By Michael YEGHIAYAN
Glendale residents and government representatives enjoyed a night at the ballpark on Friday as the city held its second annual Glendale Dodger Night at Dodger Stadium. This year, attendees celebrated the evening together by honoring worthy members of the community while raising funds to strengthen the city’s parks and recreation services.
Glendale Dodger Night is a yearly fundraiser for the Glendale Parks & Open Space Foundation. The non-profit organization was founded in 2009 by Glendale residents to maintain park space and to ensure that recreation programs are available in the city.
The fourth annual ACE awards were also presented by the Character and Ethics Project, an organization dedicated to recognizing student athletes, coaches, and community members who represent the highest level of sportsmanship. The nonpartisan, all-volunteer organization looks to strengthen the community by promoting self-improvement and raising the standards for ethics among the area’s youth.
“The athletes are selected based not only on their outstanding leadership, but sportsmanship and, of course, character and ethics on and off the field,” said Character & Ethics Project President Patrick Campbell. “It is important that the coaches and athletes teach and exemplify this in practice and competition.”
The ACE Awards were given to male and female candidates from Crescenta Valley, Glendale and Hoover high schools and Glendale Community College. In total, 17 individuals were presented with awards.
Additionally, vice president and general manager of Lexus of Glendale Johnny Harrison was presented with the organization’s first Community Partner award for his service to the city.
“Mr. Harrison has dedicated his talents and resources to many youth in our city in many ways. He is a great example of a businessman giving back to his community,” said Campbell. “We are very appreciative of what he has done for the Character & Ethics Project and our programs, including the Youth Leadership Conference and ACE Awards. He in many ways puts into action the principles we work diligently to promote.”
The athletic directors of the respective schools selected the individual students to be honored at the event, while the coaches of the year were selected by the writers of the Glendale News-Press. Community Partner Award winner Harrison was selected by the Character and Ethics Project board.
The Character and Ethics Project also sponsors the Youth Leadership Conference, an annual event that aims to partner high school students with community leaders to promote ethics and good character with area students.