The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) is celebrating its sixth annual gala to raise money to help with the city’s most pressing issues such as homelessness, education, healthcare and social justice.
“Los Angeles really shows up in an amazing way. We are synonymous with being one of the most bustling economies in the world, but the reality is if we invest more into the communities that need us most, we will be a much better, successful city,” CEO of the charity, Nichol Whiteman told Los Angeles. “At the end of the day, we all need to be running for a better opportunity for something that is bigger than us for the children of this local community because they deserve it.”
“A significant amount of work went into planning this gala, but it’s all worth it,” she added. “The reality is, just like the way that we do our work with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, partners come together, our donors come together, the front office, the ownership group, this is a collaborative effort on the part of so many people throughout the Dodgers franchise, and it makes for a really special night.”
The Blue Diamond Gala was once again hosted at Dodger Stadium. The sold out, star-studded evening featured sets by award-winning celebrity DJ D-Nice and an exclusive concert from global superstar Jennifer Lopez. A record-breaking $3.6 million was raised to support LADF for all Angelenos.
“We shoot for superstars here at the Dodgers Foundation Gala every single year. That’s what our work is all about. It’s about doing it big and it’s about being excellent. She’s excellent. She’s amazing,” Whiteman said.
Lopez’s performance comes days after her new Netflix special titled Halftime began streaming. In the documentary, the triple threat discussed how she is finally finding her voice and using it to help those who needs it most. Whiteman said the film just made her more excited to have Lopez perform at her non-profit’s gala because she really felt the superstar’s authenticity.
“I felt like there’s a certain level of authenticity that all of us have stepped into, especially as a result of these last two and a half years that have been really trying. We have to see ourselves, we have to see others. We have to just want to be who we are because it’s good enough, so I think it was amazing for JLo to set that example for so many people that night,” Whiteman said.
Dodgers owner, Mark Walter, echoed Whiteman’s comments as he’s just excited to be hosting their annual gala back in person after taking a hiatus due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
“Being back is so great. We’ve been gone a couple years and it’s wonderful to bring all the fans here and the people that support our foundation, but also to celebrate the work that they do, and try to attract as many people as possible to support the foundation so we can do the work in LA,” he said.
Though the annual gala has taken a break, Walter certainly hasn’t. The CEO of Guggenheim Partners not only co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and has a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, but he also just won the bid to buy English soccer club, Chelsea FC.
“Well, the premiere league soccer, as you know, is really one of the greatest sports in the world and the Dodgers, the Lakers, Chelsea FC, those are the kind of brands that we want to be associated with,” Walter said.
Next, the businessman is working with Billie Jean King to launch a women’s hockey league.
“We’re trying to build it. There are a couple of smaller leagues that have started, but the Olympic players, both Canada and USA aren’t in those,” he noted. “So we’ve been working with the women there, trying to build a league where they own a big chunk of it, and we really have the best stars because they’re wonderful players.”
Learn more about the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation here.
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