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COUNCILMEMBER HERB WESSON KEYNOTES A SPECIAL COMMUNITY GRADUATION IN THE RAMPART DISTRICT TODAY HEART OF LOS ANGELES (HOLA) AND CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS CELEBRATE COMMUNITY YOUTH GRADUATES AT THE NEWLY RENOVATED LAFAYETTE PARK THIS AFTERNOON Los Angeles, CA (June 9, 2011) – Councilmember Herb Wesson will be the keynote speaker at 5:00pm this afternoon/ evening at a brand new Community Graduation for Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Park’s -Lafayette Park at the newly renovated Lafayette Recreation Center that opened this past February. The Lafayette Park Recreation Center is a result of the historic public-private partnership between HOLA and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to transform Lafayette Park into a versatile campus that will provide exceptional academic, arts, recreation and athletic programs to the surrounding community. The project materialized in response to demands by a growing neighborhood whose needs outgrew the existing 3,700 square foot senior center. The location for this ambitious project was Lafayette Park in the heart of LA's Rampart District. From that meeting spawned an idea: since both organizations were serving the same population, HOLA and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks would come together to transform the park into something that would invigorate the neighborhood and improve the lives of its residents. Today’s celebration/graduation ceremony exemplifies the community benefit and highlights the educational and enrichment accomplishments that are achieved when best in class partners and individuals come together to help solve larger societal problems. “Our Community Graduation will symbolize the true strength of such partnerships and it will be a prideful moment for dozens of parents who will see their first generation children not only graduate high school, but go off to colleges around the country,” said Tony Brown, Executive Director, HOLA. “Before over 150 expected community members and city officials a tangible roadmap for rebuilding a stronger community able to solve present day and future challenges, will be on display." Just two weeks ago, thanks to the College Access Foundation and numerous other private and individual funders, Heart of Los Angeles awarded over $200,000 in college scholarships. Many of those proud recipients will be on hand today. “The Department of Recreation and Parks and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), have formed an innovative partnership between a public agency and a non-profit organization both dedicated to supporting local community needs. This partnership provides educational, cultural, athletic, and arts programming for numerous local residents. Said Recreation and Parks General Manager, Jon Mukri at the opening this past spring, “this newly renovated, state-of-the-art, LEED recreation center will house joint Recreation and Parks, and HOLA programs covering a myriad of activities benefiting the children throughout the community. I am very proud of this partnership and the many things we have accomplished together.” Together, Brown and Mukri imagined a public space in a contemporary way that would create a new paradigm of the public park. HOLA and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation

and Parks formed an unprecedented partnership and set out to raise additional funds that would be needed to not only complete this ambitious project, but also add new learning spaces and many other state-of-the-art enhancements. In 2007, they achieved their goal by combining Prop K, Prop 12 and Quimby funds with a private $1 million dollar gift from the Everychild Foundation. Over $2 million dollars were raised from the private sector funds from not only the Everychild Foundation but also the W.M. Keck Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Skirball Foundation, Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation. The money raised has enabled HOLA and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to provide expanded programming support so that thousands of at-risk youth will receive exceptional classes and programs for free in addition to a variety of affordable low cost high quality classes for all ages. Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) For more than two decades, HOLA has provided thousands of underserved and at-risk youth with exceptional free after-school programs in academics, arts and athletics, including a new world-class youth orchestra program, visual arts program, college preparation courses and athletic leagues. HOLA provides elementary, middle and high school programming for a growing population of children who are in urgent need of supplemental services. Every day, HOLA empowers inner city youth to advance their lives and revitalize their communities through enrichment, personal development and leadership programs. For additional information on HOLA, please contact Tony Brown, 213-389-1148 extension 235 and/or visit the website at City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department The Department of Recreation and Parks maintains over 15,710 acres of parkland with over 400 neighborhood and regional parks, 184 recreation centers and facilities, 372 children's play areas, 321 tennis courts, 256 ball fields, 31 senior centers, 13 golf courses, nine dog parks, 14 skate parks, 12 museums and an urban forest of one million trees. The Department also provides after school and day care programs for children and teens, including basketball, volleyball, softball and flag football leagues. For more information about the Department of Recreation and Parks, please visit ### Media Contact: Elizabeth Curtis, 818.667.9629,

Councilmember Herb Wesson Keynotes a Special Community Graduation in the Rampart District Today  


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