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Former Lakers, Laker Girls to attend 976-TUNA benefit

December 3, 2008 | 11:32 am

Patrick Friedman (left) and Philip Friedman Jr., sons of 976-TUNA founder Philip Friedman, pose happily with Laker Girls, who help support the group's youth fishing program.

Kobe Bryant will not be on hand, and neither will current Lakers players, who are on an East Coast swing.

But former stars Flynn Robinson, Norm Nixon and Keith Erickson, as well as several Laker Girls, are among those who will attend a 976-TUNA benefit banquet Saturday to raise funds for the family of Christian Rodriguez, who died after a long struggle with brain cancer.

Rodriguez lived in Costa Rica with his wife and two daughters, but hoped to move his family to Southern California, where he met 976-TUNA founder Philip Friedman and worked with  the 976-TUNA youth fishing program.

"An afternoon with the Lakers and Laker Girls" will be held from 3 p.m.  to 7 p.m. at the Nativity Church annex at 1415 Engracia Ave. in Torrance. Proceeds will be sent to Stephanie Rodriguez and daughters Krisbelt and Kitselt, who are struggling to make ends meet in Coista Rica.

The $50 price of admission includes autographs, food and drinks (including beer and wine). Kids under 7 can attend free of charge. Kids 7-12 get in for $25. Details: (310) 809-7340.

--Pete Thomas

Photo: Patrick Friedman (left) and Philip Friedman Jr., sons of 976-TUNA founder Philip Friedman, pose happily with Laker Girls, who help support the group's youth fishing program. Credit: 976-TUNA

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