The 10th annual Dodgers Community Caravan “Pitching in the Community,” presented this year by JCPenney, is scheduled for this upcoming Monday, January 21st through Thursday, January 24th. Dodger players both current and former along with JCPenney employees will participate in giving back to the community of Los Angeles.
On day one of the Caravan, Tommy Lasorda, Billy Ashley, Bobby Castillo, Al Ferrara, Lee Lacy, Tim Leary, Joe Moeller, Wes Parker, Dennis Powell, and Derrel Thomas will visit City Year Day of Service at Belmont High School in Los Angeles from 9 am-12 pm. The former Dodgers along with JCPenney employees and 1000 volunteers will participate in a day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One project will include a mural of Jackie Robinson.
On the second day of “Pitching in the Community,” Billy Ashley, Al Ferrara, Eric Karros, Lee Tracy, Tim Leary, Joe Moeller, Dennis Powell, Bill Russell, Derrel Thomas, and Fernando Valenzuela visit the Southeast YMCA in Huntington Park from 11 am-1 pm. Participants will read stories to preschoolers and have lunch with senior citizens.
On Wednesday, Ron Cey, Al Ferrara, Jim Gott, Lee Lacy, Tim Leary, Wes Parker, Dennis Powell, Steve Yeager, and Spanish broadcaster Pepe Yñiguez will visit Project Youth Green/Youth Speak Collective in Pacoima from 10 am-12 pm. The Dodger alumni will join Maclay Middle School students in gardening activities.
On the fourth day of the Caravan, Al Ferrara, “Sweet” Lou Johnson, Lee Lacy, Kenny Landeaux, Joe Moeller, Dennis Powell, Derrel Thomas, and Steve Yeager will visit Playworks in Inglewood from 9 am-11 am. Participants will join children in a recess at La Tijera Elementary School.
The final day will feature current Dodgers along with some of their significant others. Luis Cruz and wife Maria, A.J. Ellis and wife Cindy, Mark Ellis, Andre Ethier and wife Maggie, Tim Federowicz, Adrian Gonzalez, Javy Guerra, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw and wife Ellen, Brandon League and wife Sasha, Don Mattingly and wife Lori, Nick Punto, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Skip Schumaker, and Shawn Tolleson and wife Lynley will visit the Santee Educational Complex in Los Angeles from 9:45 am- 11:15 pm. The Dodgers along with JCPenney employees will plant a garden outside of the library. Then they will also visit Inner-City Arts in L.A. from 11:50 am- 1:15 pm where they will create art projects with students. From there they will visit Tobinworld in Glendale from 1:45 pm- 3:30 pm and engage and play games with the children. Finally the Caravan will stop at the Dodgers Dreamfield L.A. Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles from 4:00 pm- 5:45 pm. The players will hold a special baseball clinic and autograph session for the kids.
Last year the Community Caravan was held in February. This year the event has been expanded to five days. The new Dodgers ownership made a point to say that they would continue the organization’s efforts in community service. Frank McCourt had emphasized that this was one of the important qualifications which he was wanting in a new owner.
Founded in 1998, the Dodgers Dream Foundation (DDF) was created to provide educational, athletic and recreational opportunities for the youth of the Greater Los Angeles community. The Foundation places special emphasis on helping traditionally under-served youth.
The Dodgers’ official charity is ThinkCure! which raises funds towards cancer research.
Many of the players have do their own charitable work as well including Kershaw’s Challenge, Kemp’s Kids, Chad’s Champs, and Los Amigos De Fernando.