Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual event to honor local protectors.

The Protectors Luncheon, sponsored by Gateway to L.A. and Playa Vista, will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 2 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel, 5711 W. Century Blvd. in Westchester.

The event is an opportunity for the community to publicly thank those men and women in uniform who protect the local neighborhoods each and every day. Representatives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles County Lifeguards, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles Airport Police, California Highway Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard will be honored.

For 12 years, Johnson dominated the court as one of the NBA’s best players. Since his retirement he has built a business empire, which includes real estate holdings, movie theaters and other ventures.

Johnson grew up in Michigan in a large family with nine brothers and sisters. Both of his parents worked – his father for the General Motors plant in town and his mother as a school custodian. He earned his famous nickname, “Magic,” in high school after a sportswriter witnessed him tally 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 16 assists in a single basketball game.

Johnson continued to play in college for Michigan State University, where he won a national championship, beating the Indiana State Sycamores and their star forward, Larry Bird.

Having left college after two years, Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979 and became a basketball legend during his 12 years with the team. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. He retired again for four years, but returned in 1996 to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.

Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, 12 All-Star games, and 10 All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in assists per game, with an average of 11.2. Johnson was also a member of the “Dream Team,” the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992.

Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Tickets for the Protectors Luncheon are $50 per seat, and table sponsorships are available for $500 per table. Each table includes preferred seating for eight people and the opportunity to be joined by two protectors.

Complimentary self-parking will be provided. For more information or to purchase seats, please call (310) 645-5151.

FREE MUSICAL WORKSHOPS

Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, will present a series of free monthly workshops led by artist-in residence Joselyn Wilkinson.

The workshops will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. at Holy Nativity, 6700 W. 83rd St. in Westchester, on the first and third Saturdays of every month, beginning Nov. 6 with a DrumCircle workshop. The RhythmSong workshop will begin on the third Saturday, Nov. 20. Both workshops are a part of the “Arts for a Green Future” program, designed to combine creative expression with environmental sustainability.

The participatory DrumCircle and RhythmSong workshops will culminate in the creation and presentation of an original work to be performed for the community on the “Summer Solstice” of June 21, 2011.

Cultures throughout the world express themselves through rhythm. Wilkinson, with more than 15 years of experience, will lead the DrumCircle using basic drumming techniques, African rhythms, and improvisational creativity.

RhythmSong allows creativity through imagery, free-form writing, rhythm work and sharing. Wilkinson will guide the group in the creation of original music through use of rhythms, words and the power of voice.

Using personal and environmental themes, visitors are encouraged to join Wilkinson in creating the original work that will premiere on the Summer Solstice.

For more information on this free six-month workshop and to reserve a space for the series, contact Wilkinson at (310) 962-6534 or info@joselynwilkinson.com/.

BITE, SLURP AND STRIKE

The Rotary Club of Westchester will hold its Fourth Annual Halloween Bowl from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 at El Dorado Lanes, 8731 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester.

Participants are invited to bowl in costume and join in the fun for a good cause. Proceeds from the event will benefit the club’s Home Makeover project, in which club members and volunteers make repairs and help improve a local home for a family.

Tickets include food, beverages, bowling shoe rental and bowling for $40 per person, or $25 for children 12 and under.

Please RSVP to (310) 670-1109 as soon as possible to reserve a lane.

FRIGHT NIGHT

Local students from grades 2 through 6 who attend a Loyola Marymount University Family of Schools school and their parents are invited to attend “2010 Fright Night” from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28 on the LMU campus.

“Fright Night” is an event sponsored by LMU’s Division of Student Affairs and Campus Ministry in which LMU students and staff sponsor a safe and fun-filled Halloween Carnival.

The LMU Family of Schools includes Cowan Avenue, Kentwood, Loyola Village, Paseo del Rey and Westport Heights elementary schools, as well as Orville Wright Middle School and Westchester High School.

Registration is required. To register, http://soe.lmu.edu/centers/fos/resources/specialevents/Fright_Night.htm/.

CHAMBER HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE

The LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its Third Annual Holiday Boutique from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18 at the Paradise Building, 9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in Westchester.

The event will include scores of local merchants and craftspeople showing off their wares.

“This is the perfect time to patronize our local businesses and pick up some great bargains and some high-quality gifts for the holidays,” chamber President and CEO Christina Davis said.

In addition, the chamber will be hosting a Red Cross blood drive during the boutique.

CANNED FOOD DRIVE

The merchants in the Westchester Triangle will soon begin a canned food drive to benefit needy families.

From Nov. 1 through 19, residents are asked to drop off canned foods in the boxes provided by merchants along 87th Street. Some merchants will also be offering special deals to those who make a donation.

The collected food will be donated to the L.A. Food Bank, a major distributor of food to hundreds of local agencies, including the LAX Food Pantry.

Community members are encouraged to take the time to donate to this worthy cause and assist needy families in time for the holidays.

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