SOURCE: Los Angeles Conservation Corps

Los Angeles Conservation Corps

April 16, 2009 17:00 ET

Los Angeles Conservation Corps Raises $400,000 at Annual Luncheon

Celebrities and Community Leaders Celebrate Organization's 23rd Anniversary

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - April 16, 2009) - More than 600 people gathered today at the Los Angeles State Historic Park to celebrate the Los Angeles Conservation Corps' 23rd anniversary and pay tribute to the organization for their groundbreaking work with at-risk youth and environmental conservation. Shell Oil Company and sports clothing innovator Patagonia were honored at the annual Luncheon Celebration, which raised more than $400,000 for the Corps. Outstanding LA Corps members, students, and alumni were also recognized for their great work with college scholarships. Attendees included celebrity presenters Jake Gyllenhaal, Wilmer Valderrama and former MTV Host, Xzibit, and City Controller-Elect Wendy Greuel, and other elected officials.

"Today is a great day in the organization's history," said LA Corps Executive Director Bruce Saito. "It is an honor to be joined by so many of the city's great leaders and friends of The Corps as we celebrate the fine work and promising future of the youth we serve. This event will support our educational programs, and ensure the students we serve have the highest quality education and work experience."

The event featured live musical entertainment, a traveling tide pool from SEA Lab (LA Corps's hands-on coastal science education center in Redondo Beach), an award ceremony, and guest speakers from the LA Corps, including alumni Regina Chagolla and Dennis Martinez. Chagolla is the youngest out of seven children and the only one from her family to graduate high school. Thanks to support from the LA Corps, Regina is attending graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. The LA Corps helped Martinez, once a drop out, leave a life of partying and get back on track. He graduated from the California Culinary School in Pasadena and is now the head chef at L.A. County Probation Department at Camp David Gonzalez.

Funds raised through the event will support the organization's work with at-risk youth, including education, job skills training, and work experience, and conservation and service projects, such as tree plantings, new parks, graffiti removal, and rehabilitation of natural lands.

During the event, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps honored Shell and Patagonia for their extraordinary service to the community and commitment to environmental stewardship. "Shell is proud to support the work of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps," said Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum. "The LA Corps is changing the lives and landscape of Los Angeles and should be commended for their work. Our company and community are indebted to them for their extraordinary service."

"Patagonia is honored to accept this award today," said Hans Cole, environmental grants manager for Patagonia. "We commend them for their great work and environmental stewardship, and we're proud to have supported their efforts through our Pasadena store. They are inspiring the next generation to help preserve and protect the environment."

"The Los Angeles Conservation Corps plants hope with every tree," said LA Corps President and Board Chair Ann Hollister. "Hope for a healthier planet and for a bright future filled with skilled, highly-trained workers, ready to contribute to California's economy and workforce."

About Los Angeles Conservation Corps:

The LA Conservation Corps (the Corps) is a 501(c)3 private non-profit organization established to provide at-risk young adults ages 14 to 24 with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community. LA Corps was founded in 1986 by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Ambassador Mickey Kantor, and is a national leader in workforce development and alternative education for inner-city youth. It is currently the largest urban conservation corps in the nation. The Corps is the main source for trees in the LA area, and is responsible for planting and distributing over 80,000 trees for the Mayor's Million Trees LA initiative. For more information, please visit: http://www.lacorps.org

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