Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Too often in the media, we go out of our way to tell you the bad things athletes do. We never spend enough time pointing out the good things they do, which is a shame since the ones making a difference in their community far outnumber those who find trouble outside their sport.

Kemp’s program for kids begins this Friday, May 9

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will once again support several community programs created by Dodger players and coaches, as several uniformed personnel will give back through various initiatives. Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp will launch “Kemp’s Kids” this Friday, as he will host kids from local Boys and Girls clubs this season.

“Kemp’s Kids” begins this Friday, May 9 before the Dodger game against the Houston Astros at 7:40 p.m. Youths from Challenger’s Boys and Girls Club in South Los Angeles and Roy W. Roberts II Watt Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club will be among the groups participating in the “Kemp’s Kids” program. The groups will receive tickets to the game, a T-shirt and a meal voucher courtesy of Panda Express, and will meet and take photos with Kemp during batting practice.

“I’m excited to join my teammates in creating my own program where I will be able to give back to the Los Angeles community,” said Kemp. “I think that any of us growing up would have enjoyed watching our favorite players practice and getting to walk on the field at Dodger Stadium and I’m happy to help make that happen for kids.”

Kemp’s initial big league interaction with the Boys & Girls Club came in 2006, when he and fellow Oklahoman Brad Penny visited the Salesian Boys and Girls Club, where they spent time with the youngsters in the newly renovated Dodger playroom.

The youths will be on field for Dodger batting practice and will get to meet Kemp at approximately 6 p.m. “Kemp’s Kids” will take place for the following games as well:

Friday, June 20 vs. Cleveland Indians 7:40 p.m.
Friday, July 11 vs. Florida Marlins 7:40 p.m.
Thursday, July 31 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks 7:10 p.m. (on field at about 5:30 p.m.)
Friday, August 15 vs. Milwaukee Brewers 7:40 p.m.

In 2007, the Dodgers and the Dodgers Dream Foundation assist more than 5,000 local youth organizations by renovating baseball fields in the community, through player appearances, and by donating more than 100,000 tickets, autographed memorabilia, donation of used equipment and much more. Last season, the Dodgers Dream Foundation affected an estimated 250,000 local youth through its various programs. In addition to Kemp, Dodgers Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones and Dodger legend Fernando Valenzuela have programs that host children at games this season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, pioneers in sport and world culture, are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2008. In that period, they have won more games, more pennants, and more World Series than any other club in the National League. Since the start of the modern era in baseball, the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles, combined, have a cumulative attendance of more than 176 million, the highest total in the history of baseball or any other sport.
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