LMU’s 27th Annual Wine Classic; community donates funds to help Arif family

BY GEOFF MALEMAN

The Westchester/Playa del Rey Historical Society will celebrate the dedication of the community room at Westchester-Loyola Village Branch Library in honor of longtime Westchester resident and former library commissioner Mary Lou Crockett, who passed away in October 2004.

Crockett, who was also the founder of the historical society, will be honored at the event, which will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 31st, at the library, 7114 Manchester Ave. in Westchester.

The new Mary Lou Crockett Meeting Room will be used for community events, meetings and other gatherings.

In addition to the dedication, the Historical Society will conduct its annual meeting and distribute certificates to Westchester and Playa del Rey residents who have been living in the community for 50 or more years, along with Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

Refreshments will be provided by the Westchester/Playa del Rey Historical Society in coordination with the Crockett family, and the naming ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Crockett, one of the community’s most active and dedicated citizens, was a past honorary mayor of the community, former City of Los Angeles Library commissioner and a former member of the Board of Airport Commissioners.

She was widely recognized as a font of historic information about the Westchester community and one of the community’s most involved citizens.

Crockett was raised in Westchester, graduating from Westchester High School and UCLA.

She had been a local Realtor since 1963, starting with the family firm of Otto Cripps Realty. This became Cripps Crockett Realtors in 1967. In 1992, Cripps Crockett Realtors transformed into Cripps Crockett Connection, a three-generation family firm, under the business umbrella of RE/MAX.

In 1996, Crockett entered the RE/MAX Hall of Fame. From 1992 to 2003, Crockett was the top producer in the Westchester/ Playa del Rey office, and in the top five sales producers company-wide for RE/MAX Beach Cities. She was also awarded with the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award.

Crockett served on numerous Boards of Realtors and various associations and committees as follows. Here is a partial list:

— co-founder of Community Plans, Inc., president 1968 to 1974;

— co-founder of Friends of the Library — Westchester/Loyola Village;

— president of the Board of Airport Commissioners, City of Los Angeles from 1980 to 1981, and member of the board, 1979 to 1984;

— president of California Library Trustees and Commissioners from 1989 to 1990;

— honorary mayor of Westchester, 1989-1990;

— member of the City of Los Angeles Board of Library Commission from 1984 to 1993;

— member of Loyola Marymount University Continuing Education Advisory Board;

— founder and chairperson from 1989 of the Westchester/ Playa del Rey Historical Society;

— president of Westchester Vitalization Corporation; and

— treasurer of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/ Playa del Rey Steering Committee, on which she worked tirelessly for many months bringing the current Neighborhood Council to fruition.

As a member of the city’s Board of Airport Commissioners, Crockett was instrumental in establishing noise standards for California airports and played an important role in securing soundproofing for the homes neighboring Los Angeles International Airport.

In 2003, Crockett was honored with the Fritz B. Burns Outstanding Community Service Award, which commemorates Burns’s own lifelong dedication to community-building and honors individuals who serve as outstanding role models for community leadership. The award in- cluded a check, which Crockett promptly distributed to the Friends of the Library — Westchester/Loyola Village; the Westchester Fourth of July Parade, and the Westchester/Playa del Rey Historical Society.

“These organizations are helping to stimulate the cultural life of our Westchester community and build up its coherence and continuity,” said Crockett at the time. “They help create the kind of spirit that Fritz Burns was talking about when he spoke of building a ‘total community’.”

She was a benevolent financial contributor to many, many nonprofit organizations and she always donated funds without looking for publicity or fanfare. Over the years, she has made sizable donations to the Westchester YMCA, Westchester Fire Station, Airport Marina Counseling Service, Los Angeles Police Foundation, Historical Society of Centinela Valley, Westchester Sym- phony Society, League of Women Voters Education Fund, Westchester Playa del Rey Historical Society and Friends of Ballona Wetlands and Flight Path Learning Center Scholarship Fund.

WINE CLASSIC — Loyola Marymount University will hold its 27th Annual Wine Classic from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, February 10th. Tickets are $90 per person, and include the opportunity to taste an incredible array of California’s finest wines.

This tasting event is one of the few where participants will have the opportunity to meet the owner or vintner of every participating winery. LMU has hand- selected 46 of the best boutique wineries in California. A full list of the wineries participating in the event is available at www.lmu .edu/Page30870.aspx/.

Admission includes the opportunity to sample all the wines as well as a wide assortment of food to refresh the palate.

For information or to purchase tickets, (310) 338-5278. Ticket sales are also available on-line until February 5th.

Proceeds from the event will go to benefit LMU scholarships.

COMMUNITY AIDS ARIF FAMILY — Thanks to the efforts of the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce and stories in local newspapers, community members have donated more than $14,000 to help the family whose five-year-old son was killed in a street racing incident October 9th in Reseda.

Those funds, up to $25,000, will continue to be matched by the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation through February 14th.

The boy’s mother lost her leg and his infant sister was in critical condition as a result of the incident.

The family’s father, Amir Arif and his brother Hasan Abid, own and operate a Quiznos sandwich franchise in Westchester, where they are tenants of the H.B. Drollinger Co.

On October 9th, Syeda Arif, and her two children had just stopped by a friend’s house in Reseda to visit. While Syeda was holding her daughter and retrieving a package from the trunk of their car, all three were struck by a car that was racing down the street after an apparent road rage incident. The driver of one car, traveling at more than 90 mph, lost control during a street race and plowed into a parked car which then struck Arif and her son, police alleged.

Her daughter flew out of her arms. The son was killed and Syeda lost part of her leg. At last report, her daughter was in critical condition, but improving.

“This is a horrible tragedy, and we want to do all we can to help the family, which is not only struggling with the loss of five-year-old Ayman but is also dealing with extraordinary medical bills and other expenses,” said H.B. Drollinger Co. president Karen Dial. “We are pleased that so many people in Westchester and elsewhere have contributed to the family, but we are still hoping to raise more money.”

Those interested in contributing to the Arif Family Fund by February 14th to assist the family should make checks payable to the “H.B. Drollinger Co. Arif Family Fund” and send them to 8929 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #130 Westchester 90045.

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