Chargers come to Watts to make a difference

Dean Spanos (third left), Chargers Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles CEO Calvin Lyons (third right) celebrate the partnership forged between the two entities and Bob's Discount Furniture. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline

LOS ANGELES, CA-The Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Clubhouse (WWBGC) is in a challenging area. Homelessness encampments have become neighbors with the South Los Angeles facility. Crime is on just about every corner and is a reality marker as soon as you hit the sidewalk pavement. Yet the WWBGC has been a bastion of relief to those hardships for hundreds of youths every year.

In short, in the midst of all the turbulence going on around it on a 24/7 cycle, the WWBGC have been a security blanket for these young people. The Los Angeles Chargers, gradually making inroads into the Los Angeles community with their weekly philanthropy efforts, have made it their business to invest into the South Los Angeles haven by donating $400,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA), an entity in which the WWBGC is a part of.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Geno Smith pass out hats to youths at Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline

“Youth health and fitness are key community initiatives for the Chargers. This partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles is an example of corporate and community organizations working together to provide a safe environment for kids to exercise and play outdoors,” said Dean Spanos, Chargers Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board. “The Chargers and my family are committed to building healthy communities and supporting local youth to reach their full potential by helping under-resourced neighborhoods grow stronger and safer.”

The partnership forged between the Chargers, BGCMLA, and Bob’s Discount Furniture, will allow for teen centers to be erected, the integration of new educational programming and vastly upgrade the athletic facilities. These improvements are certainly welcomed, said Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles CEO Calvin Lyons.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles CEO Calvin Lyons. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline

“We are thrilled and honored to work with the Los Angeles Chargers and to be part of an exciting, community building partnership that supports the development of our next generation of leaders,” Lyons said. “Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro LA would like to extend our deepest thank you to the Chargers for their financial investment and for leveraging their contacts to extend our outreach to youth and families—Thank you!”

Besides Spanos being in attendance for a formal ceremony that acknowledged the announced partnership, quarterback Geno Smith, who spoke briefly and signed autographs for youth members, also represented the Chargers.

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1287 Articles
Dennis is a news and sports photojournalist. Dennis has covered and written on issues such as civil rights, education, politics, and social justice. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Daily Breeze, Daily Press, Los Angeles Wave, Los Angeles Sentinel, and other media outlets. Dennis is currently the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and NCAA. Dennis is an alum and graduate of Howard University.

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