Dodgers Receive Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles Dodgers today received the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award in recognition of the work of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, the team's official charity. The foundation was recognized for tackling the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles with a mission to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice for all Angelenos.  

The foundation will use the $100,000 award to continue to run and fund proven programs that help level the playing field and invest in on the ground solutions, the team announced.  “This award is a celebration of our organization's accomplishments, but we are far from done,'' foundation CEO Nichol Whiteman said. “LADF will not waver. We will be part of the solution.'' 

The other finalists were the NFL's Denver Broncos, New York City FC of Major League Soccer and the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. The finalists and winners were determined by an independent selection committee. The award goes to a sports team that demonstrates how teamwork can create a measurable impact on a community or cause.

The winner was announced at the 2020 ESPYs.  The foundation supports more than 100 nonprofit organizations, serves more than 10,000 youth annually through its sports-based youth development program, Dodgers RBI and has helped build 51 Dodgers Dreamfields, including two universally accessible adaptive fields.  

The foundation's LA Reads literacy has attracted more than 16,000 youth who have spent a combined 3.5 million minutes reading. More than 9,000 students participate in its Science of Baseball curriculum of science, technology, engineering and math education.  In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Dodgers and the foundation have provided 279,280 meals and $659,227 in in-kind donations to support vulnerable populations who are experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, lack of basic needs and significant anxiety. 

“LADF was built for this moment in time,'' Whiteman said. “The trauma of a pandemic and social justice events has exacerbated the significant disparities in our communities. We know that inequality can only be dismantled through proactive and strategic interventions, and we are starting with the root causes.'' 

LADF has devoted more than $30 million to programs and grants to nonprofit organizations since 1995, including $21 million in the last five years. Its programs are funded through private donations and various fundraising events. Team finances are not used.  

“Our goal is to achieve the same level of excellence off the field that our fans demand from us on the field,'' said Dodger owner & chairman Mark Walter, who also is chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.  

“This is much bigger than baseball. We want to tackle the city's most significant challenges, such as unequal access to education, and we are striving to become the best philanthropic organization in the city working on these issues.''

Photo: Getty Images

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