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Pierre to host South L.A. Blazer Youth Center at Dodger games04/18/2007 10:25 AM ET
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will continue their commitment to the community this season through several programs created by Dodger players and coaches. All uniformed personnel will give back through various initiatives, while 12 have created their own. Center fielder Juan Pierre's personal initiative will be to host kids from South L.A.'s Blazer Youth Center and give them a special experience at a Dodger game.
Pierre's Pack is a season-long initiative that will host 40 different kids from the inner-city youth center at five separate games. Pierre's Pack from the Blazer Youth Center will get to meet and watch Pierre at batting practice on a game day. Photo opportunities with the Dodger center fielder will also be part of the kids' meet and greet. In addition, Pierre's Pack will be given tickets to the game that follows and a meal voucher courtesy of Panda Express.
"This program is very important to me because I really want to give inner-city kids, who might not otherwise have the chance, an opportunity to come out to a big league ball game," said Pierre. "Hopefully they'll come out and spend some time on the field and it will spark their interest in playing baseball."
Blazer Youth center will bring the first of Pierre's Pack to the Dodger game this Saturday, April 21 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:10 p.m. The youth will be on field for Dodger batting practice and will get to meet Pierre at 5:30 p.m.
Since joining the Dodgers, Pierre has already established himself as a significant presence among inner-city youth. In February, he visited MLB's Urban Youth Academy in Compton as part of the Dodgers' annual Community Caravan and attended the annual banquet for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI). He returned to the academy last Saturday for another clinic in conjunction with RBI and the Jackie Robinson Foundation as part of the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier.
Each year the Dodgers donate more than 100,000 tickets and assist more than 3,500 local youth organizations. Last season, the Dodgers Dream Foundation affected an estimated 250,000 local youth through its various programs. This season, personal programs will include projects created by Dodgers Marlon Anderson, Rafael Furcal, Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez, Derek Lowe, Russell Martin, Manny Mota, Brad Penny, Jason Repko, Jason Schmidt, Fernando Venezuela and Randy Wolf.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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