center.

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Shire, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company with major operations in suburban Chester County, also announced a three-year, $100,000 funding commitment to the City Department of Recreation.

"This is what I mean when we talk about a regional effort," said Nutter. "Shire is making a real impact in this city."

Project Playground includes a state-of-the-art play area that replaced an outdated, 20 year-old took structure, a new basketball court and handball wall, and new landscaping and sidewalks. It only six months to complete, while most similar projects usually take at least a year.

Shire's enthusiasm for the project was contagious. It motivated Sherwin-Williams to donate paint for representatives of City Year, a Philadelphia non-profit service organization, to re-finish the iron fence that surrounds the facility and create a mural on the handball wall.

"Helping people is what we do at Shire, and this initiative is a tangible way to illustrate how much our 700 Philadelphia-area employees care about communities across the greater Philadelphia region, " said Mike Yasick, senior vice president at Shire.

Most weeks, more than 500 children use the Feltonville Recreation Center, where they participate in a wide range of programs including dance, gymnastics, art and computer classes, and traditional sports.

Shire's contribution provides a source of community pride and an inviting neighborhood center where children from diverse backgrounds can come together through the common bond of play.

"We need other big corporations to follow Shire's lead," said City Department of Recreation Commissioner Susan Slawson.

This highly diverse and increasingly youthful community, where it is estimated 27 languages are spoken and local school enrollment has increased by 50 percent in the last two years, has seen its share of crime and poverty over the years. Two local children shared their excitement and gratitude for Project Playground in front of the crowd in English and Spanish.

Shire PLC

Shire's strategic goal is to become the leading specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on meeting the needs of the specialist physician. Shire focuses its business on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), human genetic therapies (HGT) and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases as well as opportunities in other therapeutic areas to the extent they arise through acquisitions. Shire's in-licensing, merger and acquisition efforts are focused on products in specialist markets with strong intellectual property protection and global rights. Shire believes that a carefully selected and balanced portfolio of products with strategically aligned and relatively small-scale sales forces will deliver strong results.

For further information on Shire, please visit the Company's website:

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