Beloved Los Angeles Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrín and his family endured a tragedy during Spring Training this year that has since served as motivation to establish the Jaime & Blanca Jarrín Foundation.
Its focus is on carrying forward various efforts Jarrín and his late wife have been involved with to support educational and athletic programs, while also ensuring the legacy of the Dodgers’ longtime broadcaster withstands the test of time.
“The idea of a foundation actually predates my mom’s passing. It’s something I had talked about along with my family,” Jorge Jarrín, Jaime’s son and president of the foundation, told DodgerBlue.com in an exclusive interview.
“When you think about what my father has accomplished in his 61 years, everyone knows about his career. I just wanted to make sure when he does decide he’s done with everything, I didn’t want to run the risk of his legacy slowly fading into the sunset.”
Though the foundation may be recognizable to most — particularly Dodgers fans — because of Jaime’s name, the family views the endeavor as a means of honoring their mother as well.
“We really felt this was the time to launch this foundation and make it just as much about her and her legacy as much as my father’s legacy,” Jorge explained. “One doesn’t exist without the other. They’re so intertwined, they form such a cohesive unit.
“My mom being the glue that held it all together has been very remarkable and worthy of creating this foundation to inspire others who also have dreams like my mom and dad.
“When you really think about it, my parents came to this country as immigrants. And it was my mom who really put the idea in my dad’s head. My father was already on the verge of a successful radio career in Ecuador.
“He’d been broadcasting since he was 16 years of age, but it was her who said there’s probably a greater opportunity that lies for us in the United States. So off they went.”
The Jaime & Blanca Jarrín Foundation is led by a 13-member board that includes Jaime as chairman emeritus, and Dodgers Hall of Famer Orel Hershiser.
“We wanted to put together this foundation to help others,” Jorge said. “Whether it be partnering up with foundations like the Dodgers’ Foundation, LA84 or other groups, as well as raising money to give scholarships to deserving students — regardless of their background. The only way we’re going to improve conditions in this country is to invest in our future.
“If you think about it, those that are able to graduate, so many of them are graduating with debt up to $100,000 or more in some cases. It makes it very, very difficult. We’re not going to solve all the problems but at least we’re going to make an effort on behalf of my mom and dad, in trying to make this a better place.”
The first step toward completing that mission comes Monday, Nov. 11, with the inaugural Jaime & Blanca Jarrín Foundation Golf Classic. Various sponsorship packages and participant entries remain available.
The goal with the annual golf tournament and additional fundraising events that are forthcoming is to generate financial support that can be distributed via a scholarship committee the foundation will form.
“We’re in the process of having discussions with some of the local universities and colleges about funding scholarships in which they will match. Whether it be a 1-to-1, 2-to-1, 3-to-1 match for every dollar contributed,” Jorge said.
“Those are the things we’re in the process of doing right now. By the first of next year we hope to announce how many scholarships we’ll be able to distribute in our first round.”