By Jason KUROSU
Dodger Stadium welcomed the city of Glendale on Saturday night, as the game between the Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers coincided with the third annual Glendale Dodger Night, a fundraiser for Glendale’s parks system.
Glendale Dodger Night is one of the Glendale Parks & Open Space Foundation’s three major fundraisers benefitting parks, along with the Verdugo Mountains 10K Trail Run and Hike and the Glendale City Golf Championship. Those donating to the cause were provided with food, refreshments and a ticket to Saturday’s game.
Shant Sahakian, chairman of the Glendale Dodger Night Committee, said the Dodgers approached the city about the idea around the time of the 2009 Station Fire. Sahakian said that Glendale Dodger Night, along with the Glendale Parks & Open Space Foundation’s numerous fundraising events, “are great opportunities to support parks and help the community.”
The day started with a pre-party held at Glendale City Hall attended by event sponsors, city and state officials (Glendale City Councilmember Paula Devine and former Assemblymember Anthony Portantino among them), members of the Glendale Dodger Night Committee and Glendale residents.
Afterwards, approximately 75 ticketholders boarded a bus to the game and arrived about an hour before the first pitch, seated near the field down the first base line.
Prior to the game, Glendale mayor Zareh Sinanyan, Glendale City Councilmember Paula Devine, Lexus of Glendale VP & General Manager Johnny Harrison and Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation President Dottie Sharkey were all invited onto the field as part of the city’s big night at Chavez Ravine. The foursome were projected on the stadium’s big screens and introduced to the crowd by Dodger Public Address Announcer Eric Smith.
The Dodgers also announced their Veteran of the Game during Saturday’s game, Glendale native and Senior Chief Petty Officer Juan Sandoval. Along with being presented with a flag, Sandoval received a standing ovation from the packed stadium, who were privy to Sandoval’s military accomplishments, including his work as an aviation machinist, his service in Iraq and receiving the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one star.