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April 10, 2014

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April, 2014 | Media Advisories and Events | Southern California

Lottery Winners’ Donation Transforms L.A. County Neighborhood Baseball Field!


Couple to be Recognized During Opening Day Ceremony in Carson

SACRAMENTO – “This will be one of my proudest achievements.” April Fernando is talking about the simple winning move she made that is having a dramatic impact on young kids throughout her community.

After winning the Lottery in 2012, Fernando and her husband Maverick donated approximately $3,500 to help refurbish a baseball practice field in their neighborhood park in Carson, California. The Calas Park Volunteer Association used the much-needed funds to transform what was at the time a practice field into a full-fledged game field. This is a big deal, because prior to that, neighborhood children between five and eight years old had to play on a bigger field that didn’t match their smaller size and playing ability.

“When I look back at the timing of it all, things couldn’t have gone any better,” Fernando said. She may be right. You see, Fernando didn’t win a fortune. She won as part of a group of six co-workers who pooled their money to buy tickets for the Mega Millions® draw on April 6, 2012. The group matched five numbers, missing only the Mega number. They split a prize of $272,085 before taxes. But, small actions can make a HUGE difference.

The Fernandos’ donation quickly got the ball rolling on the renovation of the field. “I was pleased, it was totally unexpected,” said Kenny Harris, Calas Park Recreation Supervisor. Other volunteers, parents and coaches immediately teamed up to help. That involved ripping out old grass in some spots and installing new sod in others. Benches, fencing, and plates had to be spruced up.

With the bulk of the changes completed, up to 11 teams are already using the field during both the regular and summer seasons. When a game isn’t going on, it is also used as a practice field. The idea that memories are being created with each pitch is not lost on anyone.

“Everybody here in the community appreciates it,” Harris said. This weekend, the couple whose kind actions triggered the transformation is being given their just due. They will get to throw out the first pitch during opening day of this year’s Spring Baseball season. The Calas Park Volunteer Association will also present the Fernandos with a plaque – as a token of appreciation. While this is not a CA Lottery-hosted event, we thought you would be interested in this visual human interest story. (California Lottery Information Officers will be on hand to answer questions.)

What:  Lottery Winners Recognized for Donation that Transformed Neighborhood Baseball Field

When:  Saturday, April 12, 2014
           11:45 am

Where: Volunteers Field at Calas Park
           1000 E. 220 Street
           Carson, CA  90745

Score one for the kids, families, and baseball fans who enjoy what is now appropriately called “VOLUNTEERS FIELD” at Calas Park!

The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 95 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.