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Rose Bowl kicks off fundraising campaign ahead of 100th birthday

Rose Bowl kicks off fundraising campaign ahead of 100th birthday
An aerial view of the Rose Bowl game between USC and Illinois on Jan. 1, 2008. (Tim Long / Associated Press)

Saturday marks the 95th anniversary of the first football game played at the Rose Bowl, and stadium officials are using that to kick off a five-year fundraising campaign leading up to the 100th birthday of the historic venue.

The campaign is titled “Inspire” and the goal is to raise $40 million privately, although the first $10 million came in the form of a major gift last month. The website dedicated to the effort is Inspire2022.org.

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“It’s an exciting time for us, to protect and enhance the future of the Bowl,” said Dedan Brozino, executive director of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation. “We truly believe that the inspirational moments of the 100 million people who have visited us over the last 95 years will help us make the next 95 years a reality.”

Part of the money raised will be dedicated to a full-scale Rose Bowl museum. This summer, the Rose Bowl Operating Co. opened a tiny museum in what was the stadium’s original locker room but was used for decades as a nondescript storage room. The restored space, filled with all sorts of mementos and artifacts, is now used for special events and as the first stop on the official stadium tour program.

The Rose Bowl’s first football game took place Oct. 28, 1922, when Cal beat USC, 12-0.

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