Dodgers star Mookie Betts (right) and wife Brianna pose at Blue Diamond Gala (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) raised $54 million during its annual Blue Diamond Gala. LADF desires to use their funds to cultivate a lasting legacy in Los Angeles.

“I’m tremendously proud that we have raised $100 million over the last 11 years,” LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman said. “The fact that we have been able to pull together so many resources to be able to tackle L.A.’s most pressing problems, that is homelessness, education, health care, and social justice, I think that’s really special.”

While the eighth annual Gala is a fundraiser to thwart causes like homelessness and enrich education, it is a star-studded night of fun for the ball club. Players get a chance to build bonds with one another outside of baseball.

LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“Our fans can see us dressed up, not in our uniforms and see us as regular people,” said Dodgers general manager Dave Roberts. “To be able to interface with the fans in the community, it’s everything.”

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The Gala featured a dinner party, eight-time GRAMMY Award-winning artist Anderson .Paak DJ’ed the party as DJ Pee .Wee.

“The Dodger Foundation does great work, they do great work with the youth,” Cookie Johnson, wife of Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, said.

Cookie Johnson (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

After the dinner party, guests were entertained by the Compton Kidz Club, Little Tokyo Traditional Drum Group, KIPP Sol Mariachi Folklorico, and the Banning High Marching Band as they walked into Dodgers Stadium. The headliner of the evening was four-time GRAMMY winner Ed Sheeran. Dodgers team reporter Kirsten Watson hosted the event.

“Having been part of all the work that they’ve done in the community … I’ve been able to go to the events, witnessing it firsthand,” Watson said. “For a night like this, when we get to celebrate it, we also get to continue to raise money for those efforts, it’s really special.”

Players like Mookie Betts have partnered with LADF through the years. In 2022, Acts Inspired by Mookie partnered with LADF and the Brotherhood Crusade to host a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway.

(L to R) Tricia and Dave Roberts, Jason and Vedrana Heyward (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“Charity work is something me and my family, we love doing,” Betts said. “It’s a night away from work so we get to turn our brains off and enjoy each other’s company.”

Last season, outfielder Jason Heyward supported LADF by visiting Dodgers Dream Team players at Jesse Owens Park. He founded the Jason Heyward Baseball Academy.

“It’s nice to partner with the Dodgers Foundation,” Heyward said. “I can’t say enough about how much they support us throughout the year as individuals that make us look good on the field as players.”

(L to R) JuJu Watkins, Ed Sheeran, Kirsten Watson and Jim Harbaugh (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

Prior to the start of the concert, the Dodgers ownership group pledged to donate $50 million to LADF and promised to double their donation if the Dodgers reach the World Series this season.

“Any chance we can get to support a local team we’re all for it,” USC freshman guard JuJu Watkins said. “We love Dodgers, we love our Lakers. The Trojans will always show up to something like this.”

Along with USC, representatives from the L.A. Sparks, Lakers, and Chargers were in attendance at the Blue Diamond Gala.