YMCA pancake breakfast; ‘Big Sunday’ events; Westchester High Healthy Start Walk-a-thon

BY GEOFF MALEMAN

The Rotary Club of West-chester honored neighborhood youths who have excelled in academic achievement and community service, during its Annual Interact Dinner on April 16th at the Flight Path Museum in Westchester.

Amidst displays of Southern California’s rich aviation history, the club’s youth director Edgar Saenz helped the Westchester Rotary Club award nine arts scholarships to seventh- and eighth-graders from local schools. The club also awarded six stipends to the winners of the Rotary 4-Way Test Essay Contest.

This year’s winning essays were written by Rebecca Levy of Westchester High School and Victoria Soto of St. Bernard High School.

The club also announced that St. Bernard High School senior Leah Wigington earned this year’s Kriston Palomo Scholarship. Now, in its 12th year, the scholarship honors the memory of Palomo, a much-loved young man who died suddenly during a baseball game at the high school. His heart lives on in the chest of an organ recipient.

During the evening, four youth grants were announced to deserving Westchester groups that proposed special projects for the betterment of community youths. Among the recipients was Karen Long, principal of Westport Heights Elementary School, accepting a check that will pay for buses for its field trips to enrich the educational experience of the school’s students. Robyn Martin, president of Del Rey American Little League, will use the Rotary funds to buy a new PA system for American Field.

“Rotarians are proud to make a difference in their community,” Saenz said. “We proclaimed Rotary to scores of parents and community members and showed why we’re the friendliest club around.”

YMCA PANCAKE BREAKFAST — Twice a year members of the Westchester Y’s Men’s Club don chef’s hats, fry up a mess of sausage, and heat up the griddle for the club’s semi-annual pancake breakfast. It is one of the club’s regular fundraisers and the proceeds are donated to various YMCA projects of the Westchester Family YMCA.

The pancake breakfast will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10th, in the parking lot of the Westchester Family YMCA, at the intersection of 80th Street and Sepulveda Boulevard.

Tickets are available from members of the Y’s Men’s Club, the Y front desk, and at the door for $5 per person or $20 for a family of four or more.

This fundraiser comes at a good time for the Westchester Family YMCA, which has just opened the KidZone. This wonderful new facility provides a safe healthy environment for the children of the community with its Sport Wall, Dance Dance Revolution, Nintendo Wii Game System, and much more.

HEALTHY START WALK-A-THON — Come walk with the students, families, faculty and staff of Westchester High School in their fourth annual 5K Family Walk-a-Thon Saturday, April 26th.

Proceeds from the walk help fund the student health and human services programs of Westchester Healthy Start, a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation located on the high school campus. Healthy Start provides behavioral counseling, tutoring and Saturday classes to support academic achievement for students on campus.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. in the school cafeteria, near the 91st Street gate. Parking is available between the gyms at 91st Street, in the student parking lot off Park Hill Drive and in the main lot at Manchester Avenue and Hastings Avenue.

For a $5 fee, walkers will receive a free T-shirt, food, water, entertainment and the chance to win prizes. Participants can visit tables to pick up free printed materials, samples and gifts from organizations partnering with Healthy Start.

LOCAL BIG SUNDAY PROJECT — Big Sunday weekend, May 3rd and 4th, is the largest annual citywide community service event in America. It’s a time for community building — when volunteers of every age and from every walk of life — work together to help others. Two local events will be part of the event.

“Have a Day of Beautification and Butterflies at Westchester High School” is Saturday, May 3rd, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Westchester High Garden Club is a great student-based group dedicated to school beautification and maintenance of Westchester High’s Butterfly Habitat. On Big Sunday, the club would like to have a campus-wide cleanup of trash, including finding items to recycle.

Students will also be planting, weeding, and watering, feeding some hungry rose bushes, and planting a new herb garden. For more information on this project, www.bigsunday.org/projects/dis play/id/0282/.

“Pick Up Around a Police Station” is Sunday, May 4th, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Pacific Police Advisory Board works to “build a synergistic partnership between the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and diverse residential and business communities for the purpose of reducing crime, fear of crime, and improving the quality of life within our community.”

On Big Sunday weekend, the board is inviting volunteers to come to the station to clean up, sweep up, rake and cut vegetation in the gardens surrounding the police station.

For more information on this project, www.bigsunday.org/proj ects/display/id/0289/.

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