On Wednesday, December 4, the Los Angeles Rams and SoCal Honda Dealers recognized community steward SAUL FRIEDGOOD as their fourth Community Quarterback award winner of 2019. The Community Quarterback Award, presented by SoCal Honda Dealers, is a volunteer recognition and grant program that awards funding to deserving volunteers and the non-profits that they serve.
Volunteering with the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) for more than 10 years, Friedgood has had an incalculable impact on their programs and the youth they serve. Every week, he visits campus to help high school seniors search for colleges, apply for scholarships and assist in the application processes.
"I always tell the students, 'I think I get more out of this experience than they do.' For me, it's really one of the highlights of my week, going down to HOLA, working with these young people and helping them achieve their dreams," said Friedgood. "It's just such a gift to go down there and have an impact. Honestly, it's something that I enjoy so much."
The Los Angeles Rams & SoCal Honda recognize Heart of Los Angeles Volunteer as its Community Quarterback.
As a result of his dedication to help others continue their education, many of the students become the first in their families strive for a college education. The relationships he builds with students through the program often continues well beyond their high school years.
"Many of them are the first in their family to apply for college, so there is a lot of unknowns as far as the whole application process and picking schools to apply to," said Friedgood. "We start by picking colleges, starting the applications and writing the essays. When they're submitted, the next phase is working on applying for scholarships. The students I mentored last year I keep in touch with throughout the year, helping with any challenges they're facing or questions and ideas they have. It's really a wonderful program."
As the President of Eastman Music Company, a premier musical instrument designer and manufacturer, Friedgood initially volunteered in HOLA's music program and quickly became a member of the Music Advisory Board, regularly organizing concerts performed by youth and for community supporters to enjoy and which have become critical to sustaining the program's success. His expertise in the music industry has also provided opportunity for students who're considering a college path that will lead them to professions in the musical field.
"Saul is someone who we have been so fortunate to have come through our organization," said Tony Brown, Chief Executive Officer of HOLA. "He is a really compassionate person. He finds ways to support the young adults' dreams and help clear hurdles along the way."
Following Friedgood's surprise at HOLA, he was invited to the Rams Sunday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, where he was recognized on the field and presented with a $10,000 check to benefit HOLA and its students.
"I am incredibly honored to be able to represent HOLA for this award. I can't thank the Rams & SoCal Honda enough. It was a real privilege," said Friedgood.
Since the program's inception, the Rams have donated $450,000 to community organizations through this initiative.