Direct Energy Makes Significant Contribution to Help Ohio's At-Risk Youth

  Direct Energy Makes Significant Contribution to Help Ohio's At-Risk Youth

Company provides financial support to Boys & Girls Clubs Across Ohio

PR Newswire

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 28, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb.28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Two powerhouse organizations are
teaming up to help thousands of Ohio youth prepare for college and career
success. Leading energy supplier Direct Energy will be a leading sponsor of
Power Hour, the Boys & Girls Clubs' after-school academic support program in
seven locations across the state. Direct Energy and Boys & Girls Clubs
announced the sponsorship today at the Statehouse before an audience of
legislators.

Direct Energy becomes the Boys & Girls Clubs' first statewide corporate
sponsor in Ohio. The company's $100,000 donation over two years will help
sustain and expand valuable homework-help programs at seven clubs throughout
Ohio. During the Power Hour from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., adult volunteers and staff
members give club members extra support to build reading and math skills. In
addition to Direct Energy's financial donation, many company employees will
become volunteer mentors for club members who range from six to 18 years of
age. Approximately 10,000 Ohio youth ages six to 18 will benefit from Direct
Energy's investment.

"Boys & Girls Clubs are grateful to Direct Energy for the company's generous
gift to Power Hour. By creating opportunities for interaction with adult role
models, Direct Energy is helping to improve our young people's academic
performance and instill confidence, hope and empowerment among the young
people we serve," said Rebecca Asmo, executive director of the Boys & Girls
Clubs of Columbus.

Asmo noted that in the areas served by Direct Energy and Boys & Girls Clubs,
high school dropout rates can be as high as 50 percent.

Rob Comstock, vice president and general manager, Direct Energy Residential,
said, "Direct Energy is proud to sponsor the premier youth-serving
organizations in Ohio to help young people imagine and realize bright futures,
starting with a high school diploma."

"We believe that adult mentors can change a child's life. All young people
need to be connected with at least one caring adult who creates expectations
to graduate from high school, earn a college degree or certificate and make
positive choices that build strong minds, bodies and spirits," Comstock told
the assembly.

Direct Energy is one of the largest competitive retailers in North America of
electricity and natural gas with six million customer relationships. Over the
past 12 years, the company has expanded its footprint in Ohio. The company
sees opportunities for future growth as the state moves toward a more
competitive energy landscape that will lower residential and commercial energy
costs and introduce innovative products and services.

Improving communities is one component of Direct Energy's investment in Ohio.
Comstock said, "Like Boys & Girls Clubs, Direct Energy believes in the
principles of competition and community involvement. By helping young people
reach their full potential as caring and responsible citizens, we can ensure
the future success and safety of communities where our customers and
associates live."

Asmo said that Boys & Girls Clubs and corporate sponsors like Direct Energy
must be engaged in programs like Power Hour that support academic success and
positive behaviors.

"Power Hour makes it possible for at-risk children to achieve academic success
so that they can compete in today's marketplace," Asmo said.

To ensure a prosperous state, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has made college
completion a state priority. Thirty-seven states are ahead of Ohio in the
number of students who earn their degree or credential.

Direct Energy's support of Power Hour will benefit young people attending Boys
& Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati, Greater Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton,
Toledo, the Western Reserve (Akron), and Youngstown.

Also participating in the announcement were: Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor; State
Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus), board member of Boys & Girls Clubs of
Columbus; State Sen. Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton), chair, Senate Finance
Committee; State Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster), chair, House Finance and
Appropriations Committee; Lawrence Funderburke, retired NBA star and Boys &
Girls Club of Columbus alumnus; and Stephanie Simon, Ohio Boys & Girls Clubs
Youth of the Year.

About Boys & Girls Clubs
Great futures start here. For more than a century, Boys & Girls Clubs across
the country have provided hope and opportunity for disadvantaged youth.The
Boys & Girls Clubs' mission is, "to enable all young people, especially those
who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring,
responsible citizens."Boys & Girls Clubs provide: a safe place; ongoing
relationships with caring, adult professionals; and life-enhancing programs
aimed at academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy
lifestyles.In Ohio, over 43,600 youth are served each year in 45 Club sites
across the state, with 3,835 members attending per day. 

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related
services providers with more than 6 million residential and commercial
customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and
support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative
products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the
world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S.
states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada.

In Ohio, Direct Energy sponsors the Volunteer Citizen of the Year Awards in
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, and through its company Airtron
contributes to Heat the Town, an annual event in Columbus that provides free
furnace inspections to seniors and disabled residents.

SOURCE Direct Energy

Contact: Bethany Ruhe, Senior Manager, Public Relations, Direct Energy, Phone:
+1-412-667-5616, Cell: +1-412-841-3818, Bethany.Ruhe@directenergy.com; Rebecca
Asmo, Ohio Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, Phone: +1-614-221-8830, Cell:
+1-703-862-0464, RAsmo@bgcolumbus.org; Linda Siefkas, Siefkas Public
Relations, Phone: +1-614-486-3100, Cell: +1-614-404-4374,
lsiefkas@columbus.rr.com
 
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