National Volunteer Week starts Sunday, April 17th, and continues through Saturday, April 23rd.

There are so many quiet, unassuming individuals in our community who help those in need without asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Among America’s most valuable assets, these dedicated volunteers continue to give their time and energy as service group leaders, Little League coaches, mentors for at-risk youths, doctors and nurses who volunteer their skills to provide free health care at the Venice Family Clinic, and those who serve in so many other ways that are too numerous to name.

In 1974, President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing National Volunteer Week as an annual celebration of volunteering.

Every U.S. President since that time has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week.

This year’s observance is sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network.

The 2005 theme is “Inspire by Example,” chosen because the theme reflects the power volunteers have to inspire the people they help and to demonstrate how rewarding it can be to attract others to join them.

If you are not already involved in some volunteer activity, now is the time to look around your community and become involved.

VENICE FAMILY CLINIC —The Venice Family Clinic is always looking for volunteers to assist with providing free health care to those in need, as well as volunteers for Art Walk 2005, which will be held Sunday, May 22nd.

If interested, call Anne Marie Williams, (310) 664-7909 or e-mail amwillia@ucla.edu

VENICE GARDEN TOUR —Another very worthwhile organization that depends on volunteers is the Neighborhood Youth Association (NYA).

The association will hold its 11th annual Venice Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 7th.

The Venice Garden Tour starts at the NYA Las Doradas Children’s Center, 804 Broadway Ave., Venice.

According to Vendella Barnett, NYA executive director, “The Las Doradas Children’s Center and the after-school program provide a safe, nurturing environment for bright, fertile young minds so eager to learn and a committed staff so willing to teach and to help the children of their community become their ‘Personal Best’.”

Tickets and information, (310) 569-7991 or e-mail Venicegarden tour@comcast.net

DIDI HIRSCH EVENT — The Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center will hold its annual Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards 2005 event at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 13th, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The theme this year is “Real Men Ask for Help.” Honorees are Terry Bradshaw, John Head, and Larry King.

Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center has provided quality mental health and substance abuse treatment services to the people of Los Angeles since 1942 and offers a full range of counseling, mental health and substance abuse programs.

The center serves more than 44,000 people each year at nine sites and many schools throughout Los Angeles County.

Tickets, EventsbyOne, (310) 659-5517 or e-mail Erasingthe Stigma@EventsbyOne.com

VENICE MARINA ROTARY — The Venice Marina Rotary Club has some interesting speakers scheduled over the next month.

The public is invited to join Rotary members at Shanghai Red’s Restaurant, 13813 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey for lunch at 12:15 p.m. Tickets are $15. Information, (310) 664-7920.

On Thursday, April 21st, Govindini Murty will speak about the very successful Liberty Film Festival that she and her husband, Jason Apuzzo, started last year. They are well into the planning process for this year’s festival and will discuss the highlights of last year’s event, which was attended by many notable talents, including Larry Elder, Michael Medved, and David Zucker.

On Thursday, April 28th, Burt Prelutsky, a former longtime member of the Writers Guild board of directors, will talk about ageism in Hollywood.

Prelutsky is a scriptwriter — he did the M*A*S*H TV show, among many others — and essayist and is one of the plaintiffs in a big lawsuit on ageism.

On Thursday, May 19th, screenwriter Craig Titley, whose credits include the script for Steve Martin’s Cheaper by the Dozen, will speak about conservatives in Hollywood. You might be surprised to learn who some of them are.

VENICE CHAMBER MIXER — The Venice Chamber of Commerce will be hosted this month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 27th, at On the Waterfront, 205 Ocean Front Walk, Venice.

With the time change, we will be able to watch the sun set over the ocean, while enjoying the camaraderie with our business and community leaders.

Information, the Venice Chamber, (310) 822-5425 or at www/venicechamber.net

The chamber is in the process of preparing its 2005/2006 Business Directory.

LAPD BOOSTERS — The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Pacific Area Boosters Association will hold its 18th Annual Police Community Awards Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19th, at the Marina del Rey Marriott hotel in Marina del Rey.

The Boosters raise money to support the LAPD DAPS (Deputy Auxiliary Police Service) program for boys and girls, nine to 13 years old, and the LAPD Explorers program for older participants, 14 to 21 years old.

The goal of these programs is to develop leadership and discipline in these young people and to create a positive and knowledgeable rapport with the LAPD.

Information and tickets, Gwen Vuchsas, (310) 306-8525.

For the past five years, I have had the honor to be the civilian co-chair of the LAPD Pacific Area Community Police Advisory Board and have seen a number of good men and women come and go from Pacific.

One thing always stands out in my mind. These men and women work very hard to protect our community and to be a friend to our young people and families.

Pacific Area officers are conducting walks in local neighborhoods to provide crime prevention information to residents and to notify residents and businesses of crime issues and appropriate preventative measures.

The first walk of Pacific Area senior lead officers, community relations personnel, Explorers, and community members took place Friday, April 8th, in the Inglewood Boulevard/Braddock Avenue neighborhood.

A second walk will start at 8 p.m. Friday, April 15th, in the Venice Pier/Washington Boulevard neighborhood.

A third walk is scheduled beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, April 21st, in the 6900 block of Manchester Avenue.

A fourth walk will take place on Friday, April 29th, beginning at 8 p.m. in an area to be determined.

Those interested in participating in these walks through your community can contact LAPD Sgt. Tere Akune, (310) 202-4524.

NATIONAL CRIME

VICTIMS’ RIGHTS WEEK —This week, through Saturday, April 16th, has been designated as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

This annual commemoration promotes victims’ rights and services in all sectors of our society.

A national observance and candlelight ceremony to reaffirm individual and collective promises to victims of crime was held Thursday, April 7th, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

The Los Angeles Police Department has scheduled a variety of activities to bring attention to this commemoration week.

Pacific Area officers will be giving out lollipops to everyone they come in contact with Thursday, April 14th, and informing them of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

So, if you see a police car driving in your neighborhood, be sure to wave and say “hi” to the officers on Thursday, the 14th.

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