In celebration of 20 years in Major League Soccer, the LA Galaxy will be participating in 20 acts of community service throughout the 2015 season within Los Angeles. These events invite staff members, players, alumni, Academy teams, alliance clubs and supporter groups to volunteer with designated organizations around Los Angeles through a series of one-day events.
Act 1 – Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Build Day
The LA Galaxy kicked off the 20 for Twenty initiative on Wednesday, February 25th by joining Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles in building homes in Lynwood, California. Club president Chris Klein, Academy Director Pete Vagenas, assistant coach Kenny Arena and front office staff members joined Galaxy players Gyasi Zardes and Rafael Garcia in helping Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles in completing a group of seven homes with interior painting and drywall work.
Act 2 – Read Across America Celebrations
The LA Galaxy’s 20 for Twenty program continued with support in the 2015 National Education Association’s Read Across America Day with Los Angeles area schools from March 2-6 for its second service event. LA Galaxy staff members, alumni Cobi Jones, mascot Cozmo and the LA Galaxy Star Squad participated in Read Across America Day in various schools throughout the Los Angeles area during the week. Members entered classrooms to read Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss and celebrate and encourage reading among students.
Act 3 – CHLA Third Thursday Staff Volunteer Day
LA Galaxy front office staff continued their 20 for Twenty program efforts with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) March 19 through the Hollywood Cares for Kids Program, which sees LA-bases team, business and celebrities visit the hospital’s patients and staff. Several of the 18 LA Galaxy staff members visited numerous patients to play games and participate in other activities while others helped distribute coffee, tea and other refreshments throughout the hospital.
Act 4 – Heal the Bay Beach Clean-up at Redondo Beach Pier
In celebration of Earth Month, LA Galaxy and StubHub Center partnered to participate in a Heal the Bay Corporate Clean-up at Redondo Beach Pier on Friday, April 10th. LA Galaxy players A.J. DeLaGarza, Alan Gordon, Gyasi Zardes, Todd Dunivant, Tommy Meyer, Baggio Husidic, Rafa Garcia, assistant coach Pat Noonan, the Galaxy Star Squad and Galaxy and StubHub Center front office staff all volunteered to clean-up a total of 60 lbs. of trash off the beach.
Act 5 – March of Dimes - March for Babies Walk
The LA Galaxy continued with the 20 for Twenty community program by participating in March of Dimes’ March for Babies Walk at Exposition Park on Saturday, April 25th. Over 15 LA Galaxy front office staff, players and players’ families participated in the event which helps improve the health of babies through promoting newborn screenings, researching genetic causes of birth defects, and educating medical professionals and the public about healthy practices for healthy pregnancy.
Act 6 – LA Galaxy Women’s Soccer Seminar
In support of the 2015 Women’s World Cup the LA Galaxy held a one-day event promoting the power of women within sports. The event, held on May 17th at the StubHub Center, gave 100 local youth female soccer players the opportunity to learn about living a healthy lifestyle, gain leadership skills, take part in a skills clinic and sports panel featuring Hall of Famer Julie Foudy. Following the event, youth participants cheered on the US Women’s National Team as they took on the Mexican National Team.]
Act 7 – Homeboy Industries – Teambuilding Tamalada
LA Galaxy kept its 20 for Twenty community program going with a visit to Homeboy Industries, as they participating in the Teambuildng Tamalda program on Wednesday, May 20th. Galaxy players Rafael Garcia, Alan Gordon, Dan Gargan, and AJ DeLaGarza, along with 21 front office staff members pitched in to make tamales from scratch and listen to the stories of transformation from men and women in the program.
Act 8 – Hope for Firefighters Muster Games
LA Galaxy front office staff took part in the Hope for Firefighters Muster Games Thursday, June 4th in downtown Los Angeles. The event helps to raise money for the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association’s Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen’s Fund. The Galaxy team placed 4th out of 15 teams, competing alongside additional corporate muster team from the Los Angeles community.
Act 9 – Special Olympics World Games - Fans in the Stands
LA Galaxy and StubHub Center front office staff alongside Star Squard, LA Riot Squad and LA Galaxy South Bay filled the stands to cheer on Special Olympics World Games soccer teams on Friday, July 31st. The Fans in the Stands program allows for volunteers from the host city of Los Angeles to support athletes from around the world as they compete on behalf of their country.
Act 10 – SPCA LA Volunteer Day
LA Galaxy II players alongside front office staff continued the 20 for Twenty community program, as they volunteered their time at the SPCA LA Tuesday, August 11th in Long Beach, CA. Volunteers took a tour of the facilities, learned how the animals are trained and prepared for adoption, and helped prepare meals and treats for the animals at the shelter in preparation of SPCA LA Adoption Day event on Saturday, August 15th.
