Howard Pollack is Rotarian of the Year; LMU rower named to national team

BY GEOFF MALEMAN

The community effort to rename a room in the Westchester-Loyola Village Branch Library in honor of the late Mary Lou Crockett has moved a step closer with the scheduling of the issue at a regular meeting of the city’s Library Commission in August.

City Councilman Bill Rosendahl wrote to the Los Angeles Public Library Board of Library Commissioners on April 30th, asking them to consider naming the room, and the effort has received support from the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/ Playa del Rey, the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce, the Flight Path Learning Center of Southern California, the Rotary Club of Westchester, the Westchester Playhouse, and the Airport Marina Counseling Service.

Crockett passed away of natural causes in October 2004. She was 66.

A former City of Los Angeles library commissioner and former member of the Board of Airport Commissioners, Crockett was widely recognized as a font of historic information about the Westchester community and one of the community’s most involved citizens.

She was raised in Westchester, and she graduated from Westchester High School and UCLA. Mary Lou had been a local Realtor since 1963, starting with the family firm 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.

Crockett held leadership positions in a wide array of organizations, including:

ï cofounder of Community Plans, Inc., president 1968 to 1974;

ï cofounder of Friends of the Library, Westchester/Loyola Village;

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

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

ï honorary mayor of Westchester in 1989 to 1990;

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

ï member, Loyola Marymount University’s Continuing Education Advisory Board;

ï chairperson and founder of the Westchester/Playa del Rey Historical Society, 1989 to 2004;

ï president of Westchester Vitalization Corporation; and

ï treasurer of the Neighborhood Council’s steering committee on which she worked tirelessly for many months bringing the current Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey to fruition.

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

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

Always looking to better the community, she started the Westchester Fourth of July Parade in 2000 as part of the Historical Society’s celebration of the millennium. That annual event now draws thousands of local residents to celebrate the nation’s birth.

Crockett’s contributions to the community extended to the entire City of Los Angeles, with her service on the city’s Board of Airport Commissioners Board of Library Commissioners.

To voice your support to the Board of Library Commissioners for naming the meeting room at the Westchester-Loyola Village Branch Library the “Mary Lou Crockett Meeting Room,” submit your comments on-line at www .lapl.org/branches/13-naming .html/.

ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR — The Playa Sunrise Rotary Club recently named Howard Pollack as the club’s Rotarian of the Year at its annual President’s Demotion Roast for outgoing president Paul Maynard.

The Rotarian of the Year award is presented annually to a Rotarian who enhances and contributes to the betterment of the community. A longtime contributor and supporter of many organizations, Pollack was selected because of his innovation, generosity and dedicated philanthropic community service.

Named LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce’s Merchant of the Year at its Installation dinner in June, and recipient of the City of Angels Howard B. Drollinger Achievement Award, Pollack has always maintained a creative and entrepreneurial spirit.

He began his entrepreneurial career at the age of eight when he sold small bags of candy for a five-cent commission. In the late 1960s, he started his own business, Nature’s Best, a distribution company that sold a wide range of natural food products.

In 1973, he started Campus Natural Foods that distributed natural foods to college bookstores. Since 1980, Howard Pollack has operated Rainbow Acres Natural Food Market, one of the most successful health food stores in the Venice and Marina del Rey area.

He recently purchased Mossimos Bakery and Gelato Manufacturing, which will open in a new location next to Rainbow Acres on Washington Boulevard in Venice.

He is past president of the Venice-Marina Rotary Club, a current member of Playa Sunrise Rotary, serves on the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Pacific Boosters Association, the board of directors for both the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce and Airport Marina Counseling Service, and he is a board member for Natural Products Association. Pollack and his family reside in Mar Vista.

LMU ROWER NAMED TO U.S. NATIONAL TEAM — Loyola Marymount University (LMU) senior rower Jill Austin will represent the United States as a member of the 2007 U.S. Rowing National Team. The under-23 team will compete in the World Championships in Strathclyde, Scotland, Thursday through Sunday, July 26th to 29th.

Austin raced uncontested in the lightweight double at U23 World Championships Trials in Princeton, N.J. on July 12th. The duo of Austin and Kristen Hedstrom of the University of Wisconsin only had to complete the course to claim the win at trials. But then, each of Wednesday’s winning boats had to qualify to race at the U23 World Championships by meeting the USRowing time standard for the event. Austin and Hedstrom raced for the time trial July 12th and finished the course in 7:14.453 to beat the time standard and claim their berth on the 2007 U23 National Team.

Austin will now compete in the lightweight double at U23 World Championships in Strathclyde.

The lightweight double is an Olympic boat class and the only event in which lightweights compete at the Olympics.

Austin was selected to the double out of 12 attendees at a USRowing Development camp which has been training at Pocock Training Center in Seattle since June. The LMU senior is the first ever member of the Lions’ women’s rowing team to race for the U.S. National Team.

At LMU, Austin is a two-time All-West Coast Conference (WCC) selection. She helped the Lions to the 2006 WCC title.

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