IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) honored Taco Bell as the first corporation to receive its Lifetime Achievement Award for 20 years of its sustained commitment to teens at the annual Great Futures Gala hosted Oct. 11 by actor and BGCA alumnus Mario Lopez. The Los Angeles event brought together more than 700 prominent celebrities, business professionals and political leaders in support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which serves some 4 million youth through 4,000 Clubs nationwide.
"We are pleased to recognize the significant impact that Taco Bell has made in helping our nation's teens graduate and reach their full potential in life," said Jim Clark, president and chief executive officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Their longtime support, through the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, has allowed us to provide meaningful, real-world experiences and mentorship programs that have shaped lives and helped our young people achieve great futures."
Since 1995, Taco Bell's charitable foundation, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, has given $35 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, making it BGCA's largest supporter of teens to date. More than one million teens have been served through the partnership's mentorship and real-world experience programs. This includes the Graduate to Go Multi-Media Studios, Camp Taco Bell, Graduate to Go High School Tour and the National Keystone leadership program at 1,600 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. In 2012, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens will provide nearly $5 million in local grants to Boys & Girls Clubs and other teen-serving organizations across the nation.
"Taco Bell will continue to support teens on their journey to graduation because they are our customers, employees, and the future of our communities," said Greg Creed, chief executive officer, Taco Bell Corp. and chairman, Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. "We are proud to of our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America because they provide teens with the tools and resources they need to graduate and become caring, educated and productive adults."The Lifetime Achievement Award is an honor given to individuals, corporations, and foundations that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to children. For more than twenty years the award has been bestowed to those who embody the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs Movement. BGCA's mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, caring citizens. Recipients of the award are selected by Boys & Girls Clubs of America governors, trustees and staff. Past awards have been given to individuals. Taco Bell is the first corporation to be recognized.