Los Angeles Chief of Police Bernard C. Parks Joins Youthfest Ceremony to

July 12, 1999

Monday, July 12, 1999
Los Angeles Chief of Police Bernard C. Parks joins Inner-City Games Founder Daniel L. Hernandez and 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Paul Gonzales in 5K Race to reduce violence and Youthfest Ceremony.

2nd Annual Youthfest Ceremony featuring a 5K Race & Munchkin Mile Against Violence, Volunteer Fair for nonprofit agencies, music, entertainment, stage show production, dance and drill competition, and kids’ land.

Saturday, July 17, 1999

Griffith Park Ranger Station
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

8:00 a.m. – 5K Run/Walk
9:00 a.m. – Awards presentations
9:00-11:00 a.m. – Musical production
10:00 a.m. – Munchkin Mile Run for kids 9 and under
10:00-2:00 p.m. – Dance and Drill Competition

Awards & Fees:
5K Run/Walk: 14 age divisions. Top 3 medal.

Cash prizes to overall top 3 male and female runners only. Fee on race day is $20. Munchkin mile race: $15 per child. All fees include T-shirts.

Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks and
Paul Gonzales, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist and Commissioner to Youth, Children and Their Families to emcee the event.

Youthfest 99: Focusing on Positive Activities and Lifestyles

The 2nd Annual Youthfest Ceremony is scheduled to take place at Griffith Park, Los Angeles. Over 1,000 kids nine years old and younger are expected to run in the Munchkin Mile, with another 500 runners competing in the 5K Run/Walk. Other Youthfest activities include Kids’ Land, lots of inflatables for kids to enjoy; stage production showcasing kids performing favorite songs; and a dance and drill competition featuring over 30 teams (close to 800 kids) from throughout the LA area competing in different age divisions for medals and trophies. Nonprofit and corporate booths will also be on hand to distribute information and product samples.

The following was written by Danny Hernandez, Founder of the Inner-City Games. It presents why Youthfest is important to us and most importantly to our kids:

"Like most Americans, I was deeply saddened and permanently affected by the horrendous tragedy in Littleton, Colorado. Unfortunately, as is often the case in our society, people were readily assigning blame without genuinely analyzing the circumstances surrounding this most unthinkable outburst of violence. The availability of guns, the portrayal and exploitation of violence in all mediums of communication, inadequate parental supervision, amongst others, were all implicated as potential agitators. There is objective testimony to support this claim. The Inner-City Games Los Angeles and its sister organization, Hollenbeck Youth Center, founding agency of the Games, have over the years served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for thousands of our most disadvantaged and at-risk youth. These organizations were founded in an atmosphere of riots and bloodshed in the streets, gang warfare, and youth crime spiraling out of control.

Through the hard work and dedication of an extensive network of staff, sponsors, law enforcement and government agencies, as well as our army of volunteers, we have collectively succeeded in providing positive and safe alternatives from the negative and destructive options confronted by kids growing up on the tough streets of East Los Angeles. Since our inception, we have been committed to the primary goal of violence prevention. By involving our inner-city youth in events like the Youthfest Ceremony, in addition to an array of sporting, educational and cultural activities, we have severely impinged upon the rate of youth related crimes."

Pepsi-Gold Sponsor, State Farm Insurance, Mobil, Days Inn, LAIDLAW, Universal, MEGA 100, The Walt Disney Company, KCAL 9, 20th Century Fox, Los Angeles Times, Milken Families Foundations, 92.3 The Beat, KTLA Channel 5

Danny Hernandez,
E lst Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Tel: (323)-881-6570
Fax: (23)-881-6573 2015
E-mail: LAICG@aol.com

For Release 9:00 am PDT
July 12, 1999