Act 11 – American Red Cross Blood Drive
In continuation of LA Galaxy’s 20 for Twenty community program, LA Galaxy front office staff and fans stepped up to be a part of the American Red Cross blood drive on Sunday, August 23rd. This game day blood drive hosted at StubHub Center collected 28 pints of blood which will directly benefit the high demand for blood in Southern California, as 1 pint of blood has the ability to save up to 3 lives.
Act 12 – Nautica Malibu Triathlon benefiting CHLA
LA Galaxy President Chris Klein alongside 20 front office staff members completed the 29th annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon benefiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Sunday, September 20th in Zuma Beach, CA. In total, the LA Galaxy Triathlon Team raised $7,250 towards Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Pediatric Cancer Research Program, dedicated to curing and preventing childhood cancers.
Act 13 – MLS Unified Soccer Exchange Program
In conjunction with the MLS Unified Soccer Exchange Program, LA Galaxy fans and front office staff stayed after the first team match to cheer on LA Galaxy Special Olympics Unified soccer team take on FC Dallas Special Olympics on September 27th through the 20 for Twenty community program. Unified Sports teams partner athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to play, grow and compete on the same field to build community and strengthen bonds based on acceptance and inclusion.
Act 14 – TreePeople Volunteer Day
LA Galaxy, StubHub Center, and AEG staff continued the 20 for Twenty initiative on October 23rd by volunteering with TreePeople to care for trees at Edward Vincent Jr. Park in Inglewood, California. Volunteers cared for 31 trees by building water basins, feeding trees with three gallons of water, and spreading mulch to ensure continued nourishment. TreePeople is a non-profit organization focused on inspiring, engaging, and supporting Los Angeles residents to grow a green and climate-resilient Los Angeles.
Act 15 – LA Regional Food Bank Volunteer Day
LA Galaxy front office staff, fans, Academy student-athletes, and players Rafael Garcia and Todd Dunivant dedicate their day of service to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on Thursday, November 5th. With over 130 volunteers in attendance, participants were able to package over 2,219 grocery kits to be distributed to local Los Angeles communities in preparation of the holidays.
Act 16 – Veteran’s Hospital Appreciation Luncheon
In support of Veteran’s Day, LA Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant and front office staff visited the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital to assist with their annual Veteran’s Appreciation Luncheon. Feeding over 350 local veterans, volunteers assisted with event set-up, distribution of giveaways, while escorting and serving food to wheelchair patients and ambulatory patients in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Act 17 – 12th Annual Thanksgiving Foundations Feast
LA Galaxy president Chris Klein alongside front office staff and midfield Rafael Garcia served Thanksgiving meals to over 250 youth and their families from local group homes and homeless shelters on Monday, November 23rd at StubHub Center. This LA Galaxy Foundation and StubHub Center Foundation event also featured a pre-meal soccer clinic, arts & crafts and giveaway bags for all youth in attendance.
Act 18 – Meal of Love with Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House
In support of families spending the holiday season at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House, LA Galaxy staff members prepared a Meal of Love for over 50 youth patients and their families receiving treatment at surrounding hospital. The Meal of Love program allowed for patients to spend quality time with family members playing soccer, building ginger bread houses and enjoying a home cooked meal with special appearance from the LA Galaxy Star Squad and Mascot Cozmo.
Act 19 – LA Galaxy Holiday Party
In conjunction with the LA Galaxy Holiday Party held on December 6th at StubHub Center, the LA Galaxy Foundation hosted 500 local youth from community partners at this event to enjoy a fun-filled day of carnival games, playing in the snow, holiday cookie decorating and soccer. Community partners included Special Olympic Southern California, Hawthorne PAAL, A Place Called Home, Vista Del Mar Family Services, Homeboy Industries, Salvation Army Red Shield and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Children’s Institute, Inc. All youth guests in attendance received a holiday gift with an LA Galaxy soccer ball, fleece blanket and beanie.
Act 20 – AEG Service Day
LA Galaxy joined the LA Kings and over 300 local AEG employees at AEG Service Day on December 11th to complete their final 20 for Twenty service project with a beautification day at Charles Barrett Elementary School in South Los Angeles. AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman alongside LA Galaxy President Chris Klein and AEG Service Day volunteers painted inspirational education-based murals throughout the halls and common areas of the school. With the completion of AEG Service Day, the LA Galaxy tallied over 2,000 volunteer hours in 2015 with over 400 LA Galaxy staff members and affiliates participating in the 20 for Twenty community initiative throughout 2015.
20 for Twenty programming will continue throughout the 2015 calendar year, with the upcoming events announced throughout the season.