The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) will unveil its 51st Dodgers Dreamfield on Saturday, June 22 at Jack Bulik Park, 16581 Filbert Avenue in Fontana.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon, will feature Dodger pitcher Joe Kelly and Dodger third base coach Dino Ebel, both Inland Empire residents, who will support their community and unveil the newest Dreamfield.
“Dodgers Dreamfield No. 51 is home to our second universally accessible field that will provide children of all abilities a safe place to play baseball and softball,” said Tiffany Rubin, the youth program director for LADF. “The positive impact sports can have on a child's life is why we find it important to continue to improve communities. LADF is focused on utilizing a data-driven approach to target Los Angeles communities with unique needs for all of our Dodgers Dreamfields projects.”
In line with its new strategic plan, LADF is placing a large emphasis on safe places to play for youth of all abilities. Across the U.S., about 18 percent of children have a disability or chronic condition.
Families are often faced with barriers to sports participation, like concerns about safety and finding leagues that provide appropriate accommodations. LADF believes that every child deserves the opportunity to reap the health, social and emotional benefits of sports participation, regardless of ability, Rubin said.
“Dodgers Dreamfield #51 is a game changer for Fontana,” said Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren. “We are incredibly grateful for this partnership and honored to now be home to a universally accessible field that ensures everyone has the opportunity to be part of the game."
Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting and program emceed by Dodger broadcaster Alanna Rizzo, the field will host its inaugural game with the Challengers Little League with Kelly and Ebel each coaching and encouraging their own team. The Little League Challengers Program is a Little League adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges.
“All kids need a place they can call their own and where they can have fun simply being kids, and sports have a magical way of doing just that” said Cal Ripken, Jr., vice chairman of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “We are honored to be a part of this project and support the thoughtful efforts of the Dodgers Foundation to provide a barrier-free park for children of all abilities to have a safe place to play, learn and grow.”
Dodgers Dreamfield No. 51 sponsors include the City of Fontana, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Security Benefit, LA84 Foundation, Easterseals Southern California, and Baker’s Drive-Thru.
In 2018, LADF announced a renewed commitment to the Dodgers Dreamfield program and established plans to build an additional 25 fields by 2033 as part of a new 75 x 75 campaign, which will celebrate 75 Dreamfields by the 75th anniversary of the Dodgers in Los Angeles.