The Westchester/Playa del Rey Historical Society is inviting the community to celebrate the area’s past, present, and future at its Annual Open House, Thursday, June 8th. This year’s open house will be at the Elks Lodge, 8025 Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey.

The free event is scheduled from 3 to 7:30 p.m., and light refreshments will be provided.

Rare historical photos and memorabilia will be on display beginning at 3 p.m. The evening program, beginning at 6 p.m., will feature a 28-minute video recently released by Ruth Lansford and Friends of Ballona Wetlands, titled Ballona Wetlands: The Story of an Urban Oasis.

This will be followed by a discussion of Playa del Rey/ Ballona history, led by historical society member and longtime area resident Robert Krauch, as well as “Five-Minute Stories” by other early residents on their recollections of life in the Westchester/Playa del Rey community, past and present.

Following this presentation, certificates signed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be presented to members of the community who have resided in the Westchester/Playa del Rey area for 50 or more years, honoring their contribution to the community’s continued growth and economic stability.

“We look forward to meeting and honoring our longtime citizens,” said Historical Society president Patty Crockett. “And, if his schedule permits, we hope to have Mayor Villaraigosa on hand to present the ’50-plus’ certificates.”

SENIOR HOUSING OPENS G — Filling a much-needed niche, Sunrise Senior Living of Playa Vista is scheduled to open its doors to new residents on Thursday, June 1st.

Sunrise of Playa Vista offers independent living, assisted living and Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

“We are a ‘social model’ home, not a medical or nursing home,” said director of community relations Gail Epstein. “Our residents are encouraged to be out of their suites and socialize with the other residents. All research shows that people in social environments live longer and happier than those in solitary environments.”

The project’s 80 living suites include comfortable sitting areas, living rooms and recreational areas.

First-level rooms look out to gardens, walkways and patios. They also offer access to a restaurant-style dining room and a 24-hour bistro.

The second floor offers a spacious activity center and a hair salon.

The third floor is dedicated to Sunrise’s Reminiscence Neighborhood, for those with memory impairment and Alzheimer’s-related dementia.

The fourth floor is devoted to residents with early-stage memory loss.

The fifth floor features a media room and suites with balconies and views, while premium suites with balconies are located on the sixth floor, with sweeping views.

For more information about Sunrise, call (310) 437-7178 or visit the Web site at www.sunriseseniorliving.com

EDUCATION FOUNDATION MEETING — The Westchester/ Playa del Rey Education Foundation will hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1st, at the Westchester Municipal Building, 7166 Manchester Ave., Westchester.

After hearing experts present options for local public education, including points on charter schools, “span schools” (grades six through 12) and small learning communities, the group is expected to begin formulating its choices for the future of the area’s public education system.

More than 100 people attended the May meeting and lots of activity has taken place as the result. Parents and community members are invited to voice their ideas on how to truly create a “Center of Excellence” at Westchester High School.

RECYCLING DRIVE AT WESTCHESTER HIGH — Westchester High School and Team One Stop Electronic Recycling are hosting an electronic recycling drive from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 3rd, at the high school, 7400 Manchester Ave., Westchester.

Get rid of unwanted electronic devices. Everything from computers, CPUs and radios to televisions, printers and cell phones will be accepted.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to benefit Westchester High School.

The event will include a variety of giveaways from Red Bull Energy Drink, Sparkletts Water, Albertsons, Ralphs, McDonald’s and more. There will also be a number of information booths hosted by a variety of organizations.

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