For the fifth year in a row, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation — the official team charity of the LA Dodgers — came together for its Blue Diamond Gala on Wednesday (June 12) at Dodger Stadium. Helping the city’s undeserved youth in sports and recreation, the event raised over three million dollars and was attended by over 2,000 guests.
The star-studded evening featured an exhilarating performance by Bruno Mars as well as an inspiring speech from equality trailblazers and honorees Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss. Dodgers players Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Dylan Floro, David Freese, Kyle Garlick, Enrique Hernandez, Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Russell Martin, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Corey Seager, Ross Stripling, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, and Alex Verdugo were all on hand to show their support with additional celebrity guests including Tiffany Haddish, Mario and Courtney Lopez, Prince Jackson, Holly Robinson Peete, Loretta Devine, Tina Knowles, Loni Love, Parker Bates, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Matt Iseman, Kat McNamara, Emily Osment, Haley Joel Osment, Danielle Savre, Bernie Taupin, Anne Winters, Calum Worthy, Marcellus Wiley, and Shawne Merriman.
“The LADF does an incredible job of giving back to our community. They’re impacting the lives of all the kids that are growing up right here in the city of Los Angeles, whether it be in the classroom providing books, the RBI program, or even the Dream Field,” third baseman Justin Turner told Celeb Secrets on the blue carpet. “There’s such a broad field of people that are being affected by the foundation so hopefully we can raise a lot of money tonight and keep spreading the wealth around.”
The event kicked off with a welcome from Emmy-nominated actor Anthony Anderson, who introduced some of the Dodgers in attendance as well as highlight the youth impacted by LADF’s programs. Anderson was followed by SportsNetLA hosts Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser, who helped bring awareness to LADF’s important work.
“The LADF is a personal commitment of mine. I am the CEO but I also see myself as a child that we serve,” LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman shared with us. “If we come into certain neighborhoods and help families get resources that they otherwise would not have, this whole city can be a better place. We can transform the city of Los Angeles.”
Since inception, more than $25 million has been invested in programs and grants to nonprofits to improve access to education, health care and sports. LADF has a robust strategy focused on the most significant problems facing the city of Los Angeles at a time when a quality education, youth sports and health care are increasingly reserved for the elite. Using our celebrity and the power of sport, we run and fund proven programs aimed at young under-resourced Angelenos. LADF serves 10,500 youth through its sports-based youth development program and provides 300,000 kids access to a safe place to enjoy recreational activity in their own neighborhood.
Watch our full IGTV video below to see who we chatted with on the blue carpet as well as an inside look to the event.
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