MAR VISTA GARDENS —The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica received a $1 million donation Tuesday to develop a new community branch in the Mar Vista Gardens apartment complex.

The gift comes from local real estate businessman John Jones, after whom the new center will be named.

“I believe the Mar Vista Gardens Boys & Girls Club site represents a safe, secure and positive learning environment for starting and keeping youngsters on the right path,” Jones said. “All children deserve an opportunity to reach their full potential and modest beginnings need not limit opportunities for success. Our community’s future strength lies in the minds and actions of children — they are our future.”

The Jack and Cindy Jones Youth Center will provide numerous educational, recreational and social resources to the 600 children that live in the Mar Vista Gardens complex.

Youth ages 6 to 18 will be able to visit the center during non-school hours to receive tutoring, develop social skills, have access to technology and participate in sports, healthy lifestyle programs, and leadership and community service projects.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica serve approximately 8,000 youth from across Los Angeles County.

There are eight branches in and around Santa Monica — two more are expected to open in 2014.

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