Super Bowl LVI Champion and the 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Andrew Whitworth has allocated his $250,000 donation, courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide, to refurbish the track and field at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles - Challengers Clubhouse. With support from Cedars-Sinai and Bridgestone, the refurbishment includes a new 50-yard turf field, new bleachers, shaded and covered seating areas and updated signage to contribute to the future of the young athletes who call Challengers Clubhouse home. Today, the field is being unveiled during a celebratory ribbon-cutting at 4:00 p.m. PT, with remarks from Andrew Whitworth, Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles Patrick Mahoney, Executive Director of Women's and Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's Cindy Chavira, Executive Director of Women and Children's Services at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's Michelle Souza, and Bridgestone Retail Operations Region Manager Brandon Gleason. The Rams will host a free football clinic focusing on NFL combine and fundamental position drills for more than 100 local youth served by Challengers Clubhouse following the ribbon cutting.
Serving over 150 kids per day, the Challengers Clubhouse has the only track and field in the community and is a home for local football games, track & field tournaments, summer camps and sport clinics. In addition, the track and field is used by 300 elementary students from ICEF (Inner City Education Foundation) Innovation Los Angeles Charter School every morning. Since 1968, Challengers Clubhouse has served more than 34,000 youth.
"I have had the opportunity to be involved with Boys & Girls Clubs my entire NFL career making this field dedication incredibly meaningful to me," said Andrew Whitworth, 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. "Whether outside Cincinnati or in South LA, the impact of Boys & Girls Clubs is a constant in the lives of kids who need it most. Today is about more than a field, this is about locking arms with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles and joining them in their daily investment in our youth."
Four-time Pro-Bowler and two-time All-Pro Andrew Whitworth was a core pillar of the Rams offense, becoming the first 40-year-old offensive lineman to start an NFL game in nearly two decades. Whitworth recorded 239 career games with 235 starts during his 16-year NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, exhibiting tremendous excellence on the field and outstanding community service off the field. His work in the community addresses the often-unseen issues that continue to plague underserved communities in Los Angeles and beyond.
"We are grateful to Andrew Whitworth for supporting our South LA youth and to the Rams, Cedars-Sinai and Bridgestone for their commitment to furthering BGCMLA's mission to create safe spaces for our youth to learn, grow and play," said Patrick Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles.
The new field will serve as a site for the newly established and free Los Angeles Rams Flag Football League that will kick off at the end of the month. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the league will serve more than 300 youth (ages 5-14) from eight Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Southern California. Each league will feature an 8-week season. The Rams will provide reversible flag jerseys, flag belts, footballs and coaching resource guides for the league.
The launch of the flag league will be paired with a content piece highlighting the efforts of Andrew Whitworth, the Los Angeles Rams, Cedars-Sinai and Bridgestone, and the impact the refurbished field will have on the community.
"As the official health partner of the Los Angeles Rams, Cedars-Sinai is excited to collaborate with the Rams to support year-round programming at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Los Angeles to further enrich health education and empower families and youth to put their health and wellbeing first," saidCindy Chavira, MBA, Executive Director of Women and Children's Services at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's. "This comes at a particularly auspicious time for Cedars-Sinai as we increase our commitment to children's health through Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's and the recently opened Pediatric Unit, a new facility dedicated to pediatric patients and their families offering highly specialized care."
Bridgestone, official tire sponsor of the Los Angeles Rams, has proudly supported Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 2015. They are committed to supporting the Challengers Clubhouse, including this field and other initiatives. At the event, Bridgestone announced an additional $10,000 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles. "Thanks to the dedication of Andrew Whitworth and the LA Rams, Club youth in Metro Los Angeles will have a safe place to play and build a strong community," said Brandon Gleason, Region Manager, Bridgestone Retail Operations. "We are so proud of the impact our Boys & Girls Clubs Driving Great Futures partnership has made nationwide over the past seven years, and we are grateful to help make an impact right here in LA."