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December 12, 2003

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December, 2003 | Supporting Education | Southern California

Television Legend Robin Leach Presents "Hero in Education" Award to Volunteer Reserve Officer


SACRAMENTO -- On this week's "The Big Spin®" Show, television legend, Robin Leach presented Cleve Freeman with the California Lottery's "Hero in Education" award. For 15 years, Leach hosted television's Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.


This month's hero is Cleve Freeman, a volunteer Reserve Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. Nine years ago, in an inner-city park that was prone to gang activity and violence, Mr. Freeman teamed up with the Los Angeles Police Department and the American Youth Soccer Organization to launch the very first youth soccer program in South Central Los Angeles.

Mr. Freeman's goal was to give the neighborhood kids a safe place to play, keep them off the streets and away from gangs, so that they could live a responsible and productive life. Through his program, he is accomplishing just that, giving his time and energy to as many as 700 school kids each year.

He doesn't just teach them about soccer, Mr. Freeman also provides mentors for the children. He also requires that the participants of the soccer program receive passing grades in order to attend the program. To date, all of the students who have taken part in his program have received their high school diplomas, and many of them have gone on to attend college.

The California Lottery's distinguished "Heroes in Education" award has been presented monthly on "The Big Spin®" television show, since 1999. The Lottery partners with various celebrities to present these awards which recognize special individuals who devote their time and resources to their schools and communities. This week's show airs Saturday, December 13, 2003, in 12 television markets statewide.

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