Service to Inner City Youth Honored
Prominent East L.A. organization presents awards during its 27th annul Salute to the Los Angeles Dodgers Luncheon.
By Paul Aranda Jr., EGP Staff Writer
A friendship that started over 20 years ago with 5:30 a.m. pickup basketball games at the Hollenbeck Youth Center in Boyle Heights came full circle when the organization awarded a former participant for his contributions to inner city youth last week. Henry Dominguez, a vice president with Anheuser-Busch, was among several professionals honored by the Inner City Games Los Angeles and Hollenbeck Police Business Council during its 27th Annual Salute to the Los Angeles Dodgers Luncheon, held in Downtown Los Angeles on Sept 25.
The fundraiser luncheon, highlighted with several awards, included the announcement by event co-chair, Josh Valdez, that he had donated $100,000 to the Hollenbeck Center as part of his pledge to raise money for the organization. Valdez said the donation was part of keeping his word after an original fundraising goal was not met. The organization honored members of the community in three different areas. Awards were presented to business leaders for their contributions to the center, officers with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck station and children who participate in the center’s programs.
Both Dominguez, and Daniel Kinney were honored with the Amigos de los Ninos Award. Daniel Hernandez, president and CEO of the Hollenbeck Police Business Council and founder of the Inner-City Games (ICG), presented Dominguez with his award. Hernandez told the audience how he and Dominguez used to meet in the morning before work to play basketball. He said that relationship grew as Dominguez climbed through the ranks of Anheuser-Busch and continued to contribute to the center,
Dominguez thanked the audience, which included a large number of corporate donors, for their contributions of service to inner city youth.
”I was taught the value of giving back at an early age,” he said.
Dominguez said the center is vital because “it breeds good citizens.” He added that the kids are not “at risk” when they are at the Hollenbeck center.
Kinney, vice president of operations for State Farm Insurance, has served on the board of directors for the Inner-City Games since 2005. In addition to his work with the ICG board, his employer, State Farm, has contributed over $640 million since 1994.
Kinney, who was adopted as a child, said the best part of the Hollenbeck organization was that it builds confidence in the children who participate in its programs.
“The Hollenbeck Youth Center is all about opening the window of opportunity for young people,” he said.
The organization presented its Director’s Award to Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame Spanish language broadcaster, Jaime Jarrin. The Dodgers have partnered with the Hollenbeck center since 1981. In an earlier ceremony, the organization honored two officers with the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division. Capt, Blake Chow, commanding officer of the Hollenbeck division, presented the Kelly Key Award to two members of the Hollenbeck Narcotics Enforcement Detail. The two officers, Tony Salazar and Detective Daniel Hanabusa were both recently injured in separate incidents in the line of duty.
The organization also presented three Kids of the Year Awards to Isabel Barrera, 14, Oscar Hernandez, 11 and Judith Moreno, 17. The three youths were recognized for their contributions while participating with the Hollenbeck Youth Center and the Inner City Games.
According to its Web site, www.hollenbeckpbc.org, the Hollenbeck Police Business Council was formed in 1972 following a series of riots in the streets of East Los Angeles. Members of the East Los Angeles business community partnered with the LAPD Hollenbeck Division to help at-risk inner-city youth. The Hollenbeck Youth Center opened in 1976 and was staffed with police officers from the LAPD Hollenbeck station.
However, the center lost its funding for the police staff when voters passed Proposition 13. After several years of planning, Daniel Hernandez was hired to run reopen and run the center. In 1991, Hernandez created the Inner City Games (ICG) to serve the youth of East Los Angeles. Following the Los Angeles riots of 1992, he expanded ICG into a citywide athletic and academic program. Today ICG operates in 15 cities and serves over 1 million children. Both the Hollenbeck Youth Center and Inner-City Games are nationally recognized community based organizations.Print This Post
October 2, 2008 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.