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Furcal to welcome kids from local social service organizations at Dodgers games
04/24/2007 9:23 PM 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. Shortstop Rafael Furcal's personal initiative will be to host kids and their parents from Los Angeles social service organizations at Dodgers games throughout the season. The first group will visit from Fiesta Educativa, Inc., a statewide organization dedicated to providing assistance to Spanish-speaking families that have children with special needs and disabilities.

Furcal's Pals is a season-long initiative that will host 40 different kids from different Los Angeles social service organizations. Furcal's Pals will get a meet and greet with the Dodgers shortstop along with a photo opportunity. In addition, Furcal has purchased tickets to the game that follows for the youngsters and their parents. They will also be given a meal voucher courtesy of Panda Express.

"I'm proud to be able to give something back to the community, especially many of the Spanish-speaking kids in Los Angeles," said Furcal. "If I can provide them with tickets to a game and a memorable experience at Dodger Stadium, I'm very happy to do that."

Fiesta Educativa, Inc. will bring the first of Furcal's Pals to the Dodgers game Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants at 7:10 p.m. The youth will be on field to meet Furcal at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Since joining the Dodgers, Furcal has been involved in the organization's charitable endeavors, including visits with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and teammates Russell Martin and Chad Billingsley to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. In addition, Furcal's generosity has made a significant impact in his hometown community of Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic, where he has donated funds to build baseball fields, basketball courts and other athletic facilities for the local youth to access. He also continues to financially support the development of other educational, athletic and recreational resources in his hometown and enables his childhood best friend Vidal Ulloa to continue his passion of developing local baseball talent.

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, Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez, Derek Lowe, Russell Martin, Manny Mota, Brad Penny, Juan Pierre, Jason Repko, Jason Schmidt, Fernando Valenzuela and Randy Wolf.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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