The OP Caf/ in Santa Monica held a pancake breakfast fundraiser over Labor Day Weekend to support an after-school culinary program of the Santa Monica Police Activities League.

OP Caf/ donated 100 percent of the money raised from pancake specials sold on Saturday through Monday, Sept 3 through 5, to support Santa Monica PAL’s Fred Deni Culinary Arts After-School Program, which is open for fall enrollment to Santa Monica students aged 14 to 17. Participants receive weekly hands-on instruction from industry professionals in preparing and cooking fast, easy and nutritious meals using fresh, seasonal ingredients locally grown, whenever possible.

The culinary arts curriculum is offered throughout the school year and includes excursions to local restaurants to educate Santa Monica teens on the inner-workings of the business and potential career choice.

The culinary arts program was launched in September 2010 and is managed by Karen Humphrey, PAL program supervisor, who explained how the fundraiser will support the effort.

“We need to build out the test kitchen space at the center and revamp shelving to accommodate the restaurant cookware donated by Pal board member Judi Barker (Barker Hangar CEO),” Humphrey said.

“We have limited food storage containers and one set of restaurant quality cutlery. We’d love to add more before the semester begins.”

The PAL, staffed by the Community and Cultural Services Department, Santa Monica police officer volunteer coaches and instructors and community volunteers, provides free educational, cultural, recreational, and outreach programs for more than 1,600 youths ages 6 to 17 throughout the city.

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