LOS ANGELES — As part of the Los Angeles Lakers organization, Bonnie-Jill Laflin is the first and only female scout in the NBA. The former San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys cheerleader was previously named “Cheerleader of the Year” by the NBA and formerly held the Miss Dallas Fort-Worth USA title.
Laflin has done a great deal of modeling and acting for campaigns with companies such as Nike, Wrangler, Fritos, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Carl’s Jr., Bacardi, Coors, Miller Genuine Draft and Budweiser.
The accomplished powerhouse has held positions as a sports broadcaster for the Los Angeles Lakers, and served as the Assistant General Manager for the Lakers minor-league team, The D-Fenders. She is the proud owner of one Super Bowl and five NBA rings. Laflin has also hosted many programs for networks such as ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, Spike, Fox, and KCAL.
As an entrepreneur, Laflin is currently working on her own reality show detailing her career as a woman in a predominately male field, and is the CEO of the fashion line Double Play Sportswear.
With her impressive resume, Laflin uses her platform in a positive manner to support many causes that she is passionate about saying, “I can’t stand when people or celebrities have a platform or the time and money, but focus on petty things instead of giving back.”
Serving our country is something that runs deep in Bonnie-Jill’s family. Both of Laflin’s grandfathers served in WWII, her uncle served during Vietnam, and her father is a police officer. Public service is something she has always been around, so it is easy to understand why she is so passionate about supporting our troops. Next month, Laflin will take her eighteenth tour of Afghanistan and Iraq. When asked about the most rewarding part of these tours, Laflin spoke of the joy of being able to bring a piece of America back to the troops and remind them that people are thinking of them back home. Laflin applauded our troops for their dedication and spoke very highly of the effort they put forth in protecting women and children especially.
Laflin is also featured on the cover of the 2011 “Battlefield Babes” calendar. Proceeds from the calendar sales will benefit the Wounded Warriors Project. Visiting local area veteran’s hospitals and military bases is another way Laflin shows her continued support to our troops
Another cause extremely dear to Laflin is animal advocacy. As a child, Laflin recalls her mother rescuing animals and either bringing them home or finding them another loving home. Bonnie-Jill also gave the money from her piggy bank to shelters at a young age. Continuing her support of animal rights, Laflin has five “fur kids” that she has rescued and speaks out against the cruelty and abuse of animals.
Laflin is a vegetarian and has been featured in three international PETA campaigns and a PSA for the Humane Society. Laflin strongly encourages everyone to treat animals with respect and help to end the cruelty and inhumane treatment of animals.
Laflin recently joined forces with Knock Out Dog Fighting, a youth-intervention program that partners with schools, community centers, local law enforcement and other organizations to address cruelty in dog fighting. In this partnership, Laflin emphasizes that animal cruelty is not a sign of strength or power and is never cool.
In order to provide more assistance to all of the causes Laflin is involved with, she has created her own personal 501(c)(3) called Hounds and Heroes. According to her website, Hounds and Heroes “is a national nonprofit dedicated to lift the spirits and morale of our active, wounded, and veteran military troops worldwide, and to increase community awareness, education and involvement about the cruelty to animals and necessary care for animals through rescue, foster, and adoption.” Unlike some non-profits, 100% of the proceeds go to charity. The charities supported through Hounds and Heroes are The Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Baghdad Pups, Operation Gratitude, The Humane Society and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. To learn more about each of these charities, please visit the website.
Above all, Bonnie-Jill encourages everyone to get involved somehow. Though you may not have the money to support a cause, you can make a difference by donating your time and talents, writing letters to people with power, signing petitions, or sending a letter or care package to the troops. Even if the troops and animal welfare are not your passion, she encourages you to find what is and get involved.
We tip our hat to Ms. Bonnie-Jill Laflin for being a positive influence and voice and using her platform to make a positive impact. She is truly deserving of a Gold Star.
- Follow Bonnie-Jill on Twitter @BJLaflin
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