Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Treasures of Los Angeles

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Each year, the Central City Association honors outstanding individuals and organizations as part of its Treasures of Los Angeles luncheon. I had the pleasure of emceeing this event and was proud that one of this year's treasures was the Los Angeles Derby Dolls, who train and compete in Historic Filipinotown.

The Derby Dolls are revitalizing the sport of roller derby. The all-women league sells out every game (or "bout") as people come from all over the Southland to see these athletes skate.

But the Dolls have done more than just bring this exciting sport to HiFi -- they have become active community partners, participating in numerous community clean-ups and volunteer efforts to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood and in Los Angeles. They worked with the city's Commission on the Status of Women to organize a wellness clinic for women, taught girls in the After School All Stars youth program how to skate, joined St. Vincent Hospital in coordinating a Health Day for women that provided free mammograms, and held a skate-a-thon to raise funds for AIDS Project Los Angeles. They are partnering again with the Commission on the Status of Women to hold a job fair in the fall.

You can see the Derby Dolls in action on the track this Saturday or you can look for them in the community helping to make our city stronger and healthier for everyone.