It’s the home stretch leading up to Jet to Jetty, an annual 5k and 10k run to benefit Airport Marina Counseling Service, a nonprofit provider of mental health services for the local area.

The 21st annual Jet to Jetty run/walk will begin signups at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, August 27th, at the corner of La Tijera Boulevard and 88th Street in Westchester.

Both the running and walking events will start at 8 a.m. and a 1k kid’s fun run begins at 9:30 a.m. Participation is $25.

The 5k and 10k run/walk will have a new route this year — down Westchester Parkway and Pershing Drive. In previous years, participants ran along Vista Del Mar and the path along Dockweiler Beach.

Due to construction being done on lifeguard towers, the County of Los Angeles would not issue a permit for the route this year.

In addition to the run, Jet to Jetty will include activities for kids and live music by the St. Bernard High School Band.

Prizes will be awarded for winners of the running categories, tea-sponsored events and kids fun run. The grand raffle prize is a trip for two people to Maui, that includes airfare and a $500 credit for select resort restaurants.

Jet to Jetty has been co-chaired by Polly Garstka and Irene Yoshinaga since its inception 21 years ago.

Airport Marina Counseling Service was founded in 1961 after an awareness by community leaders and residents that there were no mental health services available in the Westchester area at the time.

Today, the clinic is a major provider of mental health services to adults, children and families living and working in Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Culver City, Venice, Westchester, Inglewood, El Segundo and other nearby communities.

The nonprofit mental health clinic also trains mental health professionals.

It’s main services are individual and group counseling, family and couples therapy, child and adolescent counseling, psychological testing, psychiatric care, consultation and referrals.

Airport Marina Counseling Service provides 20,000 hours of child, adult and family counseling services annually, with a paid staff of only six and the help of roughly 60 interns from nearby graduate schools. About 500 children, adults and families are treated weekly.

The clinic has established outreach programs to local elementary and high schools, providing child therapy and preventive intervention.

“It’s been a mainstay,” says Garstka about Airport Marina Counseling Service. “It adds to the quality of life. If not for the clinic, there wouldn’t be a place in the community for people with mental health needs to go to.”

The revenue gained from Jet to Jetty is essential to the daily operations of the clinic as client fees account for only about 40 percent of the funds necessary to keep the clinic operational, according to Airport Marina Counseling Service.

Airport Marina Counseling Service is located at 7891 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester.

Information, (310) 828-4123.

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