The staff and volunteers of K9 Connection have challenged the local community to a fundraising softball game from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, August 12th, at Memorial Park, 14th Street and Olympic Boulevard, Santa Monica.

Admission is $15 for spectators and $100 to play the game.

Donations are tax-deductible and will help fund the Santa Monica-based nonprofit organization’s programs for at-risk teens, disabled youths, and homeless shelter dogs.

T-shirts, hats and mini-massages will be given away, and cameo appearances by adoptable K9 Connection dogs will also be on hand.

“Here’s your chance to pit your athletic skills against the best softball players K9 Connection has to offer,” said Glen Zipper, project operations director.

In three-week classes with counselor-referred teens from participating local schools, K9 Connection utilizes rescued homeless animals to counsel, educate, and inspire at-risk teens to apply the lessons that they teach the dogs to their own lives and to work toward achievable goals.

“Our program enables the teens to find empowerment, self-esteem, and compassion while training the dogs to be adopted into families of their own,” said Pat Sinclair, K9 Connection co-director. “We also enlist adoption outreach volunteers to walk shelter dogs in public places and parks in the hope of finding someone willing to give them a new home.”

Information, (310) 264-5424 or www.k9connection.org

K9 Connection is one of OPCC’s (formerly Ocean Park Community Center’s) ten programs on eight sites.

OPCC provides emergency services, transitional and permanent housing, mental and medical health programs, battered women and children services, and preparation for independent living for more than 10,000 homeless and low-income men, women, at-risk teens and children each year.

Information, (310) 264-6646 or www.opcc.net

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