Venice-Marina Lions Club installation; LAX summer ACE program

BY GEOFF MALEMAN

The Rotary Club of Westchester recently honored Westchester resident Kim Williamson with the 2010 Rotarian of the Year Award.

The award is presented annually to a member of the club whose achievement during the previous year was outstanding. This year’s recipient, Williamson, served on the club board as international service director and participated in a number of projects on both local and international levels.

Her accomplishments included an instrumental role in the preparation and planning for the club’s upcoming Home Makeover project, hosting the club’s youth exchange student from New Zealand—and participating on trips to both El Sauzal Orphanage in Mexico and to Ecuador for a service project.

She joined more than 100 Rotarians traveling to Ecuador to support over 10 Rotary projects, including distribution of wheelchairs; donation of a fishing boat; donation of livestock and farming equipment to help a small community become self-sufficient; and building of a water sanitation system. Other projects included distribution of books and backpacks, distribution of materials for teens learning about HIV and AIDS, and donation of playground equipment and hearing aids for children.

LIONS CLUB INSTALLATION

A highpoint of the recent Venice-Marina Lions Club installation was the recognition of Past District Governor Lion J.B. Graner for his 51 years of dedicated membership and service.

The Venice-Marina Club, originally Venice Lions, was founded in 1924 and recently “twinned” with the Kathmandu Lions Club of Nepal.

In 1925, Helen Keller called upon the Lions to become “Knights of the Blind.” Since then, through the combined efforts of Lions throughout the world and their “Sight First” program, the organization says that improvements have been to eradicate preventable blindness in Third World countries, saving the vision of millions.

The Lions Eyemobile provides free vision and hearing testing as well as follow-up exams for those in need, and the Teresita Pines Lions Wilderness Camp in Wrightwood provides a unique recreational experience for deaf and hearing-impaired children.

Among the many other programs supported by the Lions are the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Area Youth Programs, the USO, City of Hope, Step up on Second, the L.A. and Union Missions, Special Olympics and Canine Companions.

During the installation event, the Venice-Marina Lions installed their new officers for the 2010-2011 year: Jann Brauer,—president; Angie Mahboob, vice president; Sue Levitt, secretary; Leon Felus, treasurer; Sara Clark, membership; and Patrick O’Neill, Tail Twister; as well as directors Jane Bright, Farideh Monghate, J.B. Graner, Ziba Graner, Marv West and Azim Mahboob.

For more information about Venice-Marina Lions, please call (310) 823-7449.

ACE PROGRAM

Local youth are getting a chance to broaden their horizons and learn about various aviation careers as part of Los Angeles International Airport’s summer ACE (Aviation Career Education) Academy that began Monday, July 12 and ends Friday, July 16. This free weeklong program showcases aviation-related careers that are based at LAX and Van Nuys General Aviation Airport.

More than 20 students, ages 12-17, are participating in this year’s ACE program and represent youth from the communities surrounding LAX. Students were selected to participate in the program based on their interest and a teacher or counselor recommendation.

“We have an exciting line-up for the students ranging from highly technical careers in the Federal Aviation Administration to daring careers in the U.S. Coast Guard and LAX Airport Police,” said Maria Tesoro-Fermin, LAX community relations director. “Our hope is that the students walk away with a piqued interest to aviation and are motivated to take the next steps in preparing for their future.”

This year’s session includes a tour with Southwest Airlines, FedEX, as well as presentations from the U.S. Coast Guard, Los Angeles Fire Department and Airport Police.

“Often in the beginning of the week, students are under the misconception that aviation is only about flying, but by the end of the week they learn that all the principles that they’ve been learning in school can lead to careers in aviation, travel or international trade industry,” said Tesoro-Fermin.

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