The Bolts and the Spanos Family continued their legacy of giving back on Tuesday with Real California Milk by presenting Lennox School District in Inglewood with a $10,000 Fuel Up to Play 60 hometown grant.
The grant will be split amongst the schools in the district to support healthy eating and physical activity wellness programs for students.
“Obviously, the Chargers have always been extremely involved in the community, so being able to have such an impact on five schools with this grant is very significant,” said Jennifer Giambroni, Director of Communications, California Milk Advisory Board. “In a small school district, even a small amount of money can go really far. So to be able to support having equipment, having access to heathy foods and access to education for kids about what healthy eating means, it’s going to make a tremendous difference.”
“I think people see that we are a first-class organization,” added LaDainian Tomlinson, who spoke at the event. “We put our money where our mouth is. We talk about being in the community and helping out as many people as we can. Giving back to elementary schools talking about fitness and health and activity; we’re doing it. We’re not only talking about it but we’re out here doing it and donating to the cause of these kids who really need it. The area that really needs it.”
Along with Tomlinson, rookies Austin Ekeler and Desmond King as well as a couple Charger Girls were also on hand to promote student wellness. The players spoke and even took questions from the crowd of students from everything on who their biggest inspiration is to any advice they have for kids aspiring to play professional sports. After the assembly, Ekeler and King ran through healthy-eating themed activities and games with the kids.
“It’s a blessing to be able to do things like this for the community,” King said. “Where I’m from in Detroit, we don’t really have that many opportunities to go back and help out in the community. So growing up, that’s something I always wanted to do. Give back to the community. It was a great experience to come out here and play with the kids.”
“I always like coming out to events when the youth is involved,” Ekeler added. “Just to (be) an inspiration to them. I didn’t have anything like this growing up. When I get the opportunity to come out to the youth, I want to get out there and show them someone whose met goals and things like that, and give them some inspiration to strive for their goals.”
While the rookies and Hall of Famer enjoyed talking to the kids, Giambroni admitted it’s their mere presence, along with what will come from the grant, that can have a positive impact on a student’s well-being.
“There’s nothing for kids like seeing an actual football player,” she said. “These guys are such role models and examples for the kids. When they’re able to really talk to them about how they got where they are, the importance of listening…and also thinking about what they’re putting into their bodies and getting out and getting physically active, that means so much. The rest of us can talk about it, but they’re actually acting it every single day. It really makes a difference in a kid’s life.”