Hollenbeck Hosts Weekend Bash
It was a knockout day as the Hollenbeck Police Business Council and Inner-City Games hosted a special fundraiser to raise money for the famed Hollenbeck Youth Center in Los Angeles. This year’s “Day at the Races” bash took place at the storied Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
The Hollenbeck Boxing Gym has long been part of history for raising homegrown champions in the community. This famed gym continues to open its doors to at-risk kids and teens in the rough neighborhoods of East L.A. And the Hollenbeck Boxing Club will be making its mark again in the future. During the outing, Daniel Hernandez mentioned to me that they just hired some new coaches and the kids will start to compete in the next few months. Through the years, many amateur champs and professional prizefighters have come out of this legendary gym.
This boxing-themed fiesta was a festive affair in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley. Guests enjoyed a delicious BBQ while trying their luck at the ponies–and it was all for a great cause to lend support to Hollenbeck. This nonprofit group has assisted many families through the decades. And fundraisers like this April 22 “Day at the Races” helps the community center to continue to be available to area residents.
On Saturday, approximately 175 supporters joined the Hollenbeck team to take part in this afternoon at the races benefiting the nonprofit organization. Hollenbeck Police Business Council and Inner-City Games President/Founder Daniel Hernandez, Vice President Priscilla Hernandez, Co-Chair George Castello, Program Director Jose “Nati” Correa, Hollenbeck Board of Directors and Advisors, 2016 Amigo de Los Niños Awardee Dr. Hector Flores, boxing trainer and sports sculptor Steve Harpst and more all joined together to share a day of fun in the sun.
We all met in the infield Picnic Circle to enjoy a homemade BBQ helmed by Chef Nati. There were prizes, a piñata for the kiddies, and live performances at the mic. There were also two guest “handicappers” David “The Horse” Sandoval and Steven “The Demon” Salas who helped the guests pick some winning horses. Salas (singer of the band Tierra) and Sandoval (former EOP director and noted civil rights activist ) continue to give back to the community.
This handicapping showdown was fierce–the pair were even outfitted in satin boxing robes for their face off! It was a tough competition to see which man would predict the most wins for the day. There were 10 races total and at the final bell, Danny Hernandez raised both of their hands in victory. Sandoval vs. Salas matchup was declared a “draw” with both gentlemen receiving gold medals and bragging rights until next year.
This community event was just one of the many events that Hollenbeck puts on during the year. They are also known for their Salute to the Dodgers, an Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and their massive “Miracle on 1st Street” Toy Giveaway. They also provide athletic programs, after-school activities, sports tournaments, summer camps, and tutoring programs for children.
The youth is always on the forefront at Hollenbeck with Hernandez’s motto being: “All Kids are a Lifetime Investment.”
The weekend’s “Day at the Races” was a big success and a real “knockout” day for all!
Photos by Michele Chong