Anyone reading the life story of Mario Lopez can readily see the impact the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has meant to him and how he credits his success, in part, to this organization. He doesn’t, however, just pay lip service to his commitment. Here are some projects he is involved with that directly impact the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in tangible ways:
Lopez is the Alumni Ambassador of Fitness of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and is always looking for unique ways to promote health and fitness in club activities. In 2014, he reached out to Animal Planet’s hit reality show “Tanked” to come up with a design for an interactive fish tank that would inspire exercise as well provide a lesson in science for the boys and girls of the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, California. Using a large arcade game terminal and exercise bike attached to a 180-gallon tank, show hosts Wayde King and Brett Raymer translated Lopez’s vision into a fun and educational experience for BGCA members.
The aquarium was an instant hit at the Club. “I thought it would be cool to build one of these tanks for one of the Clubs, so kids could see these great fish and learn a lot at the same time,” Lopez told FOX News Latino. “It’s a real treat because I didn’t see anything like this when I was growing up. I thought it would be really neat.”
Lopez made an appearance at the Ken Carlson Boys & Girls Club in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for the Club’s Family Extravaganza Day and discovered that there is a commonality among the boys and girls there with the ones he grew up with in Chula Vista. He observed that many were like him, a kid with blue-collar, hardworking parents looking for a place to belong, to grow and to stay out of trouble. “I grew up in a Club just like this,” Lopez told the audience there. Lopez was in Winston-Salem for the visit and to work with FOX8/WGHP-TV.
Earlier this year, as part of the launch of the new Oreo S’mores Blizzard Treat and the return of the fan favorite S’mores Blizzard Treat, the Dairy Queen system, a Berkshire Hathaway company, donated $30,000 in “Extra” host Mario Lopez’s name to the Chula Vista Boys & Girls Club to fund two camps for 200 local kids.
“This donation supports our ongoing mission of providing childcare, recreational opportunities and programs to empower local youth and help them become responsible citizens and leaders of our community,” said Ken Blinsman, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of South County, which merged with the Chula Vista branch in 2009. “We are so thankful to Mario and the Dairy Queen system for their generous contribution. Our kids are the big winners.”
One of the things that Mario Lopez has also taken a special interest in has been public education. In addition to his work with BGCA, Lopez recently teamed up with General Mills to promote their education program that brings much needed resources to struggling and underfunded public schools. By partnering with General Mills and the Box Tops for Education Program, the actor has been urging everyone to join him as he “enlists the next generation” of kids. Kids can cut the box tops of cereal boxes and redeem them for cash needed for their schools.
This fall, General Mills is celebrating the 20th birthday of its iconic Box Tops for Education program, which has provided schools in the U.S. with more than $780 million in funding over the last two decades. •