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Mota Bats 1.000 for Needy Kids

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Today is “Manny Mota Day in Los Angeles,” the City Council’s way of marking Mota’s 30 years with the Dodgers and heralding the gala anniversary celebration scheduled Aug. 28.

“I am so excited and proud. I believe this is the greatest honor I will ever receive in my baseball career,” Mota said. “You don’t know how much I appreciate and thank the city of Los Angeles from the bottom of my heart, as does my family.”

Mota, who holds the major league record for pinch-hitting with 150 hits, played with the Dodgers from 1969 to 1982. He now coaches for the team.

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The dinner and a fund-raising auction, to be held at California Plaza, will benefit the Manny Mota International Foundation and its work in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic, the Mota family’s homeland.

Mota and his wife, Margarita, established the foundation more than 30 years ago to provide school supplies, groceries and toys to needy L.A. families as well as college scholarships and year-round free baseball clinics for kids.

“For many young people, the cost of attending a professional sports academy or camp is not feasible,” Mota said. “Our goal is not only to teach kids about baseball, but also about what life has to offer and to never give up. We also like to teach kids the importance of good sportsmanship and respect for others.

“We tell the kids to stay in school, love the parents and teachers and coaches and treat everybody with respect,” he said.

The foundation also runs the Campo de Suenos complex, established in 1995 outside of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. It has a school, medical dispensary, community center, baseball diamonds and basketball courts and offers hot meals to area children.

Tickets for the Aug. 28 evening are $175 and can be reserved by calling (818) 957-0384 .

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It’s “Fill the Boot” time again.

Firefighters will be at the intersection of Grand and Alosta avenues in Glendora on Aug. 27 and 28, asking passersby to put money in a boot. The 10th annual event supports the Muscular Dystrophy Assn.’s summer camps.

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“Give It Up for . . . “ will report regularly on selected SoCal benefits, honors and activities--both planned and completed. Please send detailed information to “Give It . . . ,” Southern California Living, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or fax to (213) 237-4888. Photographs also may be sent but cannot be returned.

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