L.A. Red Shield Center dedicates arts, ed. complex

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CELEBRATING THE DEDICATION are (l-r) Lt. Colonel Alfred R. Van Cleef, Mayor Richard Riordan, Michael Stern, Laura Stern Seaver, Adele Stern, Chief of Police Bernard Parks, Irene Lewis, Robert Stern, and Councilman Mike Hernandez.

Nearly 650 people–including community leaders such as Mayor Richard Riordan, LAPD Chief of Police Bernard Parks, and Councilman Mike Hernandez–joined with volunteers, foundations and surrounding residents to celebrate the grand opening and dedication of the Los Angeles Red Shield’s new arts and education building.

Many of those in attendance took the opportunity to tour the new facility, which includes a computer lab, library learning center, and state-of-the-art dance studio, giving kids in Pico Union a safe place to be kids while they build skills for life.

The arts and education building was made possible through the efforts of donors Robert and Adele Stern, STAPLES Center Foundation, KCET’s Huell Howser, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Sterling Foundation, Spenser Communications, the Los Angeles Times and other generous friends.

“It is a testimony to what a community of caring people can do to help make life better for at-risk kids,” Irene Lewis, Red Shield director, commented. “After more than 50 years of serving the Pico Union neighborhood, the Red Shield knows exactly what kids need to stay focused on school, develop their unique gifts and talents and steer clear of dangerous gangs and drugs,” she said.

The Red Shield gymnasium and game room first opened in 1950. In order to accommodate the Red Shield’s continuous growth, the Harry Chandler Memorial Pool was added in 1954, and that same year the Junior League of Los Angeles provided funds for a girls’ wing. Since then, for more than 50 years, the Red Shield in Pico Union has provided an oasis for youth and adults.

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