04/15/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/15/2019 16:25
American team members spent the day constructing new playground equipment at Bennett-Kew Elementary School in Inglewood.
Since Vollon Dixon's family moved to Inglewood, California, in 1964, he has seen a lot of changes in the neighborhood. When his parents purchased their home, which the family still owns today, they were the first African Americans on their street.
Soon, Inglewood will undergo additional changes, as the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District is set to open there in 2020 and become home to the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers football teams.
'I'm excited for the new stadium,' Vollon said. 'My mother worked at The Forum for 30 years, from the day it opened. I started going to Rams games at three weeks old and went to plenty of Chargers games in college at San Diego State University.'
Vollon was thrilled to hear that American Airlines, the company he has spent the last 20 years with in Fleet Service, was partnering with the Rams to build a new playground at Bennett-Kew Elementary School in Inglewood. 'American giving back is something my community will really embrace,' Vollon said. 'This will help children and families make Inglewood a healthier, stronger place to live.'
Last week, a group of 50 team member volunteers from American and the Rams followed the direction of Carter Oosterhouse from Carter's Kids to construct a 1,500-plus-square-foot playground at Bennett-Kew designed for children ages 5 to 12. After the ribbon was cut, the community began enjoying the new facility, which features climbing walls, ladders, slides and more.
Flight Service Duty Manager Alexis Contreras, who has lived her whole life in Inglewood, couldn't wait to see the finished product.
'When I was in elementary school, they had very old equipment,' she said. 'School is where kids spend most of their day, so playground equipment is very important for play and development. Every kid wants to play, and a lot of kids in Inglewood don't get that opportunity outside of school. The community will notice the difference and that warms my heart.'
Kevin Demoff, President of the Los Angeles Rams, was joined by team mascot, Rampage, to cut the ribbon.
'Just as American is investing up the road, we are investing up the road,' Kevin said. 'But what's most important is putting down long-term roots in Inglewood to make this stadium one that benefits future generations of kids in the neighborhood. From the moment we came back to Los Angeles and partnered with American, they shared our exact vision for being difference makers in the community.'
Kevin and Rampage were joined by Suzanne Boda, Senior Vice President, Los Angeles, at the ceremony.
'We've invested a record setting $1.6 billion at LAX to reimagine the travel experience for Angelenos. But what we're celebrating here today is equally as important,' Suzanne said. 'The airport is a gateway to the greatness of this city, and communities like Inglewood are what make it so vibrant. Cutting the ribbon on this playground is only the beginning of what the world's largest airline and the world's greatest football team can accomplish when we put our resources towards what really matters - our future, the children of Los Angeles.'