LOS ANGELES (October 15, 2013) – This week, the LA84 Foundation will be recognized by two national sports advocacy organizations for its efforts to support and promote youth sports programming across Southern California. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded LA84 the 2013 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy and the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) named LA84 President Anita DeFrantz the winner of their annual Honor Award.
The Patterson Award was established in memory of Steve Patterson, a champion basketball player from UCLA who went on to enjoy a successful professional and coaching career, and was known for his belief in using the power of sports philanthropy to make a difference. This honor recognizes organizations from across the United States that are dedicated to improving lives in their communities by leveraging the unique influence of sports.
This Wednesday, the LA84 Foundation will host an invitation-only ceremony at their headquarters in West Adams where Carlette Patterson, CEO of Patterson Sports Ventures and the widow of Steve Patterson, will formally present the award to the Foundation.
RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA said the LA84 Foundation aligns with the core values espoused by RWJF, a “dedication to the community and improving the health of everyone in America.” She added, “It is genuinely inspiring to see their commitment to advancing health and wellness, and we are proud to recognize their impact.”
“As an organization based in Los Angeles, the LA84 Foundation has a special connection to the legacy of Steve Patterson, who contributed so much to the sports philanthropy community in our city,” said LA84 Foundation Board Chair Bob Graziano. “We are honored to accept this award on behalf of all of the individuals in our programs who make a real difference in the lives of youth in Southern California.”
Also this week, LA84 Foundation President and International Olympic Committee Executive Board Member Anita L. DeFrantz will receive the NACWAA Honor Award, a tribute presented annually to individuals and entities who demonstrate an exceptional level of support to the success of women in athletics. Winners embody the qualities of leadership that inspire the next generation of women in the athletics industry and are nominated by the NACWAA’s Board of Directors.
DeFrantz has held several leadership roles in the sports industry both in the U.S. and abroad, most notably the International Olympic Committee (including her tenure as its first female vice president), the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors, the International Rowing Federation and the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 1984 Games.
“It is truly an honor to be recognized by the NACWAA,” said DeFrantz. “Throughout my career, I have done my best to ensure that women are equal and vocal participants in national sports at the collegiate level and beyond. I firmly believe that sports have the potential to transform individual lives and entire communities, and I’m thankful for the NACWAA’s ongoing work to expand horizons for women in athletics.”
About 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 $214 million in sports programs serving 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.