Denzel Washington, Ron Howard, Ashanti and LeBron James Launch “Great Futures Start Here” Campaign for Boys & Girls Clubs of America

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Published on September 22, 2011 with No Comments



Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) today announced a star-studded new Public Service Advertising (PSA) campaign, featuring 21 notable Club alumni dramatically showcasing the impact of the Boys & Girls Club experience in transforming the lives of young people. The PSA made its debut this morning during an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

On hand for the release of “Great Futures Start Here” was its director, Academy Award-winner Ron Howard, and Club alumnus Denzel Washington, who secured Howard’s support, along with that of producer Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment. The spot was filmed in June in Los Angeles.

The ad features 21 notable Boys & Girls Club alumni including Denzel Washington and Jennifer Lopez (co-national spokespersons), Ashanti, General Wesley Clark, Misty Copeland, John Paul DeJoria, Cuba Gooding Jr., Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mario Lopez, Ne-Yo, Edward James Olmos, Lucille O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, Smokey Robinson, CC Sabathia, Martin Sheen, Courtney Vance, Kerry Washington, and Shaun White.

“This campaign represents an amazing level of star power, but these alumni all participated because they know firsthand the lifelong impact a Boys & Girls Club has on young people,” said Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “These individuals are living proof that Boys & Girls Clubs help create the pathway to a great future. As a result, they are passionate advocates for kids.”

Great Future Start Here At Boys & Girls Clubs

The purpose of the Great Futures Start Here campaign is to raise awareness about the critical issues that put millions of America’s youth, and the nation’s future, at risk. Consider the following:

  • 3 in 10 students will not graduate on time
  • 3 in 10 kids are obese or overweight
  • Juvenile crime escalates during the hours of 3 7 p.m.
  • 1 in 5 children live in poverty

BGCA believes that every child whether living in a big city, small town, Native American community, or military installation has the potential to achieve a great future. More importantly, the 105-year-old youth organization, which serves some 4 million youth in 4 thousand communities, has evidence of its effectiveness: in a Harris Interactive survey of Club alumni, 57% said, “the Club saved my life.”

National Spokesperson for 19 Years

“I am a prime example of the need for a community-based safe haven like Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Denzel Washington, who joined the Club in Mount Vernon, N.Y. at age 6. “Without the support and mentoring of the Club, I’m afraid to think where I would be today. I certainly would not have the life I do now.” Washington will celebrate 20 years as BGCA’s national spokesperson in 2012.

Nationwide, Boys & Girls Clubs providehigh-impact, affordableprograms, andcaring adultmentors,to keep kids on the path to great futures, emphasizing academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

Beyonce Song as Soundtrack

The soundtrack for the PSA is the song “I Was Here,” performed by multiple Grammy-winning singer- songwriter Beyonce, and written by multiple Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren. The track is featured on Beyonce’s latest album, “4,” and was donated by Warren, Beyonce and Sony Music Entertainment for exclusive use in the spot.

“We wanted the most powerful piece of music possible, to underscore the dramatic message that what we do today to shape the future of our children is vitally important,” said director Ron Howard. “We could not have picked a more moving track. Diane’s words and Beyonce’s delivery are over the top.”

Others providing key support to the campaign are ad agency McCann Erickson, and production company @radical Media.

Additional components of the campaign will include radio, print, web, outdoor and airport executions.

Also attending the event was Grammy Award-winning recording artist Ashanti, and seven-time NBA All-Star LeBron James. An alumna of Boys & Girls Clubs who appears in the new PSA campaign, Ashantiserves as the Ambassador for BGCA’s National Youth of the Year program.James is a long-time Club supporter who during the past year raisedmore than$3 million in funding and in-kind support for Clubs around the country. James spoke about the need for young people to make a lifelong commitment to good health and nutrition. Ashanti focusedher remarks on the critical role of good character and citizenship in puttingyoung people on the pathway to success.

New BGCA National Youth of the Year Announced

During the event, Nicholas Foley was introduced as Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s new 2011-12 National Youth of the Year and recipient of a $61,000 scholarship from the Tupperware Brands Corporation and the Rick and Susan Goings Foundation. He spoke about the critical role of the Club in helping him graduate from high school and become the first member of his family to attend college. Nicholas Foley received the honor this morning at a Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill, co-hosted by Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Steny Hoyer.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has enabledyoung peoplemost in needto achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located incities, towns, public housingand on Native American lands throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide.Theyprovide asafe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programson a daily basisduring critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at and

SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America



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