SANTA MONICA : A Plea to Give Schools a Sporting Chance

Actor Hunt Block has a heartfelt message. And he is sharing it with about 53,000 motorists each day.

"Anarchy or Athletics," says a billboard in Santa Monica. "Save School Sports" is the plea.

The stark message looms high above traffic at the northeast corner of Cloverfield Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. And it is one that Block hopes will get motorists thinking.

"It occurred to me that this is an issue where a billboard message could make a difference," said Block, who purchased the billboard a few weeks ago during a silent auction sponsored by the Special Olympics, an organization he has long supported.

As a child, Block said, sports were important to him. "It's the stuff that dreams are made of," the Pacific Palisades resident said. "I can't see depriving kids of a dream."

He hopes his message reaches fellow sports fans, particularly those with money.

"I wish I had the wherewithal to start a foundation to privatize support for Los Angeles schools," Block said. But setting up such an organization, he knows, requires the support of "someone with a lot of money."

Meanwhile, he has called Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and plans to contact Nike to see if they can pitch in.

"People are buying sports teams for millions," Block said. "For a lot less, you could sponsor a high school football team (or) buy uniforms for kids."

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