Since joining the Dodgers, Andre Ethier has been supporting the Union Rescue Mission. Andre and his wife Maggie lived downtown for a period of time and witnessed the homelessness first hand and wanted to do something. Andre has donated his time to visit and serve meals at the mission each year and in partnership with Farmer John has donated over one million pounds of food.As well, Andre is donating $75,000 to the mission’s learning center and creating a scholarship program. Andre’s contribution will help to secure two instructors for the learning center and improvements such as paint, new furniture, new computers and general supplies. Additionally, the funds will support two scholarships, one for Kenneth, a young man who has grown up at Union Rescue Mission going from a mediocre high school student to a Political Science major at Loyola Marymount University, and a four year scholarship for another young man who was just accepted to Howard University. Union Rescue Mission provides comprehensive emergency and long-term services to help the homeless escape the dangerous streets of skid row. It was established in 1891 and is the oldest mission in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers paid tribute to first responders and the military on the anniversary of September 11 during pre-game ceremonies. The National 9/11 Flag from the New York Says Thank You Foundation was unfurled in centerfield by first responders which included two members of the FDNY.There was a joint Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s helicopter flyover as more than 50 first responders and chiefs of respective departments – LAPD, LAFD, County Fire and the Sheriff’s Department lined up on the first and third base sides during pre-game ceremonies. The national anthem was performed by U.S. Coast Guard Second Class Petty Officer Michael Dalager. Members of the Los Angeles Police and Los Angeles County Fire Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Band performed as the groups entered the stadium and played Amazing Grace during a moment of silence. A special flag was raised on the Top Deck by members of the160th Infantry California National Guard from Inglewood, CA that had been sent to Afghanistan and flown over Kandahar Airfield and returned to Dodger Stadium. There were special vehicles on display from all participating departments in addition to 5 vehicles provided by the non- profit organization Fueled by the Fallen each vehicle is a memorial to those who were lost on 9/11in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and all of planes.
On September 10, JoGina Carrillo, her 5 year-old son Doryan and her family attended the Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks game and enjoyed a meet-and-greet with Adrian Gonzalez. The opportunity to win this once in a lifetime experience was a prize at the PADRES Contra El Cancer 5K Charity Run/Walk in June earlier this year. Adrian Gonzalez supports PADRES Contra El Cancer in various ways. PADRES is a non-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life for Latino children with cancer and their families. Doryan, who has been fighting a rare form of cancer since 2008, and his family who participated in the Charity Run/Walk have formed a team called Team Doryan to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer. For more information about PADRES Contra El Cancer go to http://www.iamhope.org.
During the Major League All-Star break in July, a young boy was at his all-star team practice in Union City, Indiana. Dylan Williams, 8, was playing first base when a teammate threw a ball to him when Dylan wasn’t looking. Dylan was struck on the head and neck area and collapsed. Tragically, Dylan died a few days later.While growing up in Rapid City, South Dakota, Mark Ellis played American Legion baseball in a league that required all youth to wear protective helmets. He wore this type of helmet until he went to college. When the Ellis’ heard Dylan’s story, Mark and his wife Sarah knew they wanted to do something. “Sarah and I are very excited to have the Williams family and Dylan’s teammates at the ballpark with us in Cincinnati this weekend,” stated Mark Ellis. “We hope to raise awareness for the Dylan Williams foundation through our participation this Saturday and honor his memory.” Those interested in helping other kids and other leagues may do so through the Dylan Williams Always an All Star Foundation via the Citizen State Bank in Union City. The foundation creates awareness for organ donation, promotes field safety for kids and educating people on the importance of having automatic external defibrillators at ball fields. To read more about Dylan click here.
Donations can be made to the following:
To mail a check:
Citizen State Bank
Attn: Jennifer Wilcox
Dylan Williams Forever an All Star Foundation
P.O. Box 427
Union City, IN 47390
Tax I.D. 46-32242201
The Los Angeles Dodgers have launched Kids 4 Dodger Baseball with the goal of reaching out to organizations who provide a wide range of services to children across greater L.A. The program is designed to bring children to Dodger games who wouldn’t otherwise have the means to attend a game. Each organization is provided with game tickets, meal vouchers and transportation to and from the game. Organizations selected in August and September included The Union Rescue Mission, Chinatown Service Center, Franklin High School, Conejo Adventist Elementary School, Animo Locke Tech Charter School, Variety Boys & Girls Club, and KIPP LA Schools.
