Mitch Leff
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Country Singers Chris Cavanaugh and Keith Anderson Highlight Boys & Girls Clubs of America “Great Futures Gala” Fundraiser at the Georgia Aquarium
Cartoon Network and Longhorn Steakhouse Presidents Host Fundraising Dinner; Honor BGCA Supporter Atlantan Michael Capellas, Chairman of the Virtual Computing Environment Company
Great Futures Start Here!

ATLANTA -- October 25, 2012 -- Country singers Chris Cavanaugh and Keith Anderson highlighted Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) 2012 Great Futures Gala, October 25, 2012, at the Georgia Aquarium, a fundraising event with a goal of raising $750,000 to support the youth service organization’s efforts nationwide. The 450+ gala guests also honored a great champion for youth, Atlanta’s own Michael Capellas, Chairman of the Virtual Computing Environment Company.   

During a seven-year tenure on BGCA’s Board of Governors, Capellas fostered the roll-out of technology centers in more than 5,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S.  The former CEO of Atlanta-based First Data, Capellas is also a recipient of the Hope Technology Award given by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for his work in utilizing technology to increase the recovery rate of missing children. 

"I am extremely honored to be recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America," said Michael Capellas. "Our decade-long relationship goes back to our joint interest in making technology available to children in need. It has been my privilege to help BGCA in ensuring great futures for all of our youths." 

WXIA-TV/11Alive reporter Bill Liss served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. Cartoon Network and Longhorn Steakhouse are major supporters of BGCA and the gala, with network president/COO Stuart Snyder and Longhorn president David George served as dinner co-chairmen. 

“The funds we raised at this Gala will support young people in three critical areas: academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and citizenship programs,” said Longhorn Steakhouse’s President David George. “These are areas vital to building our next generation.” 

BGCA and Cartoon Network have partnered to offer Clubs the “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign, aimed at empowering youth, particularly bystanders, to take action and reduce bullying.  The effort provides Clubs nationwide with multimedia tools and resources that offer tactical recommendations for effective responses to bullying and cyber-bullying situations.   

BGCA and the Darden Restaurants Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants, Inc., have partnered together since 2008 providing access to the tools and information Boys & Girls Club youth need to achieve a great future – including the new Diplomas to Degrees college-readiness program and more than $500,000 in college scholarships. Darden and its restaurant brands – including Longhorn Steakhouse – are dedicated to inspiring Boys & Girls Club teens to pursue ambitious goals by introducing them to the possibilities of postsecondary education. 

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize 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

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