LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers Dream Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation and the City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, unveiled two new Dodgers Dreamfields this morning at Ritchie Valens Recreation Center in Pacoima. Those on hand for the dedication ceremony included Howard Sunkin, Senior Vice President, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Dodgers Dream Foundation Director, Anita L. DeFrantz, President, LA84 Foundation and Jon Kirk Mukri, General Manager, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
Following the dedication, Dodger alumni Kenny Landreaux, Steve Yeager, Tommy Davis and Bobby Castillo led a clinic on the new fields.
“Dedicating three Dodgers Dreamfields just this week, including today’s at Ritchie Valens Recreation Center which mark our eighth and ninth this year, makes us tremendously proud of the Dodgers Dream Foundation’s partnership with LA84 Foundation and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks,” said Dodgers Dream Foundation Director and Senior Vice President, Los Angeles Dodgers, Howard Sunkin. “This culminates what has been a very historic week for the Dodger organization.”
“The new Dodgers Dreamfields at Ritchie Valens Park are a wonderful gift to the residents of Pacoima. The youth of Pacoima deserve first grade facilities on which to learn and improve their baseball skills. We at the LA84 Foundation are proud of the partnership with the Dodgers Dream Foundation and Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks that made this project happen,” said LA84 Foundation President Anita L. DeFrantz.
“I am very pleased that through the efforts of the Los Angeles Dodgers Dream Foundation, the LA84 Foundation, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, we will be able to install a total of eight new Dodgers Dreamfields in parks throughout the City of Los Angeles. Through this partnership we will re-build and renovate these fields to give them a myriad of upgrades, as well as a whole new look, and better playability.”
The Department of Recreation and Parks has a long history of working together with both business and non-profit partners to bring improved services to the communities and residents of Los Angeles. We will do whatever it takes to continue our steadfast commitment to promoting youth sports and active lifestyles through athletic activities. The re-building of these eight fields is a big step forward in achieving our collective goal of providing youth a safe and clean place to play. We are sincerely thankful to both the Dodgers Dream Foundation and LA84 for their generous donations,” said, Jon Kirk Mukri, General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks.
“I played ball on the field at Ritchie Valens Recreation Center for years and I know that one of the safest places a child can be is on a baseball diamond,” said Councilmember Richard Alarcón. “By partnering with the staff at the Department of Recreation and Parks, the LA84 Foundation and the Dodgers Dream Foundation are helping create a destination in our community where families and children can be safe, healthy and have fun.”
A total of two Dreamfields were completed at Ritchie Valens Recreation Center. Field improvements include a new backstop and side fencing, dugout roofs, concrete dugout floors, regrading for drainage and playability, updated irrigation system and new turf, infield mix, booster pump for the irrigation system, solar- powered scoreboard and field signage.
The Ritchie Valens Recreation Center field is the eighth and ninth of ten Dreamfield dedications that will take place in 2011, a number that will more than double the number of Dodgers Dreamfields to 20, with the goal of 50 Dreamfields in the years to come. This year, new Dreamfields have been dedicated at Northridge Recreation Center (February 15), Martin Luther King Jr.
Recreation Center (April 2), Pecan Recreation Center (May 14), Lemon Grove Recreation Center (June 11), Pan Pacific Park (July 21), Valley Plaza Park (August 13) and Mona Park (November 14).
Eight of the new fields will be within Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks properties in the San Fernando Valley, Eastside, South Los Angeles and Central and Harbor areas. The tenth Dreamfield will be built in Oro Valley, Arizona in memory of Christina-Taylor Green.