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Hundreds gather to celebrate groundbreaking for Lulu’s Place in partnership with TGR Foundation

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Groundbreaking of Lulu’s Place, a planned $150-million state-of-the-art athletic and educational complex in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Impact)

Groundbreaking of Lulu’s Place, a planned $150-million state-of-the-art athletic and educational complex in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Impact)

A historic $150M philanthropic investment in L.A. youth

    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    LOS ANGELES - One of the largest ever philanthropic investments for the children of Los Angeles took a giant step forward Thursday with the official groundbreaking of Lulu’s Place, a planned $150-million state-of-the-art athletic and educational complex with a mission to enrich the lives of local and underserved students and bringing value to the surrounding community.

    Situated directly north of Los Angeles International Airport, Lulu’s Place will activate 31 acres of long-vacant land with world-class sports and recreation facilities open to the public, as well as high-quality academic, athletic and wellness programs offered for free or at low-cost to area youth. The facilities will include tennis courts, soccer fields, playground areas, walking paths and a dog park.

    The ambitious project honors the legacy of the late Carol “Lulu” Kimmelman, a member of the 1983 national champion USC women’s tennis team and later an LAUSD teacher at Raymond Avenue Elementary School in South Los Angeles. Carol was a strong advocate for equity in youth sports and educational opportunities. She died in 2017.

    “My four children and I are deeply committed to honoring Lulu’s legacy and her passionate belief in the power of tennis and other sports to impart valuable life skills that are essential for personal growth and academic success,” said Lulu’s husband and lead donor Doug Kimmelman who is spearheading the project. “Thanks to the support of Mayor Bass, City, County and community leaders, as well as our many philanthropic partners, this ambitious vision that our family dreamed up years ago is now becoming a reality.”

    The project, funded entirely by philanthropic donations, represents an unprecedented collaboration among leading national nonprofits, including the United States Tennis Association and its charitable arm, the USTA Foundation, TGR Foundation and several other prominent institutions and foundations. LA World Airports leased the property where the athletic facilities are being built to Lulu’s Place for a period of 50 years.

    Thanks to a partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Lulu’s Place also is planning to incorporate a TGR Learning Lab on the adjacent St. Bernard High School campus.

    TGR Foundation is expanding access to students from under-resourced communities in Los Angeles through the TGR Learning Lab, which provides innovative STEAM educational enrichment, health and well-being programs, and career and college readiness opportunities. “It’s important for us to be in L.A. because it’s where we started,” said Tiger Woods, founder of TGR Foundation. “To create a facility that provides STEAM education, but also offers different athletic endeavors and opportunities for kids to learn and grow is a perfect fit.”

    Programs at Lulu’s Place are expected to serve thousands of under-resourced students each year. Located along Westchester Parkway near LAX, the center is within walking distance of more than a dozen K-12 schools, many of which receive Title 1 funding and serve low-income students, foster care youth, non-native English speakers and youth who have experienced trauma at home.

    The site includes inviting indoor and outdoor areas for community gathering and youth programs, as well as lush landscaping and green spaces. Key design features include a light-filled Welcome Center with spaces for program offices and areas for athletic training and mentoring programs. Additional buildings will provide areas dedicated to healthcare services for student-athletes and training. Construction is expected to take two years.

    Local students from Loyola Village Fine and Performing Arts Magnet opened the groundbreaking ceremony by singing the national anthem accompanied by student percussionists playing West African drums.

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