Pelicans to Sponsor Young Leadership Council's 2015 YLC Wednesday at the Square Concert Series

February 20, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – Young Leadership Council (YLC) is thrilled to announce a new partnership with the New Orleans Pelicans as the 2015 title sponsor for the 16th annual YLC Wednesday at the Square concert series, which will run from March 11 to May 27 at Lafayette Square in the Central Business District.

“We are grateful for everything that Young Leadership Council does to make our community a better place,” said Tom Benson, Pelicans Owner and Chairman of the Board. “In addition to identifying, developing, and retaining young professionals in our region, they also are involved in numerous important charitable endeavors. On behalf of the Pelicans organization, we are happy for this opportunity to partner with Young Leadership Council for the concert series to showcase our city’s great musical and cultural traditions.”

For his own philanthropic efforts in the community, Mr. Benson was recognized by YLC as an honoree at the organization’s inaugural Role Model Awards Gala in 1987. The concert series sponsorship is the latest community investment made by the Pelicans to build a legacy in the Greater New Orleans community with vision, integrity, and passion. Under Mr. Benson’s leadership, the team has focused on enriching the communities in the Gulf South region through initiatives in education, health and wellness, and environmental responsibility.

“We could not be more excited to partner with Mr. Benson and the New Orleans Pelicans for Wednesday at the Square,” said T. Semmes Walmsley, 2015 YLC Board President. “With the Pelicans as our 2015 title sponsor, YLC can continue to keep the 12-week concert series free to the public and book the hottest local and regional musicians for the enjoyment of all attendees—locals and visitors alike.”

YLC Wednesday at the Square serves as the organization’s largest source of funding, with proceeds from food and beverage sales at the concerts directly benefiting the organization and its service projects which address community needs such as literacy, recycling, youth mentoring, and youth recreation.

“These concerts allow us to fulfill our mission of developing leadership through civic engagement and community service,” said Curry W. Smith, YLC Executive Director. “YLC gives back to the community every day through a variety of volunteer-led service projects, from sports-based youth development with RECreate and YLC Kicks to an annual campaign for literacy with One Book One New Orleans.”

In addition to producing a concert series attended by an average of 6,000 people each week, some of YLC’s historical achievements include raising $425,000 in 1989 to install and illuminate the bridge lights on the Crescent City Connection; launching the successful “Proud To Call It Home” civic pride campaign in 1994; and presenting two public art exhibits, “Festival of Fins” and “A Streetcar Named Inspire,” in 2000 and 2008, respectively. In 2014, YLC members logged more than 12,000 volunteer hours working on eight community service projects.

“Without our sponsors and the support of all those who attend the concert series, YLC volunteers would not be able to have as great an impact on the community as they do,” added Smith.

In addition to the New Orleans Pelicans serving as the title sponsor, YLC announced that other sponsors for the 2015 series will include Republic National Distributing Company, Abita Brewing Company, Dow, and the Downtown Development District. The series is also made possible with the generous support of Lafayette Square Conservancy and the Department of Parks & Parkways.

Single-concert and multiple-concert sponsorships for the 2015 series are still available. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, including private hospitality tents and a VIP elevated stage experience, contact Caitlin Rudin at caitlin@ylcnola.org.

For more information on YLC, please visit www.ylcnola.org. For more information on YLC Wednesday at the Square or to volunteer at one of the concerts, please visit www.wednesdayatthesquare.com or email feedback@wednesdayatthesquare.com. Engage with YLC Wednesday at the Square on Twitter at @WedattheSquare and @ylcnola.

Young Leadership Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, civic organization created to develop leadership through community projects. Through volunteer-created community projects, YLC recruits and retains young professionals to New Orleans, creating a positive impact on the quality of life in the region. The oldest, independent YPO (young professionals' organization) in the country, YLC has raised more than $25 million to support community projects in and around the New Orleans area since 1986.