Jennifer Lopez Photograph:( Instagram )
Jennifer Lopez took the stage for the final hour of the gala and performed her hits amid five costume changes.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation celebrated its sixth Blue Diamond Gala on Thursday night with some of the major names in the world of Los Angeles sports stars and a headlining set from Jennifer Lopez. This has been the first time the annual event is held since the pandemic struck in 2019.
The event, dubbed `The Party for L.A.,` raised a record-breaking USD 3.6 million for LADF, which aims to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice for all Angelenos and, since 1995, has invested more than USD 40 million in programs and grants to non-profits throughout the city, as per The Hollywood Reporter.
The gala also congratulated LADF`s Everyday Champions, whose work in the community has been hampered by the COVID19 pandemic but who have been able to step up and make a difference.
Almost the entire Dodgers roster was in attendance at the event, including stars Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger, and manager Dave Roberts. Venus Williams, Dodgers owner Mark Walter and Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss had also attended the event.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman took the stage for a brief speech ahead of JLo`s performance, saying, "This year`s gala reflects our endless potential when we combine our efforts and insist on making a difference in the lives of those who need us most."
"It is no mistake that we stand on this magical field, this field of dreams, where our Boys in Blue won the 2020 championship. In that life-altering year, we showed the world that we are champions on and off the field. We helped some of the most vulnerable communities survive an avalanche of uncertainty and pain," she added.
"Tonight, we honour our comprehensive work but we also recognized the individuals who voluntarily jumped into the unknown, pushed past fear, to help Angelenos navigate these trying times. When so much of the world shut down, these heroes stepped up," Whiteman concluded.
Jennifer Lopez, fresh from her Netflix documentary Halftime, following her 2020 Super Bowl performance, took the stage for the final hour of the gala. She performed her hits amid five costume changes and elaborate choreography with a dozen backup dancers.
After JLo teased, "I know we`re in L.A. but I`ve got to keep it `New York` forever," with some of her N.Y.-centered tunes, Lopez told the crowd, "This is a big night for all of you all, and a big night for me too.
"While taking the stage, she said, "They told me that 8.8 million children`s lives are touched by this foundation every year. Give yourselves a round of applause, a pat on the back."
"We all know that children are going to take over this world and we need to take care of them, raise them right, teach them how to give, give them what they need, and to help one another. That`s really why you`re here tonight," Lopez added.
The gala concluded with an after-show party featuring DJ Severe from The Dodgers and food from California Pizza Kitchen, Dunkin`, Melissa`s Produce, Milk Bar and In-N-Out.