THE END OF INNOCENCE COMPANIES PLAYING KEY RELIEF ROLES; FREE PHONES, FOOD, SODA

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Bitter rivals pulled in their claws last week and worked side by side to bring relief to stricken Oklahoma City.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola were on-site serving relief workers as AT&T and MCI forged emergency communications links.

Great Plains Coca-Cola is "part of this community, and we will do whatever we can to help," said Mario Nunez, director of human resources at the bottler, which is owned by a local family from Oklahoma City. "We will provide beverages to the relief workers at the site for as long as it takes."

"Our efforts are typical of Coca-Cola's response during national tragedies," said a spokesman for Coca-Cola Co. "We are cooperating with the authorities to provide whatever is needed. We are donating soda and water to the scene as well as to hospitals and blood banks."

Coca-Cola had a beverage truck on-site and also donated supplies to Feed the Children, an Oklahoma City-based charity that often assists during national emergencies. Coca-Cola was part of a long line companies donating products and supplies to Feed the Children, which then distributed the materials to relief workers. The organization is letting local companies know what's needed at the site.

Local distributor Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. also donated beverages to Feed the Children. Pepsi-Cola Co. sister company Taco Bell supplied food to the relief effort.

AT&T provided 400 cellular phones to emergency workers through the American Red Cross, with free local and long-distance service. To help manage tremendous call volume to and from Oklahoma City, AT&T also set up a special network to protect local circuits.

Also, AT&T gave $10,000 to the Oklahoma Blood Institute, and company employees have mobilized to assist in other recovery efforts.

The company's Oklahoma City Works, which employs 4,100, donated 800 pairs of leather gloves and safety glasses for use by emergency workers digging through the rubble of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.

An association of AT&T employees, the Thunderbird Chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America, donated $1,000 and is collecting non-perishable food, cleaning products and other goods to Feed the Children.

MCI Communications Corp. gave its Oklahoma City customers free long-distance service for all outgoing calls from the area. MCI also distributed 1,000 MCI phone cash cards with 15 minutes of long-distance calling. In addition, it donated 25 pagers to American Red Cross volunteers at the scene.

In other activity:

Cellular One donated 450 cellular phones, with free local cellular and long-distance services, to the Red Cross and other emergency groups. It set up a mobile cell site near the destroyed federal building to increase cellular capacity; 200 employees have been assigned to support emergency efforts, including recharging batteries for the donated cell phones.

Gerber Products Co. donated food and juice products to families affected by the bombing.

Fleming Foods Corp., a food distributor headquartered in Oklahoma City, distributed Gerber products, along with other donated food items.

United Airlines offered its resources to the Red Cross to airlift relief supplies.

Kmart Corp. donated $10,000 to the local Red Cross. Store manager Alex Aguilera in Shawnee, Okla., outside Oklahoma City, sent bottled water, medical supplies, cotton balls and blankets to the disaster site.

Other local enterprises reached out to comfort the city. The Oklahoma City 89ers, the AAA minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers, opted to cancel two games after the bombing but reopened its gates Thursday tonight to all citizens free of charge. Will people come?

"That's the least of our concerns," said John Allgood, the team's director of public relations and marketing. "We just want to offer a place to go for refuge."

Kate Fitzgerald and Jeff Jensen contributed to this story.

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