Joining Whiteman for today's program were Dodger broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela, Dodger alumni Billy Ashley, Al Ferrara, Dennis Powell and Derrel Thomas, Celica Quiñones, Deputy, Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Second District, Joe Mendoza, Deputy Director, County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation and Anita L. DeFrantz, President, LA84 Foundation. SportsNet LA broadcaster Kelli Tennant served as emcee. The dedication was followed by a clinic and autographs and photos with Valenzuela.
"I would like to thank LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation for the investment they have made not only in this community, but in so many others across the Second District," said Ridley-Thomas. "Safe and beautiful parks with brand new fields like this one is an important part of creating strong communities where residents can run, play and enjoy healthy lifestyles."
"The LA84 Foundation is proud to have partnered with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and County of Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation to bring a state-of-the-art Dodgers Dreamfield to Mary M. Bethune Park," said DeFrantz. "It is important that youngsters in every community have adequate and safe sports facilities in which to play the sport they love. This Dreamfield is the perfect place for girls and boys to improve their skills and to play baseball under the watchful eye of dedicated coaches. It is sure to inspire many dreams of playing in the big leagues among the youth who play at this park."
"ARCO is proud to support the Dodgers Dreamfields program," said Rob Benzer, Director of Brand Management at Tesoro. "We're honored to be part of such a great cause that teaches young kids the importance of sportsmanship, ethics and fair play through baseball and softball."
LADF's Dodgers Dreamfield at Mary M. Bethune Park has undergone several updates including replacement of chainlink fencing on the backstop and dugouts, new metal dugout roofs, new side fencing and new home run fencing. The playing field has been pulverized and laser graded for a smooth surface. New irrigation and new sports turf sod have been installed and a new LED solar scoreboard with signage that resembles Dodger Stadium enhances the playing experience.
The Dodgers Dreamfields program is one of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation's signature initiatives and its goal is to provide baseball fields where youngsters can learn the game of baseball in an organized program that is administered by the city or county in a safe environment while learning the importance of playing team sports and key characteristics such as sportsmanship, ethics and fair play.
About the County of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
The Department provides the residents and visitors of Los Angeles County with quality recreational opportunities that promote a healthy lifestyle and strengthen the community through diverse physical, educational and cultural programming. The Department also enhances the community environment by acquiring, developing and maintaining 174 County parks, gardens, golf courses, trails and open space areas. Parks Make Life Better! Follow the department on Twitter at http://twitter.com.lacountyparks on Facebook at http://facebook.com/parks.lacounty.gov and on the web at http://parks.lacounty.gov.
About the LA84 Foundation
The LA84 Foundation was established to manage Southern California's share of the surplus from the successful 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The Foundation received an endowment of $93 million. Since it began operations in 1985, it has invested more than $225 million back into the communities that supported the Games, supporting more than 3 million youth in the eight Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Its headquarters is the historic Britt House near downtown Los Angeles where it houses the world's premier sports library and meeting facilities. The Foundation provides grants to youth sports organizations, manages programs, including a coaching education program, and convenes numerous forums for the exploration of the most pressing issues in sport. For more information, please visit www.la84.org.
About The Tesoro Corporation
Tesoro Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Tesoro, through its subsidiaries, operates six refineries in the western United States with a combined capacity of over 850,000 barrels per day and ownership in a logistics business which includes a 36% interest in Tesoro Logistics LP (NYSE: TLLP) and ownership of its general partner. Tesoro's retail-marketing system includes over 2,200 retail stations under the ARCO®, Shell®, Exxon®, Mobil®, USA Gasoline(TM) and Tesoro® brands.