WellPoint Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Named Finalists for Best Partnership in U.S. Chamber “Citizen” Awards

Online vote will determine overall winner

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As rates of childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles continue to increase, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) is recognizing a program that helps get kids off to a healthy start in life as one of the best corporate partnerships in the country.

WellPoint Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) have been named as finalists in the BCLC’s 13th Annual Corporate Citizen Awards for their work to strengthen and expand the Triple Play wellness program at local Clubs across the country.

Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul, is BGCA’s proven health and wellness program. Supported by founding sponsor Coca-Cola and co-sponsor and the WellPoint Foundation, the program encourages Club members to eat healthier (mind), become more physically active (body) and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships (soul).

“Good nutrition and active lifestyles are healthy habits that have to be taught,” said Lance Chrisman, executive director of the WellPoint Foundation. “I’m not aware of any organization doing a better job of teaching our youth the skills needed for a lifetime of health than Boys & Girls Clubs of America. We are honored to be a national co-sponsor of Triple Play and thank Boys & Girls Clubs and their outstanding staff across the country for all that they are doing to make a measurable difference in the health of the next generation.”

The WellPoint Foundation supports Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Triple Play program through a three-year, $5 million grant which provides startup funds to help local Clubs offer Triple Play for the first time, as well as dollars to support the expansion of Triple Play at existing program sites.

A recent study of more than 2,000 children ages 9-14 who attend Boys & Girls Clubs showed that Triple Play succeeded in getting them to exercise more, eat healthier foods and feel better about themselves. Triple Play kids increased to 90 percent of the federally recommended amount of daily exercise, which is 60 minutes a day for children, while their peers outside the program decreased to 78 percent.

“Triple Play is the premiere healthy lifestyles initiative within our organization,” said Christina Alford, Vice President of National Corporate Partnerships, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We know that putting youth on the path to great futures means ensuring they begin with a healthy start, which requires support from all areas of the community. We’re tremendously grateful for the support of the WellPoint Foundation because it has allowed us to bring Triple Play to an even greater audience and take the program to the next level.”

The 2012 BCLC Citizens Awards encompass four categories – Best Corporate Steward, Best Business Neighbor, Best International Ambassador, and Best Partnership. The Best Partnership category in which the WellPoint Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America have been nominated honors companies and charitable organizations for working together to address important social issues.

The ultimate winner of the Best Partnership award will be determined by online public voting. Individuals are encouraged to vote for their favorite corporate partnership by visiting http://bclc.uschamber.com/vote. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 2, 2012.

In 2011, more than 44,000 votes were cast to select the winning partnership.

About the U.S. Chamber BCLC

BCLC is the U.S. Chamber’s resource and voice for business’ social and philanthropic interests. Its mission is to advance the positive role of business in society. The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

About the Corporate Citizenship Awards

The Corporate Citizenship Awards, known as the “Citizens” Awards, honor strategic and sustained positive impact on people, communities, the environment, and society. The Citizens have been presented every year since 2000 and are one of the nation’s premier recognition programs for companies that actively work to improve societal challenges.

About WellPoint Foundation

The WellPoint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of WellPoint, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of WellPoint, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation, please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) 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 bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.

WellPoint Foundation
Scott Larrivee, 262-523-4746
Twitter: @WellPointFDN_PR
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Ross Jacobs, 404-487-5624

Source: WellPoint Foundation