Following a several-month-long process, the Westchester/ LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted at its meeting Wednesday, October 18th, to change the name of the Chamber to the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce.

An Ad Hoc Committee originally developed several potential names to replace the long and cumbersome name “Westchester/ LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce.” The committee agreed that a name change was appropriate to more accurately reflect the chamber’s diverse membership and unique geographic footprint.

“Some communities can simply name the chamber after the city they serve, like El Segundo Chamber, Culver City Chamber, etc. But ours is a chamber that covers a variety of communities within the City of Los Angeles as well as the County of Los Angeles,” said chamber president Steve Donell.

“Our previous name failed to include some very important segments of our service area, and we believe the new name is more reflective of who we serve.”

Donell said the chamber, which conducted a straw poll of its membership before settling on the new name, will now begin to develop a new logo and tagline to round out the name change.

“We want to be sure all the areas we serve feel included and, while we know not everyone agrees with the new name that has been selected, I am certain that it will begin to sound comfortable soon,” he said.

“Despite the name change, our mission is still the same — to be the strongest voice possible for the business community, to connect with government to solve problems, to work with the community to improve the quality of life for everyone and to connect businesses with each other,” Donell said.

Since 1953, our chamber has taken the lead on every meaningful issue affecting the business and residential communities it represents. Keenly aware of balancing what is good for businesses with what is good for local residents, the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce will continue that mission.

ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM — LMU’s 2006 Bellarmine Forum on environmental responsibility, “Earth To You. Do Something. Now,” encourages everyone to make a difference in protecting the environment.

Free and open to the public, the weeklong event, held Sunday, October 29th, through Friday, November 3rd, will address the environmental challenges we face and, more importantly, will call upon the community to take action.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Jean-Michel Cousteau, Laurie David and Yvon Chouinard are a few of the leading environmental activists scheduled to speak at the forum.

Representatives from non-profit organizations such as Heal the Bay, TreePeople and Communities for a Better Environment will discuss their efforts and suggest ways in which we all can contribute to the preservation of our environment.

The forum will also feature site-specific dance performances in the Ballona Wetlands; screenings of three documentaries, An Inconvenient Truth, Endangered Species and Too Hot Not to Handle; student-organized performances and exhibits; and a non-profit organization expo.

LMU’s efforts to create an environmentally responsible and sustainable campus also will be highlighted.

“LMU is a local treasure in its commitment to recycling and using green power, recapturing water and using electric vehicles,” said Scott Cameron, professor of philosophy and forum co-organizer.

The Bellarmine Forum is an annual event organized and hosted by LMU’s Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. For more information and a complete schedule, visit www.lmu.edu/bellarmine forum

ELKS HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE — The Westchester Elks Lodge Second Annual Holiday Boutique is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, November 25th, at 8025 Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey.

Come and find unusual handcrafted gifts including clothes, jewelry, mosaic flowerpots, display boxes and even mosaic tables. There will be handmade candles, holiday baked goods, unique items from the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department; cooking demonstrations by Kristen Priebe, Pampered Chef, at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.; and raffle drawings all day long.

Bring your friends and enjoy this special day at the Elks Lodge. There is plenty of parking and no admission charge. All proceeds go to the Elks Lodge charities.

ROSENDAHL TO DELIVER STATE OF THE CITY — Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes the communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey and Playa Vista, will present the State of the City Address on November 15 to members and guests of the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce.

Rosendahl will discuss some of the issues facing our community at the breakfast event, which will be held at the Westin Los Angeles Hotel, 5400 W. Century Blvd., beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Seats are $35 per person or $350 per table for chamber members. The cost for non-members is $40 per person or $400 per table. Reduced rate self-parking is included.

Rosendahl took office on the Los Angeles City Council July 1st last year. He serves as chair of the council’s powerful Public Works Committee, which has oversight of most essential city services, such as tree trimming, street repair, street lighting, street beautification projects, and capital improvements.

He serves as vice chair of the Commerce Committee, which oversees Los Angeles World Airports, including Los Angeles International Airport.

Rosendahl is also a member of the council’s Transportation Committee, Budget & Finance Committee, and Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness, which he co-founded.

He is also one of the city’s appointees to the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and the Exposition Light Rail Construction Authority.

LAX KIWANIS FUN DAY — For over 30 years, the LAX Kiwanis Club has provided entertainment and youth activities for the surrounding communities and local schools. Saturday, October 21st, the Dolores Huerta School grounds were transformed into a carnival setting with balloons, miles of pennants, colorful booths and festive music.

More than 1,000 people of all ages attended the event. There were 12 carnival game booths, pony rides, a petting zoo, a prize booth and an extraordinary swap meet. A food court provided all the circus food “goodies” — cotton candy, popcorn, hamburgers, hot dogs and nachos.

The LAX Kiwanis Club has been fortunate to have the invaluable assistance of volunteers, including the Dolores Huerta teachers and parents, Westchester High School Key Club members and Bishop Montogomery High School students. Contributions from local businesses defrayed the expenses of the event.

The proceeds from the year’s Fun Day and raffle ticket sales will be contributed to the Teacher’s Instructional Wish List. Last year, the proceeds of the event were used to provide field trips for all the Dolores Huerta students.

“The reward for the LAX Kiwanis club members and volunteers comes from the joy expressed in the children’s faces through their sparkling eyes and brilliant smiles,” said Lance Lipscomb, who helped organize the event.

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