Baseball and a movie returned to Dodger Stadium for a second time this season on September 1. Following the game, the Dodgers screened the classic baseball film, “The Sandlot,” which has celebrated its 20th anniversary across the country.
Considered one of the finest baseball movies of all-time, “The Sandlot,” directed, narrated and co-written by David Mickey Evans, was characterized as “a charming and whimsical comedy about boys and baseball and a GREAT BIG DOG” by Siskel & Ebert. Evans, producer Cathleen Summers and cast Patrick Renna “Ham”, Chauncey Leopardi “Squints”, Marty York “Yeah-Yeah”, Grant Gelt “Bertram”, Victor DiMattia “Timmy”, Shane Obedinksi “Tommy” and Daniel Zacapa “Police Chief” were on hand for the game and the movie screening and participated in a Q & A session on the field prior to the screening.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will be donating $25,000 to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation to refurbish its 29th Dodger Dreamfield in 2013.
On August 31, Oscar and his family were invited to the Dodger game for a day out. Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker greeted Oscar and took him and his brother into the batting cage and introduced them to many teammates. Then Oscar and his brother went the field to watch batting practice up close and personal. Oscar’s mom and dad were just as excited as Oscar as the family are all huge fans. A day out for a young child is not always just about a moment for the child, it’s about bringing happiness and distraction for the parents and siblings as well.
The Jessie Rees Foundation was inspired by 12 year old Jessie Rees during her 10 month fight with two brain tumors. During Jessie’s courageous fight she choose to help other kids fighting cancer by sending them her fun filled JoyJars and encouraging them to Never Ever Give Up! Jessie personally was able to send over 3,000 of her JoyJars to other kids during her fighting. Jessie lost her fight on January 5, 2012 but left behind a massive wave of compassion and a legacy of love. As of September 2013 the Jessie Rees Foundation has reached over 70,000 children in all 50 states and 18 countries. Punto and Schumaker and their wives volunteer their time regularly for NEGU.
Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen Kershaw hosted the Inaugural Ping Pong 4 Purpose, at Dodger Stadium on August 29. Clayton, several teammates and celebrities came out to raise funds for “Kershaw’s Challenge”, the foundation they started to raise funds to help children in Zambia, as well as non-profit organizations in Los Angeles and Dallas. Being that ping pong is Clayton’s second favorite sport, this event not only brought out his paddle skills but his passion for his foundation. “Ping Pong and raising money for Kershaw’s Challenge are both very close to my heart…” Clayton said while teaming up with Matthew Perry to win the tournament. Teammates and coaches Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Jerry Hairston, Don Mattingly and Rick Honeycutt along with other Dodgers attended and competed with celebrities Eric Stonestreet, Jason Bateman, Omar Miller and U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas. Click here to see photos.
On August 27, the Dodger trainers hosted a Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth (PLAY) Clinic for 6th graders from Irving Middle School, one of the Dodgers Communities of Schools. PLAY is a public awareness campaign of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers society (PBATS), in conjunction with the Taylor Hooten Foundation. The PLAY Campaign helps combat child obesity and promotes healthy living and decision making among youth. The Dodgers Head Athletic Trainer Sue Falsone was joined by Assistant Trainer Nancy Patterson Flynn, Nutritionist Justin Robinson, Strength & Conditioning Coach Greg Harrel and special guest, 2nd baseman Mark Ellis spoke to the kids and answered many great questions at the end of the clinic.
On August 26, the Dodgers recognized the RBI World Series Champions (age 16-17) from the Venice Boys & Girls Club. The RBI World Series is the international baseball and softball championship tournament of the RBI program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), and this year featured young men and women (ages 13-18) from across the country and the Dominican Republic. The RBI program is an MLB youth initiative designed to give young people from underserved and diverse areas the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork. RBI currently serves more than 220,000 young men and women in approximately 300 programs established in over 200 cities worldwide. For more information, please visit: MLB.com/RBI.