The newly renovated Jackie Robinson Field opened to the public on March 9th 2016 and had several representatives from the Dodgers, PUSD, various funders for the project and elected officials present.
The renovation was sparked by an article in the LA Times that brought to light the poor conditions of the baseball field at John Muir High School. Being that the school is the alma mater of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, this article became the catalyst to create real change at a school in desperate need of support.
Several philanthropic entities came together to begin raising money to renovate the baseball field at John Muir High School. The Pasadena Education Foundation (the foundation associated with the Pasadena Unified School District) and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation became the two leads for the project with respects to logistics and fundraising.
In December 2015, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association began having conversations with the Pasadena Education Foundation to discuss the Tournament’s potential involvement in the project at John Muir. By late January 2016, the Tournament had made an agreement with the City of Pasadena and PEF to ensure $10,000 be committed towards the project on the behalf of the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena.
The $260,000 project allowed the field to be completely rebuilt, with new side and outfield fencing, foul poles, a blue windscreen scoreboard and yellow top cap in the outfield. The backstop and dugout fencing was repaired and new metal dugout roofs were installed, making the field one of the best high school baseball fields in San Gabriel Valley.
More importantly, John Muir won its first game on the new field a few days later.
Everyone knows – or at least I hope they do! – that the Tournament of Roses Association is responsible for the annual Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. What people might not know is that the Tournament is also an important supporter of many other San Gabriel Valley-area organizations. Each year, the Tournament Foundation gives $100,000 to local non-profits so they can fulfill their own missions in serving the community. In fact, we just announced our grant recipients for 2013. Twenty-eight different organizations are receiving financial help from us this time, with grant amounts ranging from $1,600 to $7,600. That might not seem like very much money, but for many of these recipients, support from the Tournament represents the ability to activate a new program or continue one that has shown promise.
In addition to the Foundation and the hard work its Board does in selecting qualified and worthy programs for grants, the Tournament’s Government and Community Relations Committee provides support to non-profit organizations for individual events and programs that might fall outside the Foundation’s sphere. In many cases, the Tournament sends members of its Executive Committee or others from among its volunteer ranks to these events in addition to making financial contributions. Receiving a check is certainly meaningful, but having someone present from the Tournament is significant in a different way and is often just as important.
The Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game are famous all over the world. I’m proud to be the president of the association that makes those events possible. I’m equally proud that the Tournament continues to honor and respect its Pasadena heritage by helping other organizations in the area serve the communities right here in our backyards. To be both global and local in influence is evidence again that “Dreams Come True.”
– Scott Jenkins