Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
Ridley-Thomas Joins Business and Civic Leaders to Save Sports
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas joined Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Olympian Anita DeFrantz, and several philanthropic foundations Thursday to announce a plan to preserve high school sports in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Unified School District was set to eliminate numerous school teams and cut coaching positions due to a $1.3 million reduction in its sports budget. But the LA84 Foundation, headed by DeFrantz, and McCourt quickly rounded up donors to keep student-athletes in the game. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas announced he will contribute $25,000 to the effort. "Losing high school sports teams could devastate communities in my district just as earthquakes, fires and floods do; the County steps up in natural disasters," the Supervisor said. "This may be a different type of emergency response, but it is equally important to keeping neighborhoods safe and healthy." LAUSD officials said the total donations will pay the salaries of 700 coaches and preserve teams at 75 high schools across the district in sports from football, to cross-country, to water polo.