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WESTLAKE ACTION TEAM TAKES DISADVANTAGED YOUTH TO DODGER GAME

Article 7.21

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Westlake Action Team Captains hosted 35 disadvantaged kids for an activity filled day on June 16 that included a Dodger Stadium tour, a ride on the miniature railroad at nearby Griffith Park and finally a Dodgers game against the Brewers.

The kids came from Area Housing Authority of Ventura County, Many Mansions, and Casa Pacifica – agencies in Southern California that strive to rectify the challenges kids and their families face at difficult points of their lives.

Area Housing is a non-profit agency that helps provide housing for low-income families in Thousand Oaks, Many Mansions provides affordable housing and life-enriching services to low-income residents of Ventura County, and Casa Pacifica tries to help kids and families overcome the hardships of abuse, neglect, and other emotional issues.

The experience was funded by a $500 sponsorship from a local Kohl’s department store and a 5K Action Run fund-raiser our Action Team had held on April 24.

The bus left from the Thousand Oaks Community Park at 11 am and arrived at Dodger Stadium for a behind-the-scenes look at the legendary ballpark – considered one of the most beautiful in baseball.

The group learned about the Dodgers’ storied history during the tour, which took them to the field, the visitors’ clubhouse, the Dodgers’ dugout, the Vin Scully Press Box, the private club and suites, and a tour of the Dodgers’ Award Room. They even shared an elevator with All-Star Clayton Kershaw and had an impromptu visit with pitcher Kenta Maeda, who was on his way to the Dodgers’ clubhouse,

After a lunch of Dodger Dogs, chips, water and cookies on the top deck, the group re-boarded their bus at 2:30 and spent part of the afternoon at Griffith Park & Southern Railroad, where they got a ride on the park’s historic miniature railroad among other activities.

After that, it was back to the ballpark in time for batting practice. Kids and Action Team members collected some autographs and even got a couple of home run balls while the Brewers players were taking their swings. Following a meal at Think Blue BBQ the group settled into their reserve-level seats for the game.

“It was an overall fun experience,” Action Team Captain Jack Stephenson said. “Some of them had never been to a Dodger game before.  I had a great time seeing them enjoy something I took for granted when I was their age.”

The group’s bus arrived back at Thousand Oaks around 11 pm, capping off an unforgettable day.

“The baseball game was an amazing experience, and it was even better that I could share it with such an awesome group of kids,” Action Team Captain Jordyn Kinsley said.

“I loved interacting with the kids and having so much fun with them! It’s great that we could help put a smile on their faces,” said Action Team Captain Xavier Yu.

The Westlake Action Team plans to continue its involvement with this group of kids by hosting an “Action Camp” summer program this month (July) that will feature sports, activities and cook outs.