Professional Sports

Chargers provide donation, inspiration to Lennox students

INGLEWOOD — The Los Angeles Chargers are steadily making inroads into the Southern California market with their commitment to supplying charitable works throughout the various communities that encompass the market. On Oct. 24, the Chargers and Real California Milk announced they were donating $10,000 to the Lennox School District, which lies between Inglewood and Hawthorne.

The purpose of the grant from the Chargers and Real California Milk, which represents dairy families in the state, is to promote wellness through activities and good eating habits.

Local dignitaries, including Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts and Lennox School District Superintendent Kent Taylor, were on hand for the festivities at Jefferson Elementary School. Jennifer Giambroni of the California Milk Advisory Board and several dairy farmers attended the morning event as well.

According to Taylor, 97 percent of the district students live in poverty. The grant money will help the district in helping students understand the importance of being physically fit and eating well.

“This money will certainly go a long way toward providing opportunities for them to understand their health, their wellness and how milk plays a part of that,” Taylor said. “The Los Angeles Chargers, what they do, and the winning, and how they center on being healthy, utilizing that as a sport … is a good tie-in for a school district, for the Lennox School District.”

Selected students from Jefferson Elementary School had the privilege to sit in on the event, which Taylor called an “awesome opportunity.”

“This is a wonderful event for us today, not only the L.A. Chargers supporting the California Milk Advisory Board, the $10,000 will be used for our students to take some significant field trips,” Taylor said. “Growing up in the inner city, L.A. area, our kids have never seen where milk really comes from. So, we’d like to take them out to some of the farms where they can actually see the cows, see where the milk really comes from.

“Our kids appreciate the milk. It’s good for their bones and for their nutrition. To actually see where it’s actually produced is a wonderful thing. It’s a connection to kids.”

Chargers players Desmond King and Austin Ekeler, as well as Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson took part in the event as well. King and Ekeler fielded questions from students about where they went to school, what they got their degree in and what would they be doing now if they were not playing football in the National Football League.

The two rookies also participated in Fuel Up to Play 60 drills with students. Ekeler says he really enjoys the interaction he has with young people through the Chargers community events.

“The community events we do with the youth is definitely my favorite to come out here,” Ekeler said. “It’s really special to them. I didn’t have anything like that when I was a kid growing up. If I would have, it definitely would have inspired me.

“I’m out here giving back to these youths. They just need someone to look up to or something like that, something to say, ‘wow,’ someone actually made it that I can see, touch and talk to.”