WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 19, 2009) - In commemoration of Dr. King's birthday and to ensure Dr. King's legacy lives on for generations to come, the Exelon Foundation today presented a $1 million donation to the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. Frank M. Clark, Exelon Foundation Board Member and Chairman and CEO of ComEd, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, presented the check to Memorial Foundation President and CEO Harry E. Johnson at Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity's Inauguration reception at the National Press Club.
"Today, we honor the work and words of Dr. King and the values he held so dear - tireless determination, steadfast courage, and unconditional equality for all," Clark said. "The Exelon Foundation is committed to supporting initiatives that promote diversity as a philosophy of acceptance. For Dr. King, that philosophy was a way of life. We hope our donation inspires others to follow suit, and we look forward to sharing Dr. King's convictions through a universal and eternal symbol of his life and legacy."
The check presentation took place at a reception hosted by Herman "Skip" Mason, the 33rd General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Dr. King's fraternity. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity originated the idea of creating a memorial to King on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The reception honored Dr. King along with family members of other firsts in African American history including Martin and Bernice King, Thurgood Marshall, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, and Mrs. Jackie (Rachel) Robinson.
"It is fitting that we are celebrating the Exelon Foundation's support to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on Dr. King's national holiday and the eve of this historic Presidential Inauguration," said Mason.
"I am honored that the Exelon Foundation has joined the Memorial Foundation's family of supporters, and I hope that other foundations, corporations and individuals will follow its lead," said Johnson.
The Exelon Foundation is an independent, non-profit philanthropic organization funded solely by Exelon Corporation, an energy company. The Foundation seeks out and supports initiatives that create awareness of the civic and social benefits of diversity and the importance of understanding tolerance. Its $1 million donation will help to create a memorial that will honor Dr. King's contributions to world peace through non-violent social change. The Foundation is the first electric utility-funded organization to donate to the memorial.
The Exelon Foundation also will serve as one of the lead sponsors of the February 17th Chicago Dream Dinner, which will raise a portion of the remaining funds to build the Memorial. Clark, along with John W. Rowe, Exelon Foundation Chairman and Exelon Corporation Chairman and CEO, will serve as Dinner Co-Chairs.
The Memorial Foundation has raised $104 million of the needed $120 million. Major donors to the Memorial include: General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, NBA/WNBA, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Walt Disney Company Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ford Motor Fund, Toyota, AARP, AFLAC, BP America, Inc., CIGNA, Credit Unions of the United States, DuPont, ExxonMobil Foundation, Fannie Mae Corporation, FedEx Corporation, GE, Ann and Joel Horowitz Family Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Sheila C. Johnson-Newman, George Lucas, MacFarlane Partners, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, McDonald's Corporation, MetLife Foundation, National Association of Realtors (NAR), National Education Association (NEA), Nationwide Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Pfizer Foundation, Prudential Financial, Inc., Shell Oil Company, State Farm Insurance, The Travelers Companies, Inc., Verizon Foundation, Viacom, Wal-Mart and Morehouse College, among others.
About the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
A Memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be built on the National Mall, situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C. The ceremonial groundbreaking took place Nov. 13, 2006 and the Memorial will be completed in 2010. McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company/ Gilford Corporation / Tompkins Builders, Inc. Joint Venture will serve as the Design-Build Team. McKissack & McKissack is the oldest minority-owned architectural firm in the United States. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.buildthedream.org.
About the Exelon Foundation
The Exelon Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization funded solely by Exelon Corporation, an energy company, through shareholder dollars. The Foundation supports nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations primarily within the Exelon operating companies' service areas. The mission of the Foundation is to encourage respect for the environment and strengthen the social and economic fabric of the community by primarily providing program grants in three areas - environment and conservation awareness, innovative math and science education, and diversity and tolerance.