MCLEAN, Va., April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBA Legend,
entrepreneur and philanthropist Earvin "Magic" Johnson will be honored May
6 as the recipient of the third annual USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award being
presented by USA TODAY President and Publisher Craig A. Moon. The award
recognizes his work in entertainment and underserved communities with the
Magic Johnson Foundation.
Johnson and the Magic Johnson Foundation will be feted at an award gala
on the evening of May 6 at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Scheduled presenters include: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa,
Regina King, Russell Simmons, Paul Sorvino, Craig Moon, and Zina Bethune.
Guests will enjoy dinner with a special guest performance by
award-winning R&B singer, Chante Moore.
The Magic Johnson Foundation was founded in 1991 as a single-disease
organization that worked to raise funds for community-based organizations
dealing with HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs. Over the past few
years, the Magic Johnson Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 million in
funds, established more than 20 Magic Johnson Community Empowerment
Centers, four HIV/AIDS clinics and has co-created the award-winning "I
Stand With Magic" campaign to end HIV/AIDS in the black community.
"I am humbled and honored to receive this award but I have to share it
with all of my corporate and community partners as they have helped make
everything we do possible," said Earvin "Magic" Johnson, founder of the
Magic Johnson Foundation. "Together, we have positively impacted a lot of
communities and a lot of lives and that feels good."
"We are very pleased to present our third annual USA TODAY Hollywood
Hero award to Mr. Johnson. His work as a social advocate for underserved
communities with the Magic Johnson Foundation should be celebrated," said
USA TODAY President and Publisher Craig Moon.
In what has become a USA TODAY signature event, the USA TODAY Hollywood
Hero Award is presented annually to an entertainment industry humanitarian
who has made remarkable contributions of time and energies with a
non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life for
others. The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award recipient is unique in that his
or her efforts extend far beyond a charitable contribution or simply
lending one's celebrity to enhance a cause or concern.
The 2008 USA TODAY Hollywood Hero award is proudly sponsored by Best
About Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Earvin Johnson, Jr. is Founder and Chairman of the Magic Johnson
Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to developing programs and
supporting services that address the educational, health and social needs
of ethnically diverse, urban communities.
Founded in 1991, the Magic Johnson Foundation has become one of the
most recognizable charitable organizations around the world. Over the past
few years, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 million to
community-based organizations that focus on HIV/AIDS education and
prevention, established four HIV/AIDS clinics and has co-created the
award-winning "I Stand With Magic" campaign to end HIV/AIDS in the black
Additionally, the Foundation has supported more than 800 minority high
school students with college scholarships (many through the organization's
Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program), opened more than 20 Magic Johnson
Community Empowerment Centers located in underserved communities across the
country, and provides a range of community-based initiatives including an
annual children's Mardi Gras, holiday toy drive and semi-annual job fair.
Johnson is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magic Johnson
Enterprises. Through strategic investments, partnerships and endorsements,
Magic Johnson Enterprises has bolstered the economy by establishing brand
name businesses in underserved communities, training and hiring local
residents and employing local contractors.
Magic Johnson Enterprises is comprised of a portfolio of companies and
partnerships that include Urban Coffee Opportunities (making MJE the only
joint venture partner of its kind with Starbucks), Canyon-Johnson Urban
Fund which is the country's largest private real estate fund focused on the
revitalization of underserved communities, over 30 Burger King restaurants,
a dozen 24 Hour Fitness Magic Sport centers, a T.G.I. Fridays restaurant,
and a long-standing partnership with AMC Magic Johnson Theatres.
Magic Johnson Enterprises recently launched several additional
initiatives: SodexoMagic, LLC and respective partnerships with Aetna and
Best Buy. SodexoMagic, LLC provides an extensive portfolio of food and
facilities management services as well as offers signature dining
facilities. MJE's alliance with Aetna will empower businesses and
ethnically diverse communities to make informed choices about health care
options by improving health care literacy and demonstrating the benefits of
wellness. Similarly, MJE has entered into a multi-year relationship with
retail giant Best Buy to enhance urban retail growth strategies and
implement diversity outreach with multicultural consumers.
In addition to his varied business accomplishments, Mr. Johnson was
voted (unaided) number one at representing the urban community, garnering a
higher percentage than any other organization or personality (February 2008
Yankelovich/Magic Johnson Brand Study). He was also voted the number one
rated athlete for corporate endorsements (TSE Sports & Entertainment
Survey, April 2007) and one of the most highly rated celebrities able to
influence consumer purchasing power (rated 6 out of 350 according to the
2006 Davie Brown Index).
Johnson is universally known for his 13 year career in the NBA. His
honors include: five national championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, 3
MVP awards, 12 NBA All-Star games, a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in
Barcelona, Spain and induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall
About The Magic Johnson Foundation
The Magic Johnson Foundation was established in 1991 as a
single-disease organization that worked to raise funds for community-based
organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs. The
Foundation since expanded the mission to focus on developing programs and
supporting community-based organizations that address broader educational,
health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities. Learn
more at http://www.magicjohnson.org.
About USA TODAY
USA TODAY is the nation's top-selling newspaper. It is published via
satellite at 34 locations in the USA and at four sites abroad. With a total
average daily circulation of 2.3 million, USA TODAY is available worldwide.
USA TODAY is published by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). The USA TODAY
brand also includes: USATODAY.com, an award-winning news and information
Web site that is updated 24 hours per day; USA TODAY Sports Weekly, a
magazine for enthusiasts of college and professional football and baseball;
USA TODAY Mobile, offering up-to-the minute news and information on a
variety of mobile platforms and devices; and USA TODAY LIVE, the television
arm of the USA TODAY brand that brings the spirit and quality of the
newspaper to television.
SOURCE USA TODAY