Mark Wahlberg recieving the check from the President of the HFPA, Theo Kingma

Mark Wahlberg recieving the check from the President of the HFPA, Theo Kingma

HFPA President Theo Kingma surprised Mark Wahlberg with a check for $2,500 for the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation when members met the actor in New York to talk about his new movie, Lone Survivor.

Established in 2001 by Mark and his brother James, the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation is dedicated to helping inner city youth reach their full potential in life.

Mark, who dropped out of high school but graduated a few months ago after studying online, came from a family of nine children and spent most of his afternoons and evenings at his local club.  Built off Mark’s belief that “it’s our turn to help,” the Foundation funds the same types of programs that helped Mark overcome challenges during his youth.

Despite overall progress when it comes to improving teen graduation rates in the United States, the sobering fact remains that three out of every 10 students in U.S. public schools still fail to finish high school with a diploma according to a 2009 EPE Research Center Study. The Foundation aspires to reach those children whose dreams and passions are limited due to financial circumstances and provide them with opportunities that allow them to see the value in their education and planning for their future.


Mark Wahlberg with Boys and Girls Club members.



Mark Wahlberg had the guests at the HFPA Grants and Installation lunch roaring with laughter when he issued a jocular warning to his old pal Leonardo DiCaprio, who had introduced him as Marky Mark.

“There’s a guy on my table who’s better looking than you and in better shape than me,” he said. “Taylor Lautner. We’re screwed, man Titanic and Boogie Nights were a long time ago.”

The three stars were at the luncheon to accept checks from the HFPA on behalf of film-related organizations and charities.

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