Hollywood-Los Angeles Beautification Team Honors Green-Hearted Actors

HOLLYWOOD, California, June 16, 2008 (ENS) – The nonprofit Hollywood-Los Angeles Beautification Team will be honoring and thanking well known actors Ed Begley Jr. and Amy Smart at their annual dinner event on June 25.

The Hollywood-Los Angeles Beautification Team, HBT, is a grassroots organization created by members of the Hollywood and Los Angeles community in 1992. The team engages communities to improve school campuses, neighborhoods and business districts, and provides educational workshops and vocational training to at-risk youth.

Begley, star of HGTV’s “Living with Ed,” is being honored as “a pioneer in teaching about sustainable living and walking his talk,” HBT said in a statement today. Created as two television series of six weeks each, “Living with Ed” aired in 2007 and 2008.

Actor and environmental activist Ed Begley,
Jr. addresses the crowd at the Earth
Day Green Apple Festival on the
National Mall in Washington, DC.
April 2008. (Photo by Nony Dutton)

Cycling and driving his electric car from his solar-powered Studio City home to destinations around Los Angeles, Begley has served as chairman of the Environmental Media Association, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. He still serves on those boards, as well as on the boards of the Thoreau Institute, the Earth Communications Office, Tree People and Friends of the Earth, among other organizations.

HBT is also honoring Smart, a member of the board and long-time spokesperson for the non-profit group Heal The Bay, an organization devoted to cleaning up the Santa Monica Bay.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and SpaceX and chairman of Tesla Motors and SolarCity, will receive an Environmental Business Award.

The public is invited to attend the dinner and presentations at the Universal Studios Globe Theater. At 6pm the cocktail hour and “Green Faire” begins, with dinner and program at 7:30pm. Single tickets are $150. Sponsorships are available.

Guests will hear from Los Angeles Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles Council President Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Debbie Levin of the Environmental Media Association, Ben Lyons E! Network’s Daily Show and emcee Paula Poundstone.

Also in attendance will be special guests Robert Baum, great grandson of L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of OZ and his wife Clare.

Sponsors include NBC/Universal Studios, Paramount Studios, Disney Studios, Kaiser, Ahmanson Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and the Gilmore Bank.

Created in 1992 by neighborhood volunteers, the Hollywood/Los Angeles Beautification Team now is building a permanent headquarters to house operations and educational programs just half a block from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

HBT says a building is needed “because of the tremendous increase in demand for our services throughout the City and the County Los Angeles.”

From its new building, HBT intends to provide more efficient and extensive services for the community and more vocational youth job training; to implement on-site educational programs; and to develop more green programs.

Since 1992, the Team has adopted over 110 public schools, hired 2,500 at-risk youth as a paid work force, and implemented 250 mural walls. After first giving instruction in both art and the environment, the staff has mentored over 27,000 children in interactive art, tree planting, and cleaning projects at their own schools.

Each year, staff and volunteers plant 2,000 trees, abate over two million square feet of graffiti, and remove more than 30 tons of trash from the city streets throughout Los Angeles.

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