Santa Tour; LAPD Toy Drive; Westside Voices concert; Winter Wonderland

BY GEOFF MALEMAN

Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson joined the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce in saluting the area’s protectors at the chamber’s annual Protectors Luncheon on Dec. 2.

Johnson, who recently sold his stake in the Los Angeles Lakers and more than 100 Starbucks franchises, told the capacity crowd at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel that he hopes to bring an NFL football team back to Los Angeles.

“I’m going to do my best to make that happen,” he said. “But there’s a lot of work that still needs to happen.”

Johnson surprised members of the local police and fire departments by giving away a slew of Lakers merchandise, including jerseys and even his personal floor seats at the Staples Center.

Johnson said the protectors in the room deserve a huge “thank you” for putting their lives on the line each and every day to make the community safer.

The event, sponsored by Gateway to L.A., Playa Vista, H.B. Drollinger Co., Loyola Marymount University and Los Angeles World Airports, recognized 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.

SANTA TOUR

Santa, Mrs. Claus and some of the elves will be making a special visit to Westchester and Playa del Rey with the help of the Los Angeles Police Department on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Santa will make his way through the streets of residential neighborhoods riding on his LAPD sleigh, waving to children, handing out candy canes and posing for photographs. Santa will make a stop mid-block on each street, which will be identified by Santa stop signs.

This year’s Santa Tour will include the following stops:

4 p.m. – Playa Del Lagoon (Pacific at Convoy avenues);

5 p.m. – West 85th Place, west of McConnell Avenue;

5:30 p.m. – 83rd Street at Kenyon Avenue;

6 p.m. – 8332 Stewart Ave.;

6:30 p.m. – 81st Street at Emerson Avenue;

7 p.m. – Dunbarton Avenue at Altamor Drive;

7:30 p.m. – 6716 W. 87th St. (west of Emerson Avenue); and

8 p.m. – Croydon between 83rd and 85th streets (mid-block).

Times are approximate and can vary by 15 to 30 minutes. Visitors should listen for sirens, music and flashing police lights.

The annual Santa Tour is sponsored by the Playa Sunrise Rotary Club. For more information, (310) 306-8525.

LAPD TOY DRIVE

Collections for the annual LAPD Toy Drive will be accepted through Dec. 17 at the LAPD Pacific Area Station at 12312 Culver Blvd., Del Rey. Residents are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for a needy child in the local community. These toys will be distributed by the LAPD at its annual “Toys for Tots” event.

A GLOBAL CELEBRATION

The Westchester-based a-cappella group Westside Voices will celebrate the holidays with holiday music from around the world during a musical performance beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12 in the Fellowship Hall of Westchester United Methodist Church, 8065 Emerson Ave.

Songs will include everything from “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Esto Les Digo,” and “The Long and Winding Road” to “Satin Doll,” “Steal Away,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Westside Voices’ performance will include familiar carols and sing-a-longs.

Admission is free, though a voluntary donation of $10 per person is suggested. Reservations are required. To reserve a seat, please call Penny at (310) 670-3777.WINTER WONDERLAND

The Westchester Family YMCA will hold a Winter Wonderland event from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15 at the YMCA Annex, 8020 Alverstone Ave. in Westchester. The free event will include appearances by Santa and the elves, holiday arts and crafts, cookie decorating and fun for the whole family.

Winter Wonderland will also include a holiday dance recital.

For more information, (310) 670-4316.

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