Over 200 young Angelenos gather for CHLA's inaugural Play LA event. Blake Atwell/ LA Times HS Insider
Trabuco Hills High School

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles unites communities at first-ever Play LA event

Inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’s (CHLA) inaugural Play LA event brought top professional athletes and over 200 kids together from across the southland.

Professional athletes and entertainers gathered throughout the day to raise money for CHLA, and teach the youth valuable lessons about what it means to live a healthy, active lifestyle. Organizations such as the Kings, Galaxy, and SCPGA also joined in on the day’s events.

In addition to the athletic talent on hand, Play LA entertainment included actress Landry Bender, DJ Roueche, Clippers’ DJ Dense, School of Rock, musician Chord Overstreet, L.A. Rams and USC Cheerleaders, and ESPN L.A.’s John Ireland.

Stars of boxing, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, volleyball, yoga and even NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, led sports clinics and demonstrations.

Kids were able to have face-to-face interactions with talent from across the sports universe such as Laila Ali, Anderson Silva, Ryan Hollins, Marcellus Wiley, Keyshawn Johnson, Eric Davis and Sinjin Smith.

“I love seeing the youth here today, because they’re all here to learn and have fun,” undefeated boxing champion Laila Ali said. “The kids are learning the value of physical fitness.”

NFL greats Marcellus Wiley, Keyshawn Johnson and Eric Davis created a fun-filled environment at the football clinic, and were joined by retired NFL veterans Lawrence Jackson, Kirk Morrison and Kerry Rhodes.

“When you come to events like this, you just tap into your source of energy, where it all started,” Wiley, an NFL All Pro and current ESPN analyst, said.

Through sponsorships and ticket sales, CHLA raised money to continue catering to the needs of all children and their families, regardless of economic situation.

“One of the unique things about the hospital is that they never turn anyone away, and an event like this allows them to pay for those costs,” USC football and NFL legend Keyshawn Johnson added.

Blake Atwell/ LA Times HS Insider

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles supplies healthcare to patients of all ages over 528,000 times per year, working with families from across the community. “Every time a child is at Children’s Hospital, their family knows they’re in special hands,” Wiley said.