The National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) presented chef Charlie Trotter with the 2009 Spirit of Youth award for his work to raise awareness and funds to help keep America's runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. Trotter received the award at NRS' annual Spirit of Youth benefit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago earlier this month.
(l to r) NRS executive director Maureen Blaha poses with chef Charlie Trotter

"Chef Trotter exemplifies what it means to be a socially responsible steward in our community," said Maureen Blaha, NRS executive director, in a statement. "His positive impact on youth and dedication to helping young people is truly making a difference."

Last year, Trotter helped raise more than $18,000 for NRS in addition to raising awareness about the organization. Additionally, Trotter has been supporting youth through his Culinary Education Foundation and other philanthropic endeavors throughout his career.

NRS serves as the federally designated national communication system for homeless and runaway youth. The organization provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members across the country. Visit for more information.