Maroon 5 and Earth, Wind & Fire Rock L.A. Dodgers Foundation Fundraiser
Thursday's exclusive Blue Diamond Gala event helped raise more than $100,000 alone from a live auction to support communities in Southern California.
Maroon 5 and Earth, Wind & Fire on Thursday headlined a sold-out charity event at Dodger Stadium that helped raise more than $100,000 alone from a live auction for communities in Southern California.
The third annual Blue Diamond Gala, which supports the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, saw team favorites past and present including Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Justin Turner as well as Orel Hershiser, Ron Cey and Steve Garvey rally along with 1,500 supporters raise funds for sports programs across Southern California.
The event, chaired by Mary Hart and Burt Sugarman, Sharon and Joe Hernandez and Cathi and John Bendheim, included a live auction to be an owner for a day and travel with the team during a trip to San Francisco. All told, the three live auction packages helped raise more than $100,000 as players and celebrities including Mario Lopez, Alfonso Ribeiro, Heather Morris, Mia Hamm and more looked on. In addition to the $100,000 from the live auction, the foundation raised more than $1.5 million from ticket sales to the event and donations. Total proceeds from the silent auction are still being tabulated.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts kicked open the night, hosted by Kevin Frazier, by reiterating how much the Dodgers Foundation does for kids, including education and building baseball fields. The foundation has built 47 fields thus far, and with Thursday's fundraising, achieved its goal of raising the $100,000 required to build a 48th.
Dodgers owner and chairman of the LADF board Mark Walter noted the foundation's goal is to help make L.A. a better place and to make the annual event a "can't miss" event of the year. He stressed the foundation "raises money for communities who need it the most. The foundation has invested more than $20 million since its inception, building classrooms and baseball diamonds and supporting more than 100 organizations that reach beyond the game.
Earth, Wind & Fire opened the evening with a 10-song set that included hits "Shining Star," "Boogie Wonderland" and "Let's Groove." Dodgers ace Kershaw, catcher Yasmani Grandal and outfielder Yasiel Puig were among the regulars on the dance floor, with many players — including Turner and pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu — turning to Facebook Live to broadcast parts of Maroon 5's energetic 10-song set.
The Grammy-winning band capped a setlist that included "She Will Be Loved," "Payphone," "Sugar" and "Moves Like Jagger" with a cover of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." Frontman Adam Levine recalled attending the unforgettable first game of the 1988 Dodgers-Oakland A's World Series at the stadium where he was now performing and was booed when he revealed he originally rooted for the opposition. As it turns out, Levine's grandfather had season tickets and upon hearing how loud Dodger Stadium got after Kirk Gibson hit a walk-off homer to win Game 1 of the World Series — one of the most memorable moments in all of professional sports — the singer and coach of NBC's The Voice revealed he became a Dodger fan for life.