Over 20,000 Kids &amp; Families Get a ‘Fresh Start’ at Union-Sponsored Community Festival

On Saturday, more than 20,000 adults and children attended the 2013 Fresh Start Community Festival at Dodger Stadium – the largest number of attendees since the Festival started four years ago. The daylong event was presented by SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW), the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. Started by ULTCW in 2010, the free Festival was created as a way to help those hit hardest by the economic downturn by providing back-to-school backpacks for students as well as free entertainment, lunch, and health screenings for the entire family.

Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU ULTCW:

The Fresh Start Community Festival is all about lifting up our community and making sure our children have what they need for a successful start to the school year. Although we hear that the economy is improving, there are still countless families here in Los Angeles and throughout our state who struggle every day to make ends meet and could use a little help and a Fresh Start.

Stan Kasten, President and CEO, Los Angeles Dodgers:

The Los Angeles Dodgers are proud to be part of the Fresh Start Community Festival and in providing our schoolchildren the supplies and the encouragement they need to succeed in school.

The Festival provided children 5-15 years of age with free back-to-school backpacks, haircuts for young boys, manicures for young girls, and health screenings, entertainment and lunch for the entire family.

ULTCW's Butler:

In 2010 we were able to help approximately 7,000 adults and children.  Since then, the Fresh Start Community Festival has nearly doubled in size each year and has also been held in Oakland. Through the involvement of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation as well as other sponsors, we were able to reach more families this year than ever before.

Participants also enjoyed performances throughout the day by the DeLeon Circus, Tyghtship, DJ Sloe Poke, Aaron Nigel Smith, Mariachi Juvenil Plaza de la Raza, Very Be Careful, the Taiko Drummers, Bob Baker Marionettes, Mad Science, a Lion Dance, Rhythm Child Network, Rockie the Clown, Tommy the Clown, and of course the Fresh Start mascot – Esperanza.

This year’s Fresh Start Community Festival was made possible through the generous support of SEIU ULTCW, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Levy Cares, Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, The Brotherhood Crusade, Honda, and SEIU Locals 99 and 721.

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