Los Angeles Peace Corps and L.A. Dodgers Pay Tribute In A Salute to Volunteerism

September 6th Event Honors the Memories of 9/11 Victims and Southern Californians Response to Local Community Needs

Los Angeles, CA, September 6, 2002—Southern Californians will gather together on September 6th at Dodger Stadium to honor the memories of 9/11 victims and to applaud the efforts of volunteers making the choice to serve their local communities as a response to the tragic events of 9/11. Gaddi Vasquez, Director of the Peace Corps and Dan Evans, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be on hand to pay special tribute to these countless volunteers and public employees who work each day to make their communities a better place.

The Los Angeles Peace Corps and the L.A. Dodgers will use this Salute to Volunteerism as an opportunity to thank the Los Angeles residents who make outstanding contributions throughout the year and to emphasize the importance of making volunteer service a regular part of their lives.

Earlier this week, President Bush called upon all Americans to take time during this month of September to renew, expand or establish their commitment to doing good, making this month a “September of Service.” During his State of the Union Address earlier this year, President Bush asked all Americans to give two years or 4,000 hours over their lifetime to service in their communities, our country, or around the world. In addition, he created the USA Freedom Corps, a coordinating council that raises awareness of federal service volunteer opportunities, like Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Citizen Corps, to assist all Americans in answering his call to service and help to strengthen America’s communities.

Saluting the volunteers of Los Angeles, the Peace Corps and the Dodgers will host a Volunteer parade in the Dodger Stadium infield honoring local volunteer groups as well as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from the area. The parade will be led by the local Boy Scout Color Guard and special tribute will be paid to the police officers serving the nation, heroes of the community and youth volunteers. A “September of Service” special video presentation from President Bush is also scheduled as well as a fireworks display finalizing the event.

“America was built on the spirit of volunteerism. Without the efforts of millions of volunteers who give their time to help others in their communities, our country would be a different place,” said Vasquez. He noted that volunteer community service is everyone’s responsibility and each of us can make a difference. “Saying ‘I must do something’ will always solve more problems than simply saying ‘something must be done,’” he added.

Responding to the need for volunteer support, Los Angeles County residents wholeheartedly donated their time and personal resources to help September 11th victims, which included 18 local Los Angeles families affected by this national tragedy. In addition and throughout the year, over 51,000 County volunteers helped provide new or enhanced services at County libraries, hospitals, social service centers, parks, fire and sheriff stations, museums, and County offices. In 2001, through their generosity, over 3 million hours valued at over $48 million, were donated to County programs serving the residents of Los Angeles County.

President Bush created the USA Freedom Corps office at the White House to foster an American culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility. Through the USA Freedom Corps, President Bush wants to help every American to answer the call to service by strengthening and expanding service opportunities for them to protect our homeland, to support our communities and to extend American compassion around the world. Interested volunteers can find information on the USA Freedom Corps at www.usafreedomcorps.gov or by calling 1-877-USA-Corps.

More than 165,000 volunteers have served inw.usafreedomcorps.gov or by calling 1-877-USA-Corps.

More than 165,000 volunteers have served in 135 countries since the Peace Corps was established in 1961. Today, more than 7,000 volunteers serve in programs to address business development, health and HIV/AIDS, the environment, education, agriculture and information technology.

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