August 29, 2007 – Torrance, CA - Since its inception in 1989, Lexus has been committed to giving back to communities. Now it is taking that commitment to a higher level with a dedicated philanthropy program called The Lexus Pursuit of Potential, which will give $3 million per year to organizations that help children realize their potential.
The Lexus Pursuit of Potential, which debuted in January 2007, was developed after in-depth research with customers, dealers and philanthropy experts. According to research by American Express Publishing and The Harrison Group*, on average, Lexus customers give nearly twice as much money to charity as other affluent customers who do not own Lexus cars.
"When we talked to our customers, they said they felt 'blessed' with what they had and they were committed to 'paying it forward' to the next generation,"explains Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager, Mark Templin. "We felt the best way to support our customers' passion was to develop a philanthropy program to benefit children."
The Lexus Pursuit of Potential Mission Statement is:
"Lexus believes that children have the potential, and the desire, to make the world a better place. To encourage them to pursue their dreams, Lexus will support organizations that build, shape and improve children's lives.”
Currently, there are two philanthropy programs under the Lexus Pursuit of Potential banner that will give more than $3 million to children's charities. The first is the Lexus Pursuit of Potential Dealer Matching Funds and the second is the Lexus Environmental Challenge.
The Dealer Matching Funds program launched in January 2007 and will generate up to $2 million in donations to children's charities in Lexus dealers' communities each year. Lexus will match a dealer's donation up to $10,000 per year, with a commitment of matching $1 million nationally.
The Lexus Environmental Challenge launched September 2007 and was developed to educate students about the environment and to inspire them to create a better world. Through the program, middle and high school students are invited to develop and implement environmental programs that positively impact their communities. More than $1 million in scholarships and grants will be awarded to students, teachers and schools.
Teams of 5-10 students with a teacher advisor have the opportunity to participate in four initial challenges, each addressing a different environmental element – land, water, air and climate.
For each of the challenges, teams will define the issue, develop an action plan to address the issue, implement the plan and report on the results. Sixteen winning teams for each challenge will win $3,000. The 64 winning teams of all the challenges will be invited to participate in the final challenge where students will be asked to develop a program that has the potential to change their world. There will be 14 finalists who win $50,000 per team and two grand prize winners who will receive $75,000 per team.
"This is an opportunity to help students see for themselves what needs to be done to improve their environment and to inspire them to take action,"says Templin. "If small steps are taken around the country, the collective impact could be amazing. We're excited about tapping into the creativity of young people to see what they will make of this challenge.”
In addition to the Lexus Pursuit of Potential, Lexus supports numerous charitable events and the arts, as well as hosts Champions for Charities, a national golf tournament featuring winners of local charity golf events.
*Annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America 2007
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