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The All-Star Event Supporting LA's Premier Education Non-Profit

will be Held at Universal Studios Hollywood

LOS ANGELES (September 16, 2014) – LA's Promise, a nonprofit organization radically improving the education of South Los Angeles youth by transforming public schools so every student graduates college and career ready, will honor Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Jeff Shell and acclaimed director/screenwriter/producer and Chairman and Founder of El Rey Network Robert Rodriguez at its 2014 Gala on Tuesday, September 30 at 6:00 pm in the Globe Theater at Universal Studios Hollywood. A world-class entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood is also opening its doors to 1,200 students from LA's Promise to enjoy an evening of fun and excitement at the theme park's state-of-the-art rides and attractions, including the popular "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem."

"Our 2014 honorees have a long history of advancing the educational opportunities for underserved communities like the students that LA's Promise serves," said the organization's President and CEO Veronica Melvin. "Jeff and Robert have lent their names and their time to our initiatives in order to help lead the charge in preparing every child in our LA's Promise Neighborhood to be college and career-ready, healthy and successful in life."

"The Gala has always been meant to support the students in our LA's Promise Neighborhood," said LA's Promise Board Co-Chair Frank Marshall. "Universal Studios Hollywood is graciously opening its doors not only to our donors and board members to celebrate our honorees and increase funding for our cause, but also to our students. I can't think of a better way to celebrate students' success than to reward them with a night of fun and adventure through the theme park."


As Universal Filmed Entertainment Chairman, honoree Jeff Shell oversees worldwide operations for the motion picture group including its global theatrical and home entertainment businesses.  In addition to his studio duties, he is also Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent federal agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media. As a native Angeleno, Shell has been and continues to be a dynamic leader in the community. He is committed to improving the education and wellness of the city's students by actively supporting and serving on the boards of a number of organizations that are dedicated to public school reform.

Distinctive multi-hyphenate Robert Rodriguez has made a name for himself breaking the mold both on screen and off with films that include El Mariachi, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn as well as the Spy Kids, Sin City and Machete franchises. In 2013, Rodriguez launched the new cable network, El Rey Network, with original programming such as Matador From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, El Rey Network Presents: The Director's Chair and the upcoming Lucha Underground.

Each year, the Gala helps fund several programs orchestrated by LA's Promise in the enrollment zone that includes two large South Los Angeles high schools - Manual Arts and West Adams Prep - and one middle school - John Muir - operated under a first-of-its-kind performance contract with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Within this zone, LA's Promise has transformed chronically failing public schools, opened new schools and remade schools into community hubs that offer comprehensive support services for students and families that serve to  prepare every child in LA's Promise Neighborhood to be college and career-ready, healthy and successful in life. Previous Gala honorees include some of the nation's most prominent businessmen and entertainers, including Tom Cruise, Kathleen Kennedy, Ryan Seacrest, Erik Feig, Kevin Sharer, Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos.

This year's LA's Promise Gala Event Chairs include NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer, Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, Megan and Peter Chernin, JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath, Bob Bradway, Stephen Prough, John Kissick, Gene Sykes, Thomas Tull, Ivan Hindshaw, and Sheldon Stone. Honorary Host Committee members include Ryan Seacrest, Jason Blum, Dan Shell, Jeanie Buss, Taboo, Mark Hoppus, Casey Wasserman, Jason Sloane, Steve Barr, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Los Angeles County Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Jose Huizar, Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez, Bernard Parks, Curren Price and Herb Wesson, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, LAUSD Board Members Monica Garcia and Steve Zimmer, California State Controller John Chiang, California Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer and former California State Controller Steve Westly. Confirmed sponsors to date include Amgen, The Walt Disney Company, Twentieth Century Fox, Wells Fargo, Univision, HBO, and O'Melveny and Myers LLP.

The 2014 Gala will take place at the Globe Theater at Universal Studios Hollywood. A cocktail reception will be followed by an hour-long program with award presentations and more. The gala attendees will end the night with the chance to join the LA's Promise students in the theme park.  For sponsorship opportunities, tickets or additional information regarding LA's Promise Gala, please visit or contact Tiffany Aldridge at (213) 745-4928, ext. 5129. Individual tickets are available for $500 with sponsorships ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. Advertising opportunities are available in the special commemorative Gala Journal.

About LA's Promise

LA’s Promise is a nonprofit organization radically improving the education, health and social outcomes for thousands of youth in one South Los Angeles community-LA's Promise Neighborhood. LA’s Promise partners with Los Angeles Unified to transform chronically failing public schools and open new schools into community hubs that offer comprehensive support services for students and families. LA’s Promise works with our partner schools, community agencies, and corporate partners to prepare every child in LA’s Promise schools to be college and career-ready, healthy and successful in life. For more information, please visit


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