Dodgers, A.J. Ellis host annual bowling fundraiser
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers used their day off on Monday to make an impact in the community, as catcher A.J. Ellis hosted the ninth annual Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Bowling Extravaganza at Lucky Strike Lanes L.A. LIVE.
The charitable event raised money through a silent auction, live auction and donations. Nick Sandler, president of the board of the Dodgers Foundation, said the goal was to raise at least $200,000.
"This is more important than what we do on the field," said Ellis, who bowled alongside six children from Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "It's great to get out in the community and make a difference. It's very important to do things like this, raising money and awareness for a very important group of people."
Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow were in attendance, as well as first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, second baseman Mark Ellis, catcher Tim Federowicz, manager Don Mattingly, bench coach Trey Hillman and team president and CEO Stan Kasten.
"These guys have been working so hard over the last few weeks, and for them to come out on their one day off to support the foundation says a lot about who they are," Sandler said.
While most of the players admitted they weren't great bowlers, the focus was on supporting the community.
"We're so blessed to do what we do, so it's great to give back," Capuano said.
The Dodgers auctioned off an opportunity to watch a game in the owners' box with ownership partner Magic Johnson, in addition to a wide assortment of autographed Dodgers memorabilia, including jerseys, batting gloves, bats, spikes and paintings.
A.J. Ellis hosted the event for the first time, taking over for former Dodgers first baseman James Loney. Josh Beckett was scheduled to be a co-host, but the starting pitcher was unable to attend because his wife is expecting their second child. Beckett offered his support with a $25,000 donation.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is the official team charity, with a focus on supporting key cornerstone programs in sports and recreation, education and literacy, and health and wellness to benefit children and families throughout the greater Los Angeles region. With the help of strategic partnerships, the foundation's goal is to harness the power of the Dodgers' brand and the passion Dodgers fans have for Los Angeles into an agent for positive change in under-served communities.