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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

Dodger Caravan Serves Los Angeles Community

Current and former Dodgers made many stops around Los Angeles as part of annual two-day event.

The 9th annual Dodger Community Caravan began today as members of the Dodgers organization gave back to the Los Angeles community.

This two-day event started at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where a group of current players, including Dee Gordon and Ramon Troncoso, and former players, including Tommy Davis and Al Ferrara, visisted with patients this morning.

Tommy Lasorda and other current and former Dodgers visited children in hospitals on Tuesday
Tommy Lasorda and other current and former Dodgers visited children in hospitals on Tuesday

"We were overjoyed that we had the opportunity to meet [the players]," said Heidi Kennedy, whose young son was getting ready to undergo surgery. "It's awesome that they came and took the time to see these children."

The caravan stopped at Mayberry Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles, where they distributed lunches to students. Later, they made a pit stop at Mercado La Paloma for a lunch that was open to the public, announced via their Twitter account.

From 3-4 p.m., they volunteered with fans at the L.A. Regional Food Bank and finished the day leading clinics at Five Acres, an organization that works to prevent child abuse.

"I think sometimes prayers are greater than medicine," said legendary former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. "We're trying to put a smile on [children's] faces.

"They've been enjoyable," Lasorda said. "They've been happy, so that's what it's all about."

"[The Dodgers] don't know how uplifting it is for [the kids] and their parents to see our children happy," Kennedy said.

Current Dodgers Andrew Ethier and James Loney are among players who will participate in tomorrow's Dodger Caravan. Ths group is rounded out by former players like "Sweet" Lou Johnson and Fernando Valenzuela.

The caravan will visit Frances Blend School, a special education school, the MLB Urban Youth Academy and Habitat for Humanity. The 2012 Dodger Caravan will conclude at Normandie Recreation Center, where the team will dedicate a new Dodger Dreamfield.

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