06/05/2008 6:10 PM ET
Dodger Andre Ethier to visit Union Rescue Mission
Outfielder will volunteer tomorrow and throughout the year as part of his personal community initiative
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier will visit and serve food to the poor and homeless tomorrow, Friday, June 6 in downtown Los Angeles at Union Rescue Mission. Union Rescue Mission, one of the largest rescue missions in the United States and the oldest in Los Angeles, serves many residents in need. According to the city and county of Los Angeles, approximately 236,400 men, women and children are homeless yearly and 84,000 people are homeless each night in Los Angeles County. Ethier's initiative for the homeless at Union Rescue mission becomes one of many community programs created by Dodger players and supported by the Dodgers.
"I really enjoy living in downtown and I think it's important to do something positive in my neighborhood," said Ethier. "The Union Rescue Mission was the perfect place to make the biggest impact and I really look forward to forming a relationship with them and the people who benefit from the great work that they do."
Ethier will be at Union Rescue Mission, tomorrow, June 6. Ethier's visit will result in meals for more than 600 including a group of women and children. Dodger 50-year sponsor Farmer John will donate 1,000 Dodger dogs that Ethier will help cook and serve.
Ethier initiated the visit because of his interest in tying community service to his love of food and restaurants. This Friday, before his visit to Union Rescue mission, Ethier will also take part in the Food Network's "The Chef Jeff Project" filming at Dodger Stadium. "The Chef Jeff Project" offers at-risk teens a chance to turn their lives around through culinary art and is led by renowned executive chef of the famed Café Bellagio in Las Vegas Jeff Henderson. Chef Jeff's protégés will get a unique chance to spend time with Ethier and Dodger legends "Sweet" Lou Johnson and Tommy Davis as part of the episode. "The Chef Jeff Project" will be catering an event for ThinkCure!, the official charity of the Dodgers, that will be attended by youngsters from Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
This Friday, Ethier will also begin reviewing Los Angeles restaurants as he launches a new blog, "Dining with Dre," that will be featured on dodgers.com. "Dining with Dre" on dodgers.com will include Ethier's top dining spots and favorite foods and can be accessed directly at diningwithdre.mlblogs.com.
In just two-plus seasons with the Dodgers, Ethier has become a regular in the Los Angeles community, as he has taken part in multiple visits to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. While the team was in Washington D.C. in 2006 and 2007, the outfielder visited with patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Ethier has also hosted a Play Ball LA Clinic at Challenger Little League in El Segundo and personally donated money to the league after being inspired by the youngsters during his visit. He also has spoken to campers at the annual Dodger Youth Baseball Camp, and has taken part in the Dodger Community Caravan the last two seasons.
In 2007, the Dodgers and the Dodgers Dream Foundation assisted 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 Ethier, Dodgers Matt Kemp, Brad Penny, Andruw Jones, and Juan Pierre, and Dodger legend Fernando Valenzuela have programs that benefit the community this season.