The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation reached a milestone this week by breaking ground on what will be their 50th Dodgers Dreamfield. The project brings the foundation full circle on an effort that began 15 years ago.
“Today marks the realization of a dream,” said Nichol Whiteman, executive director of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.
“For the past 15 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation has built and refurbished baseball and softball fields in underserved communities to provide a safe space for youth to engage in positive recreational activity in their own neighborhoods.”
Since 2003, more than $10 million has been invested into the development of Dreamfields. The 50th, located at the Algin Sutton Recreation Center in Los Angeles, required $300,000.
The field was partially funded by donations from the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, the Tyler Development Corporation, the LA84 Foundation and Yasiel Puig.
“I’m so happy to be here,” Puig said. “I like to do things for the community and the kids in Los Angeles, because when I was young in Cuba, I didn’t have the opportunity to play on a nice field and have a lot of people support me.”
In addition to Puig, former Dodgers outfielder Manny Mota was on hand for the ceremony, and so too were Olympic softball player Natasha Watley and “Queen Sugar” actor Dondré Whitfield.
The Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department were represented by general manager Mike Shull, and the LA84 Foundation had president and CEO Renata Simril. Members of the Wild Horse Foundation’s 66ers baseball team also attended and were afforded the opportunity to take photographs with Puig and others.
In addition to Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation delivering on their promise of creating 50 Dreamfields, the location of the newest is notable in that it shares a space with the first that was opened. Moreover, the Algin Sutton Recreation Center is where the Dodgers RBI program launched.
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