|Simon Property Group Recognized for its Support of At-Risk Youth|
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 4, 2009) – Working after hours, and meeting on weekends, five employees of shopping center owner Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG) set out to create something special 10 years ago.
Their efforts resulted in the creation of Simon Youth Foundation (SYF) as a public charity. SYF uses Simon malls to fundraise, develop in-mall alternative high schools, and award college scholarships, in order to make a meaningful impact on the lives of youth.
“Using our properties to give back to the communities they serve in a meaningful way is a great opportunity, and one that is embraced by employees throughout the company,” said SPG Executive Vice President, Development Operations, Michael E. McCarty.
On May 17, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Foundation will recognize as SPG the first-ever Overall U.S. Community Support Award for its support of SYF. The award will be announced on the first night of RECon, ICSC’s global real estate convention in Las Vegas. SPG will also be named as a finalist for the Albert Sussman International Community Support Award, which will be awarded that evening.
“If you look at examples of partnerships between corporations and nonprofits, it is hard to imagine finding one more effective than this,” said SYF Executive Vice President, Dr. Rick Markoff.
The partnership between the two entities has made a major impact on students across the country. In just 10 years, enrollment at SYF’s 24 schools, called Education Resource Centers, has reached more than 14,500 and the cumulative graduation rate is 90 percent. Its scholarship program, created in 2000, has awarded more than $7 million in post-secondary funds.
“Looking back we had high expectations for what SYF could accomplish, but even so we never could have imagined how successful this model would become,” said Tim Earnest, SPG Executive Vice President, and SYF founder and Director.
SPG was chosen as the Central Region winner, and then competed against three other regional honorees to win the Overall Award. The awards are given to shopping centers or shopping center companies that go above and beyond what is best for their bottom lines to truly make a difference in the communities they serve. Each award comes with $5,000 to be given to the charity of the awardees’ choice. If SPG wins the Albert Sussman Award, it will receive an additional $10,000 to give to its charity.
Simon Property Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 company and the largest public U.S. real estate company. Simon is a fully integrated real estate company which operates from five retail real estate platforms: regional malls, Premium Outlet Centers®, The Mills®, community/lifestyle centers and international properties. It currently owns or has an interest in 386 properties comprising 263 million square feet of gross leasable area in North America, Europe and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. Simon Property Group, Inc. is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol SPG. For further information, visit the Company's website at www.simon.com.
Simon Youth Foundation (www.syf.org), established in 1998, exists to foster and improve educational opportunities, career development, and life skills that transform the lives of at-risk youth through focused programs and initiatives with our public school and post- secondary education partners. SYF accomplishes its mission through two initiatives: alternative schools called Education Resource Centers and a post-secondary scholarship program. Its 24 ERCs have graduated more than 5,000 students at a 90 percent rate, and more than $7 million has been awarded in post-secondary scholarships.
The ICSC Foundation promotes and rewards community support efforts and provides undergraduate, graduate-level and retail real estate practitioners educational scholarships. The Community Support Award program is designed to recognize exceptional contributions by shopping centers or shopping center companies within their communities. Established in 1988, the ICSC Foundation is the non-profit public charity of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC). For more information, please visit: www.icscfoundation.org
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