The grants program, now in its second year, empowers each restaurant in the Darden family of brands to help award a $1,000 grant to support local community programs.
The donation has enabled BGCC’s teen leadership conference Elevate.
The teen conference was held on April 19 and 20 at Horn’s Creek. Over 100 teens were encouraged by various speakers including Adam Lowe, Phil Cook, officer Chris Lewallen and William Lamb. Teens were charged with the responsibility of becoming great leaders in their families, schools, clubs and communities.
All participants were given the opportunity to participate in team building activities such as a team adventure race, team paintball games, group problem solving, etc. Also, each teen enjoyed the zipline, giant swing and being surrounded by nature.
The Darden grant supplied each teen participant with a flash drive full of documents and links to guide them in leadership.
This event is expected to serve more teens in the spring of 2014.
Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille and Eddie V’s brands participated in the program. Many restaurants and brands worked together to award one nonprofit organization with a larger grant for a greater impact in their community.
“Our employees are incredibly passionate about the communities where they live, and our restaurant teams are in a position to understand and help address the needs of their communities,” said Drew Madsen, Darden Restaurants’ president and chief operating officer. “We’re all proud to build on that passion through the grants program and bring real, local citizenship to life by enabling each restaurant to make a difference in their backyard.”
The restaurants will award more than $1.9 million to more than 850 exceptional nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources and hunger.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland is very appreciative of the grant received by Darden, a spokesman said.
Conferences like Elevate spark a fire in the life of a teen. Sending teens home with a flash drive full of leadership information to help them on their paths to success filled a dream of the local clubs. They thanked Darden for giving Bradley County and Polk teens the opportunity to have a great future.
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland is to enable all young people, especially those that need it most, to realize their full potential as responsible, productive and caring citizens.
There are seven sites serving Bradley and Polk County, including the James H. Tucker Unit, Cleveland State Unit, Reba M. Powers Unit, Blythe Unit, Johnson Teen Unit, L. Harlen Painter Unit and the Benton Unit.