LOS ANGELES (January 22, 2015) — The LA84 Foundation Board of Directors announced today more than $1.68 million in grants to benefit 22 youth sports organizations in Southern California. Originally endowed with 40% of the surplus funds from the 1984 Olympic Games thirty years ago, LA84 is the region’s leading supporter of youth sports, and to date has invested over $220 million into thousands of community programs that have reached more than 3 million youth.
Particularly notable in this round of grants is a $250,000 award to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games taking place in Los Angeles this summer. With a cycle similar to the Olympic Games, the Special Olympics World Games is expected to draw 30,000 volunteers and 500,000 spectators, making it the largest sports or humanitarian event in the world in 2015 and the largest event hosted by the City of Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. LA84’s grant will help cover athlete and equipment expenses as well as venue costs.
“Approximately 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will be traveling to Los Angeles this summer to compete, and LA84’s support will go a long way to help make our event a success,” said Patrick McClenahan, President and CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, who also sits on the Board of Directors of the LA84 Foundation. “Thanks to this grant, many of the world’s most inspirational competitors will carry forth the positive legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games and motivate a whole new generation with their courage, determination and joy.”
This month’s round of awards will reach more than 36,300 youth across the eight southernmost counties of California participating in a wide variety of sports programs promoting active and healthy lifestyles, including softball, cycling, baseball, soccer, golf, boxing, basketball, volleyball, rugby, football, tennis, equestrian sports, gymnastics, squash, cross country and track and field.
LA84’s ongoing partnerships with some of the region’s most respected youth sports programs was also highlighted in this round of grants, including the following programs:
• LA’s BEST will receive $335,000 towards an after school sports program serving 12,500 students enrolled in 194 elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Through this year-round program, students build positive skills such as teamwork and develop their physical and social skills.
• In its 30th year of partnership with the Southern California Tennis Association, LA84 awarded $150,000 to the organization to help serve 8,800 economically disadvantaged youth participating in tennis programs at 100 sites across the Southland.
• Operating in more than 50 public elementary and middle schools across Los Angeles, Play Rugby, Inc. has been able to expand its program from six to 100 schools over the past four years thanks to LA84’s support. This year’s $75,680 grant will provide ongoing funding for personnel and officials to oversee 2,000 youth participating in the program.
• Originally developed as a sports club program by the LA84 Foundation more than 10 years ago, Kids in Sports Los Angeles currently operates six clubs across Los Angeles County, organizing baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball leagues serving thousands of underserved youth each year. The organization was awarded a $326,000 to support its ongoing work in the community.
Another noteworthy grant was awarded to The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, supporting the Los Angeles Dodger’s work with the nation-wide Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) initiative to open opportunities for disadvantaged youth to participate in baseball and softball. LA84’s grant of $74,222 is dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls in softball programs across South Los Angeles, Compton and Venice.
Smaller grants were awarded to a number of first-time recipients, including two regional track and field programs (Girls on the Run of San Diego and Moorpark Striders) as well as CoachArt, which provides free athletics and arts programming to children living with chronic illnesses in South and East Los Angeles.
“As we enter our thirtieth year as an organization and continue to celebrate the gift from the 1984 Olympic Games in our communities, it’s gratifying to see the positive effects of our long-term partnerships with some of Southern California’s leading sports organizations,” said Anita L. DeFrantz, President of the LA84 Foundation and Executive Board Member of the International Olympic Committee. “It’s also exciting to recognize up-and-coming organizations opening doors to youth who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to participate in sports.”
About the LA84 Foundation
The LA84 Foundation was established to manage Southern California’s share of the surplus from the successful 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The Foundation received an endowment of $93 million. Since it began operations in 1985, it has invested more than $220 million back into the communities that supported the Games, supporting more than 3 million youth in the eight Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Its headquarters is the historic Britt House near downtown Los Angeles where it houses the world’s premier sports library and meeting facilities. The Foundation provides grants to youth sports organizations, manages programs, including a coaching education program, and convenes numerous forums for the exploration of the most pressing issues in sport. For more information, please visit www.la84.org.