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Dodgers serve community with 'Season of Giving'

LOS ANGELES -- This year, the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation have launched a "Season of Giving," a community-focused campaign that seeks to improve the lives of children in Los Angeles throughout November and December.

"The Dodgers and LADF implement programs that positively affect our community year-round and we're very proud of that," said Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten. "This holiday season, we wanted to focus on creating memorable experiences for the community and also provide additional resources during a time that often is a strain for households in underserved areas."

As part of the Season of Giving, LADF launched an online holiday auction from Nov. 17 to Dec. 8 that features autographed memorabilia. All proceeds will support LADF's Dodgers Dreamfields and Dodgers RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) programs and provide additional support to local nonprofit organizations.

The first event in the Season of Giving took place two weeks ago with the dedication of the 37th and final Dodgers Dreamfield at Leland Recreation Center in San Pedro.

"Commitment to and investment in the Los Angeles community is woven into the fabric of who we are," said LADF executive director Nichol Whiteman. "Our ability to support youth and families is a direct reflection of our ownership, players, coaches, front office and our fans, and we are proud to be able to make the holidays a bit brighter for many in need."

On Nov. 11, the Dodgers and LADF welcomed 100 pre-selected active duty, reserve and retired service members and their families to Veterans Day Batting Practice at Dodger Stadium. On Nov. 19, the annual Turkey Giveaway was held, in partnership with Ralphs/Food 4 Less. There were 1,200 turkeys and fixings given to the Dodgers Community of Schools and pre-selected nonprofit community organizations and families in need.

The first event of December will be the ribbon cutting on the new Maggie and Andre Ethier Learning Center at the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 4. A completely refurbished room, the center will serve as a functioning and comfortable space for URM residents to receive hours of education services. Kasten will be on hand with the Ethiers for the official opening. 

Three days later, a member of the Dodgers Alumni League will be a special guest speaker at the Los Angeles Dodgers Boosters Club annual Holiday Brunch, where they collect and distribute toys to underserved children.

The Dodgers' annual Children's Holiday Party is set for Thursday, Dec. 11 at Dodger Stadium, where 500 pre-selected local school children will experience a winter carnival, games and lunch in the Stadium Club. Youngsters will receive goodies to include toys, courtesy of the Mattel's Children's Foundation.

The Dodgers will also host a shoe giveaway with Betsy and Adrian Gonzalez as they provide much-needed athletic shoes to children in need. Dodgers broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela will visit Children's Hospital Los Angeles in December and deliver holiday gifts to patients.

Also during this holiday season, the Dodgers and LADF will welcome organizations and co-host events at Dodger Stadium, including the Latino Chamber of Commerce's seminar on affordability of health coverage, the Los Angeles Unified School District's 5K "Move It" Challenge, Spark LA's Discovery Night, the College Summer of Southern California's App-a-thon training program for 12th grade students and educators, with a matching grant from the Bezos Family Foundation.

Parties interested in making contributions in support of this season and LADF programs can visit Nonprofit organizations who would like to request an in-kind holiday donation from the Dodgers should visit

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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