Date: May 16, 2017


SANTA ANA, Calif. – Approximately 2,000 at-risk youth will be treated like VIPs at tomorrow night’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Angels) game in reward for refusing to join a gang while improving school attendance and behavior. This special event marks the 9th year in which students rose to the challenge issued by Orange County Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP). The OC GRIP kids will attend a game, be greeted by the players, watch the team warm up during batting practice from behind the dugouts, and receive a dinner provided by OC GRIP’s non-profit charitable organization. The name of each school in attendance will be displayed on the Angel Vision JumboTron during the event. Media are asked to arrive at the entrance of Angel Stadium at 3:00 p.m. to obtain a press pass.

Thanks to the generosity of the Angels, more than 1,900 students in 4th through 8th grade accompanied by roughly 100 teacher chaperones will all attend the game for free. Due to the partnership with law enforcement organizations, personnel from various departments will also be in attendance to congratulate the students on their accomplishments, including Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

“This is so much more than a baseball game. It’s teaching kids goal setting and delayed gratification,” said Rackauckas. “The Angels and friends are turning these at-risk kids into achievers. A special thank you to the Angels Vice-President of Communications, Tim Mead, and the entire Angels organization for helping to create such a memorable day for these kids.”

“Angels Baseball is very proud to continuously partner with the OC GRIP program and its efforts in making a difference in the lives and direction of youngsters throughout Orange County,” said Mead. “This effort, led by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Assistant District Attorney Tracy Miller, is a focused commitment that has lasting results on individuals, families, and entire communities. It is a privilege to be associated with such a dedicated group looking to make such an important impact.”

Students will arrive at 3:00 p.m. and have early access to Angel Stadium, where they will sit behind the dugout and be greeted by Angels players and staff before the team stretch and warm up. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. when the Angels face the Chicago White Sox.

Representatives from Saddleback Church will entertain the students with games and prizes between batting practice and the game. “Once again, Saddleback Church is honored to participate with the District Attorney and with OC GRIP in such an effective and transformative event,” said Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren. “We appreciate and are grateful to be able to continue to support and provide hope to at risk children and their families throughout Orange County.”

Participating law enforcement agencies include police departments in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, Tustin, and Santa Ana, as well as Santa Ana School Police, Garden Grove School Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Probation Department, OCDA’s Bureau of Investigation, and the Santa Ana Unified School District Police Department.

“The OC GRIP / Angels baseball game demonstrates the power of positive influence and rewards for good decision making and behavior,” said Orange Police Department Chief Tom Kisela. “Our partnership with the Angels has produced tangible results in keeping at-risk youth out of gangs and in school.”