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Dodgers kick off annual community service week

@kengurnick
January 20, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- In a sure sign that Spring Training is around the corner, the Dodgers kicked off their 17th annual community service week on Monday with a salute to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The week is highlighted by Saturday’s FanFest at Dodger Stadium. The theme of “Dodgers Love

LOS ANGELES -- In a sure sign that Spring Training is around the corner, the Dodgers kicked off their 17th annual community service week on Monday with a salute to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The week is highlighted by Saturday’s FanFest at Dodger Stadium.

The theme of “Dodgers Love L.A. Community Service Tour, presented by Bank of America” is to show gratitude to public servants, first responders, law enforcement and military.

At Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, Dodgers alumni will volunteer to aid in a beautification project at Orville Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet in Westchester. Before the service project, community leaders will participate in a discussion of their journey to create a “seat at the table.”

On Tuesday, Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela will visit with Metro bus drivers, including some assigned to the Dodger Stadium Express route that shuttles fans to games. Also on Tuesday, Alex Verdugo, Matt Beaty and Bank of America volunteers will host a birthday party for children living on Skid Row, in partnership with Worthy of Love. Dinner will be provided by California Pizza Kitchen at the Dodger Stadium Club.

On Wednesday, members of the Dodgers Baseball Research and Development Department and Bank of America will host local students from the Girls Academic Leadership Academy in a clinic on STEM careers in baseball. Also on Wednesday, Joc Pederson and Beaty will appear at the popular Dodgers Pet Family Photo Day at West Hollywood Park. Fans are encouraged to bring canned dog food or dry cat food to donate to PAWS/LA. And, on Wednesday, Justin Turner will make a surprise visit to a World War II combat veteran.

On Thursday, club president Andrew Friedman, manager Dave Roberts, players, staff and broadcasters will join Bank of America volunteers for a day of service with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to build playhouses for underserved children. The group will also work with Project Sunshine to assemble activity kits for hospitalized pediatric patients.

On Friday, Dodgers players will visit the Santa Clarita community, thanking first responders from November’s Saugus High School shooting at a lunch. During last year’s community tour, the Dodgers visited with victims and first responders of the Borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks.

Saturday’s FanFest, presented by Coca-Cola and San Manuel Casino, will be a little different than previous years, because it will be held in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, necessitated by the stadium renovation.

On Jan. 27, Turner will hold his foundation’s fifth annual fundraising golf tournament. For more information, visit JustinTurnerFoundation.com.

Finally, on Jan. 28, National League Most Valuable Player Award winner Cody Bellinger and Bank of America volunteers will visit with members of the Los Angeles Police Department to thank them for their service to the community.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.