given the Keys to the City of Pasadena - a first for a Pasadena resident - at a Los Angeles Dodgers sponsored luncheon in her honor. She is also set to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Los Angeles Dodgers Mother's Day game which takes place on Sunday, May 10, 2009 at Dodgers Stadium. The luncheon will culminate the Jackie Robinson All Star Weekend, which is slated to include the groundbreaking of the $24 million Robinson Park Expansion, the largest sports complex in the San Gabriel Valley (May 9, 2009); a Community Fair at Robinson Park (May 9, 2009); a Celebrity Basketball Tournament at Pasadena City College and a Post Game Party (May 9, 2009) and a VIP Reception (May 10, 2009) in Ms. Robinson's honor.
The Jackie Robinson All-Star Weekend will take on a special significance for Pasadena, because the Master Plan Committee, who is charged with overseeing the Robinson Park Expansion, intends to establish a scholarship fund in conjunction with the Jackie Robinson Foundation for the benefit of Pasadena students.
"I am delighted to celebrate the groundbreaking of Robinson Park Master Plan, which will create a first class sports complex in the Northwest area of Pasadena", said Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard. "It will be a great honor to present Rachel Robinson with a key to the City. Congratulations and gratitude to the Northwest Community for creating the Jackie Robinson All Star Weekend", he added.
The weekend festivities, which will laud Jackie Robinson and his brother Matthew, is expected to be attended by national, local and state government officials, professional athletes, celebrity entertainments, sports executives and local community leaders and residents. The events have already attracted national and local media interest.
"Jackie Robinson is known all over the world as a sports icon and civil rights leader who had a deep and profound impact on generations of people inspired by his life accomplishments. I look forward to celebrating Jackie and his brother Mac as favorite sons through the first ever All Star Weekend and hope the goodwill shown by the city of Pasadena towards the Robinson Family will heal wounds experienced in the early years, when Pasadena and most of America was less appreciative of their success," Pasadena Councilmember Chris Holden commented.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation is a public, not-for-profit, national organization founded in 1973 as a vehicle to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson and his heroic achievements. It provides college and graduate school scholarships as well as leadership development opportunities for students of color with strong capabilities but limited financial resources.
The Robinson Park Master Plan Committee originated in January 2000 with the intention of revising the Robinson Park Master Plan. The Plan was developed through a community-driven design process, with many public meetings and workshops. The need for a new recreational center came about due to the size, layout and inadequate functionality of its current interior space.